Facial Implants for Widening Gaunt Face?

I am interested in restoring my looks after a bad orthodontic experience that has changed my bone structure and soft tissues, making me look gaunt and less full in the cheeks, lips and jaw. Would jaw implants help widen my face or would just a submalar cheek implant provide enough fullness? My jaw is not as wide as it used to be. I am afraid of some of the risks, mostly the potential nerve damage. How common is it for problems to arise? I have naturally high cheek bones and don't want that to be lost. Would the submalar implant compliment that?

Doctor Answers 6

Cheek Implants, Cheek Fillers

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I have used Cheek Implants for over z20 years and feel that your Cheeks are very full and round. I would not use an implant but rather a filler like Sculptra or Perlane to fill out the sunken area below the cheeks. I believe Jaw Implants have to many risks and don not use them. You could use Perlane at the angle of the mandible to give the jaw line more flare.

Cheek implants can help with lower gaunt cheeks

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A submalar cheek implant would help with lower gaunt cheeks. However, it will not be a complete improvement when there is fat pad atrophy of the buccal fat pad space. Fat injections into the buccal fat pad space can be considered as well. A mandibular jawline augmentation would not help with this problem whatsoever.

Facial Implants

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You have well defined facial contours except for the long flat midface (the area between the eyes and the mouth). Adding more fullness to this area with submalar implants or injectables such as fat or Radiesse is an excellent idea. There is a risk of compromising cheek sensation with placement of the submalar implant, but this is very rare in the hands of experienced surgeons.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Lateral jaw implants can widen the lower part of the face

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Lateral jaw implants can widen the lower part of the face. But submalar implants can widen the area and volumize the area under the cheeks.  It depends on what areas are affecting you the most. You can write me with any questions.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Soft tissue volume can balance your face

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Hi there,

You have strong bone structure, perhaps accentuated by your orthodontic work. In my opinion, additional implants to add volume will look unnatural by further increasing the solid mass of immovable deep structure in your face. However, you are right in your assessment that you have some gaunt characteristics, especially in your tear trough area and lower face. Soft tissue volume, such as autologous fat transfer might help to restore facial harmony by increasing dynamic volume. You could always "step in to the dressing room and try it on" by having a surgeon inject saline into your face so that you can see the actual effect of soft tissue volume. The saline is absorbed within a few hours, so it is a short & sweet reversible experiment. Synthetic volumizers are an option as well, but you may want a more longer lasting option, such as fat, since your problem is not the need for rejuvenation, but a real lasting change. Having said that, synthetic fillers can offer you a one year trial of volume before you take the plunge into autologous fat.
Good luck!

Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS
Austin Oculoplastic Surgeon

Facial Implants versus Injections

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You have several options. You can either have surgery to place implants or you can have injections to replace volume. The lost volume can be replaced with your own fat thorugh fat grafting/transfer. Alternativley, you can try off-the-shelf fillers for a temporary change prior to any permanent surgeries or procedures. Good luck.

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