I had a chin implant 4 weeks ago with another surgeon and my lower lip is still numb. Also, I can’t speak, eat, or smile as I did before, and the smile is really unattractive. When will I gain feeling back in my lower lip? There is also a dimple that appears in my chin as I speak. Is that temporary as well?
Dr. A’s Answer:
Chin Implant Recovery:
There are two approaches to doing a chin implant, through the mouth and under the chin. Each has its advantages.
Most younger people choose through the mouth because their skin under the chin is so nice and perfect that they don’t want an incision. If you already have a scar (common childhood injury), a crease, or are having other surgery on the neck that requires that incision, you should have the chin implant placed that way.
I am going to assume your implant was placed through the mouth. With the incision through the mouth, a few of the very small nerve branches to the central lower lip are cut and some mild numbness in the very middle can occur. This is temporary. If there is total numbness and goes all the way to the edge of the lip, you should contact your surgeon as it is possible the main branch was injured. When the incision is inside the mouth, it also causes some swelling and disruption of the muscle in the lower lip. This results in the lip being a little higher when you smile and some challenges to forming words. These are temporary but take a few months to go away.
Putting the incision under the chin usually causes none of the numbness and lip mobility issues. It is a much quicker return to normal. You do, however, have a small scar that is slightly visible when viewed from below.
In short, if you want an essentially invisible placement of the implant and are willing to deal with a few months of quirks, go through the mouth. Otherwise, go underneath.