Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Can jaw correction change the way I look?"


What are the dangers of cosmetic jaw correction surgery?


I am assuming that when you say "jaw correction" you are talking about a cosmetic genioplasty (chin alteration/augmentation). There are multiple different ways to go about performing a genioplasty, and each of them have their own set of risks (and benefits). First of all when thinking about any surgery on the mandible, you need to start with evaluating occlusion (what the lay person refers to as a "bite".

See a doctor who can help

Find a Ear nose-throat-doctors near you

..i.e underbite, overbite, etc). When I said that I was assuming you meant a "genioplasty" that is because it is the cosmetic surgery to address the chin without changing your "bite" (meaning that you already have good occlusion and do not want to change this). If you have problems with occlusion, then you should start out seeing an OMFS (Oral Maxillo Facial Surgeon) to address this (as an FYI there are definitely ways to address occlusion and cosmesis at the same time). I can think of three main categories that pertain to genioplasty: osteotomy, implants, and a sliding genioplasty. When the osteotomy technique is performed, the surgeon makes cuts in the bone and moves it forward, then plates it in place. With this technique the nerve that gives sensation to the lower lip can potentially be injured, the wound could get infected (which is a risk for any surgery), and there could potentially be a non-union (the bone doesn't heal). Implants carry the same risks (except there are no bone cuts that need to heal). A sliding genioplasty is when front part of the chin is cut on a diagonal and slide forward then anchored in place giving the chin more projection. This also carries the same risks. I would definitely recommend discussing your options with a facial plastic surgeon (or OMFS if your occlusion is off). Best of luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.