Unhappy about your wide jaws but don’t want to go under the knife to get that slender yet defined V-shaped jaw line? You might want to consider non-surgical jaw contouring techniques.
A V-Line shape is highly coveted as it can make us look younger and more beautiful. A wide jaw makes our face look masculine. Wide jaws could be due to enlarged masseter muscles on either side of our face or due to over-sized jaw bones. To change this, a plastic surgeon needs to either trim the jaw bone or remove excess masseter muscle tissue, or do both at the same time. A Jaw contouring surgery can help achieve this and you can read more about this by clicking here to read our blog post on surgical jaw contouring.
But if you want to avoid an invasive jaw surgery or do not desire a dramatic change in the shape of your jaws, then you can always opt for the non-surgical method of jaw contouring, otherwise known as a non-surgical masseter muscle reduction. The goal of the procedure is to have a softer, sophisticated V-shaped face without having to go through the bloody ordeal of a jaw contouring surgery.
Why do we have wide jaws?
One of the most common reasons for broad jawlines is an over-development of the masseter muscles, muscles that enable you to chew your food. Incessant chewing of gum or frequent clenching of the teeth exercises the masseter muscles. Just like exercising muscles on your arm in a gymnasium increases the size of the muscles, exercising the masseter muscles helps them to grow bigger in size. Big masseter muscles make the face looks broader, squarer and more masculine.
Who are the ideal candidates for a non-surgical Jaw Contouring procedure?
This is ideal for candidates who have large masseter muscles which result in prominent jawlines. In the case of candidates with enlarged mandibles or jawbones, bone needs to be shaved and this can only be achieved surgically. Non-surgical Jaw Contouring is not restricted to females only. It is also attempted by many men who want to make their faces look more refined or symmetrical.
Before any Jaw Contouring procedure, surgical or non-surgical, the doctor studies the anatomy of the patient to develop the best treatment plan. This is done to understand the underlying cause of wide jaws – whether it is due to enlarged masseter muscles or over-sized bones, or due to both. Non-surgical techniques are used only when enlarged masseter muscles are found to be the root cause of the wide jawline.
The most common non-surgical technique used by the doctors is the the injection of botulinum toxin, also known as Botox or Dysport, directly into the masseter muscle of the patient. Multiple injections need to be administered to effectively and permanently reduce the size of the masseter muscle and slim down the lower third of the face.
Depending on the requirement of each candidate, the injections are administered either on a single point on each side of the face or into multiple points in the masseter muscles on both sides of the face. Once injected, these weaken the muscle, causing it to shrink. Doctors normally apply local anesthesia around the area where the injections will be administered. Some doctors avoid giving anesthesia, altogether as the procedure is not particularly painful.
In the case that no local anesthesia is applied, the patient could feel a slight stinging sensation at the time they are injected. This won’t be too uncomfortable and won’t last long. The advantage of this technique is that each session doesn’t take a lot of time. Depending on the area affected, this can take as less as 10 minutes.
Often, this treatment needs to be carried out over multiple sessions, depending on the individual’s masseter muscle anatomy and how their body reacts to botulinum toxin. The number of sessions typically varies from 1-2 sessions up to 3-4 sessions in some case.
What is the recovery period after a non-surgical Jaw Contouring procedure?
For the first 2 to 3 weeks, the results will not be visible as it takes time for the Botox to actually cause atrophy or shrinkage of the masseter muscle. A gradual improvement can be noticed between 3 to 8 weeks after the procedure. Initially, there could be minimal swelling at the point of injection. For some people minimal bruising may occur too. There is a rare possibility of development of an infection which can be treated through antibiotics.
Though there won’t typically be any major difficulty in chewing or eating, some patients might have to exert greater effort than they normally do while chewing food. There could also be slight pain while eating. However, these symptoms typically do not last for more than a week. Doctors recommend not to massage the affected area soon after the procedure.
Since the procedure is less invasive, one can immediately return to normal daily routines soon after each session of treatment.
How long do the results of non-surgical Jaw Contouring last?
The result of the non-surgical Jaw Contouring procedure is initially temporary and will last for an average period of 6 months to 1 year, although this depends on each individual. Some doctors recommend touch-up treatment later on to maintain the results. With repeated treatment, the masseter muscles might experience permanent loss of mass therefore allowing for more lasting results.
However, it is important to understand that a non-surgical Jaw Contouring procedure cannot bring about the dramatic change in appearance which a surgical procedure may help to attain. The changes will be more subtle and gradual.
Are there any major risks associated with non-surgical Jaw Contouring?
Non-surgical jaw contouring is relatively safe as it is not invasive in nature. In rare occasions, if the injections are administered in unhygienic conditions or if the post treatment instructions are not properly adhered to, an infection can develop at the injection sites.
Another risk, albeit also very rare, is that too much Botox is inserted too frequently and this can cause dramatic shrinkage of the masseter muscle, leading to compromised jaw function. In such cases, the patient might experience trouble while chewing.
What will non-surgical Jaw Contouring cost me?
The cost of this procedure varies significantly based on where in the world you are looking to have it done. However, in South Korea – which is considered a global hub for face contouring, each session of non-surgical jaw contouring treatment would cost around USD 300 with the total treatment across all sessions ranging from around USD 600 to 1,500 depending on the number of sessions required. This is still significantly cheaper than a surgical jaw reduction procedure which could range from USD 6,000 to 7,700 in South Korea.