Chin, Cheek, and Jaw Augmentation
Facial augmentation has evolved significantly over the last few decades. Twenty years ago, we had a couple types of facial implants to use, and silicone cheek and chin implants were the mainstays. Today, there are many options to augment the chin, cheek, and face in general.
Various fillers are also now used for facial contouring; some can be permanent, and some can be long-acting, but still temporary, including:
Different types of fillers can also be used to augment the jaw line. Many patients can hide some early jowl formation by using fillers along the jawline to mask the contour step offs created by the jowl.
In addition, fillers can often be blended with noninvasive skin tightening to fine tune your results.
Advancements and refinements in facial fat grafting have also made this an excellent way to go about facial contouring.
Advantages of Fat Grafting
One advantage of fat grafting is that the graft material used is your own tissue, so feels like facial tissue and will age and change naturally over time. Another theoretical advantage of fat grafting is the possibility that fat stem cells may assist tissues in staying more youthful. This science is still in it’s early phases, but it shows great promise; just don’t let anyone oversell the “stem cell side” of fat grafting until we have more conclusive data. Still, fat grafting is a superb option for facial augmentation.
Disadvantages of Fat Grafting
Of course, like all things, there are some weaknesses to fat grafting or it would be the only thing we did in this arena. Fat grafts always have the risk of not surviving completely, which means you can lose some of the results and require further grafting as a secondary procedure. Due to the possibility of some loss of the graft, we often have to over-graft a little, which lends a bit more variability to the final result.
Not only do we have silicone implants in various shapes, sizes, and newer styles, but we also have Teflon® implants (Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE) and Proplast implants as examples. Implants can be used to augment the jaw line and the chin.
Advantage of Implants
Silicone implants are an example are a “you get what you see” proposition. The surgeon knows the implant isn’t going to change in size or volume, so there is some precision there that is comforting.
In addition, Dr. Nelson believes silicone implants are superior for chin augmentations. Chin implants are a similar density to the chin pad, which is firmer than regular fat, and the implant supports the tissues well. The best shape and style depends on your chin anatomy and jaw shape. There are even chin implants with a bit of a central dimple for something of a Kirk Douglas look.
Hopefully, this provides a good primer on facial augmentation. Make an appointment with us if you wish to see what your best options are.