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What Are the Different Types of Cosmetic Surgery for the Jaw?

By Amanda R. Bell
Updated May 21, 2024
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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).

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Discussion Comments

By Spotiche5 — On Apr 30, 2014

@raynbow- Though there are several filler injections that are considered to be permanent, I would not recommend them. They have not been proven safe, and can cause many side effects such as lumps, bumps, and infections.

One of the major issues with permanent fillers is that they can not be easily removed if a problem or allergic reaction develops. They can also migrate easily, resulting in an unnatural appearance. It is best to stick with a fat transfer or a filler that your doctor recommends for enhancing the jawline.

By Raynbow — On Apr 30, 2014

Though this article mentions a permanent filler for the jaw area, it doesn't provide much information about it. Does anyone have information about permanent fillers? The type that dissolve over time don't seem like the best option.

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