What is a cleft chin? People with creases or prominent dimples in the front of their chins are said to have a cleft chin or “butt chin”. Cleft chin is a genetic trait and it is passed down the family line. The cleft chin happens when the two sides of the lower jaw bone fail to fuse together completely as the fetus develops. Having a dimple does not pose any medical threat and some people actually see it as a sign of beauty.
However, some people with cleft chins do not like having them. The good news is that butt chins can be surgically removed or added. There are several ways to improve the appearance of a deep cleft chin.
How To Correct A Deep Cleft Chin
In true sense, the mandible (lower jaw bone) naturally does have prominent tubercles on each side, but this does not greatly contribute to forming a cleft chin. The mentalis (overlying paired chin muscles) may have thick muscles or a wide space separating them, creating a deep central groove. The mentalis is the part surgeons work on to correct a deep cleft chin. There are various surgical procedures that can be applied to correct a cleft chin, but end results may vary depending on invasiveness, permanence and cost.
Dermal fillers are synthetic soft tissues that are injected into the dimple or chin cleft. This procedure is simple and can be done in an office setting within a few minutes. Before injecting the fillers, a plastic surgeon first has to determine if the cleft requires a superficial or deeper injection depending on the depth of the cleft. These fillers are not permanent and they can last six to twelve months. They are considered safe and reversible.
Botox injections minimize the appearance of a cleft by paralyzing the chin muscles. The effects are not permanent as well and only last a few months. To achieve a synergistic effect, surgeons combine Botox with fillers.
If you are looking for permanent results, plastic surgeons often recommend fat grafting. This procedure utilizes the patient’s body fat as filler. An experienced plastic surgeon removes a small amount of fat from the belly area and using liposuction, he transfers the fat into the central chin. This procedure is known to increase the overall size of the chin.
Genioplasty is a cosmetic surgery that is done on the chin. A surgeon modifies the jaw bone or adjusts the location of the chin muscles to correct a chin cleft. The results of this procedure are permanent. Unlike other procedures, Genioplasty is costlier and requires a longer recovery time. To achieve a rounder shape, chin implants can also be used.
Preparation And Safety
If you decide to correct your deep cleft chin through surgical procedures, it helps to be mentally and physically prepared. You need to understand that if you choose any of the mentioned procedures, there are risks involved. These include:
- Undesirable results
- Excessive bleeding
These risks can be reduced by telling your surgeon if you:
- Have kidney or lung disease
- Take warfarin or aspirin
- Have a heart disease or high blood pressure
- Have diabetes
- Are obese
- Use alcohol or drugs
- Have obstructive or central sleep apnea
This article was not written by Dr. Robert S. Fischer M.D and may not represent his views. To talk to Dr. Robert S. Fischer M.D. please contact the office directly.