Can Jaw Surgery Change the Shape of Your Face?

As a Montreal plastic surgeon, I perform surgical procedures on the jaw for 3 reasons: medical, reconstructive, and/or cosmetic. Jaw surgery can typically be categorized as either upper, lower, or chin surgery. It’s performed for reasons ranging from difficulty chewing or swallowing food, chronic pain, over and under bites, birth defects, or an asymmetrical facial appearance from either the side or profile. Jaw surgery can be profoundly life-changing for patients and significantly change the shape of their face and improve abnormal jaw structure or repair damage.

Jaw Surgery

Jaw surgery moves and reshapes entire parts of a patient’s face. The jaw bone is cut by the surgeon and can be moulded and moved forwards or backwards, depending on a patient’s specific requirements It will be anchored in place permanently, creating an entirely new look and proportions on the lower half of a patient’s face.

Jaw surgery sometimes required bone to be added from other parts of the body. Often times during a chin surgery, bone needs to be taken from the hip, leg, or ribs and grafted onto existing jaw bone surrounding the chin and held in place with temporary wires until the existing bone adheres to the implanted bone. This procedure can dramatically alter the width and/or length of a patient’s chin, adding depth and strength to both the front and profile and give the face a more symmetrical, better proportioned appearance.

Jaw surgery to correct an over-bite is often undergone to correct a “gummy smile.” The corrective surgery for this moves the jaw backwards and significantly alters the appearance of the chin, giving it a stronger, more pronounced look on the face.

Jaw surgery to correct an overbite attempts to correct things like the appearance of a disproportionately large nose. It generally improves the strength of facial features by moving the support structure of the face forward. Your jaw is the foundation for the build of much of the rest of your face and altering that foundation has many subsequent structural effects on surrounding areas.

The change in facial features may be subtle or dramatic depending on how far backwards or forwards your jaw is moved – to the point that your look has changed entirely. The shape, contour, and placement of your chin, nose, mouth, and upper and lower jaw can be altered based on your medical and cosmetic requirements and will generally serve to improve the lines, dimensions, and placement of your facial features.

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