Chin augmentations are performed for the same purpose that a lot of facial surgeries are, to improve facial harmony. The biggest benefit typically is not seen from in front but is best viewed from the profile. Good patients for chin implant surgery (augmentation genioplasty) are those whose chins are receded compared to their other facial features.
The best candidates for chin augmentation (genioplasty) surgery are those with good dentition and normal occlusion; meaning that their upper teeth meet their lower teeth appropriately. Some patients have a weak chin because their jaw sits back too far compared to their mid-face. These individuals may benefit first from an orthodontic evaluation as their greatest improvement may be from a repositioning of the jaw known as orthognathic surgery. These patients may also benefit from a chin augmentation at the same time or after their jaw surgery.
Some patients who seek rhinoplasty surgery to reduce the size of their nose can improve their facial profile with simultaneous placement of a chin implant. Often times, adding a chin augmentation to nasal reduction surgery can make a dramatic difference and may reduce the severity of the nasal surgery. Occasionally, a chin implant may make enough of a difference in the profile to obviate the need for nasal surgery altogether.
Patients who are healthy with good skin and stable bone structure are obviously better candidates for surgery than those who lack these qualities as the jawbone provides a stable base for the implant. Patients who have lost their lower teeth also have lost bone structure in their jaw. This leaves less room for an implant and may limit the size of implant that can be put in and in some cases, may preclude the placement of an implant.
Male patients who desire a stronger chin and would like a more square or dimpled chin are good candidates for implants that are specifically designed to accomplish these goals. Anatomical implants are rounded like a natural chin, some are more square in shape for a more masculine look while others have a depression in the middle with more prominent sides to create the central dimple.
The above described shaped chin implants are made out of firm, solid silicone known as silastic. It feels like hard rubber, but after it is inserted, it feels like a part of the jawbone. These are the most popular style of implants because they are easier to insert than implants that have to be carved into shape, they are more resistant to infection and they are easier to remove and replace if necessary.
Instead of inserting a prosthetic chin implant to augment the jaw, the bone itself can be cut and slid forward into a more prominent position. This requires the procedure to be performed at a surgery center, has a higher risk of permanent numbness to the lip and is a much more extensive procedure but does not require insertion of a foreign implant.