Cosmetic surgery for the jaw is performed to improve the overall look of the face and a patient’s quality of life. There are several different types of cosmetic jaw procedures; surgery performed on the upper part of the jaw is known as a maxillary osteotomy. Surgery that is done on the lower jaw is known as a mandibular osteotomy. Implants or injectable fillers may also be used to improve a patient’s overall facial structure.
Surgery is often performed on the upper part of the jaw to correct a receded jaw. This procedure is typically performed by making incisions beneath both eyes and then moving the jaw forward until it is in line with the bottom jaw. Once everything is in place, screws are used to hold the jaw bone in place. While this is considered a cosmetic procedure, it can also help to relieve difficulty chewing. As a severely receded jaw can cause extra bone to grow above the molars, some bone shaving is often performed during a maxillary osteotomy.
A mandibular osteotomy is cosmetic surgery for the lower jaw. For this procedure, the bottom of the jaw is cut behind the bottom back teeth. Once the jaw is detached, it is slid in line with the upper jaw and screws are put in to hold everything in place. This procedure can improve a person’s facial symmetry and make chewing food easier. It is often combined with a chin implant to even out the proportions of the face.
Jaw implants are typically done when a maxillary osteotomy or mandibular osteotomy are not necessary. The implants themselves are made from silicone, polyethylene, or cartilage from elsewhere in the body. The surgeon inserts the implants through incisions inside the cheek, where necessary for aesthetic purposes. While this cosmetic surgery for the jaw is considered more invasive than other alternatives, it also provides the most controlled outcome; each piece is formed and placed to provide the desired results. If the patient is not happy, the implants are relatively easy to remove.
In lieu of implants, another cosmetic surgery for the jaw is an injectable filler. Oftentimes, fat is taken from other parts of the body and injected into the jaw for augmentation. This type of cosmetic surgery for the jaw is considered one of the safest procedures, although it is not always permanent since the fat can reabsorb into the body. Other non-permanent fillers are collagen, hyaluronic acid, and hydroxylapatitie; while these tend to last for a while, the body does eventually absorb them, requiring routine injections. The only permanent injectable filler is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).