A soft-looking chin and jaw can be caused by age or genetics. Jaw fillers can add definition, symmetry, balance, or contour to this area, especially in profile.
But not all fillers or practitioners of this procedure are created equal. It’s important to understand what jaw fillers can and can’t accomplish so that you don’t end up with results you don’t like.
In this article, we’ll go over the types of fillers available, the procedure itself, and what you can expect from the results.
Jaw fillers are gels that get injected into the skin. They provide volume and stimulate hyaluronic acid or collagen production. This can lessen the appearance of sagging, baggy skin, and bone loss around the jaw.
Jaw filler can be used to:
- reduce the effects of age-related volume loss in the lower face
- create a more oval-looking jawline
- reduce the appearance of jowls
- contour the jawline, giving it a sharper appearance
- balance an asymmetrical jawline
- strengthen or add proportion to the chin
- provide a strong foundation and frame for the face
The jaw filler procedure is also referred to as nonsurgical jawline contouring. It’s a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that should only be done by an experienced, licensed professional, such as a:
When strategically injected along the mandible (lower jaw), jaw fillers create a more defined separation between the jawline and neck.
“Jaw filler gives the face a sharper angle, which makes you look skinnier,” says dermatologist Dr. Barry D. Goldman. “It provides a subtle change, which never looks overdone or over the top.”
Not every type has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this area of the face. But many doctors use fillers off-label for chin augmentation and for defining the jawline. The most common jaw fillers your doctor may use include:
- hyaluronic acid (Restylane Lyft and Juvederm Voluma or Volux)
- calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) (Radiesse)
There are several types of dermal filler your doctor might recommend for the jaw and chin. But currently, the only FDA-approved filler for jaw and chin augmentation is Juvederm Volux.
According to Dr. Goldman, thicker fillers are best for the chin and jawline because they aren’t malleable and stay where they’re strategically placed.
When used solely for cosmetic purposes, jaw filler isn’t covered by health insurance in the United States. Your costs may vary based on your geographic area and prescribing doctor.
The type of filler your doctor recommends may also determine cost to some extent. In general, fillers such as Restylane Lyft, Juviderm Volux, and Radiesse are similar in cost, averaging between $600 and $800 per syringe.
Age may also be a factor that impacts cost.
“Older patients who have experienced more bone and volume loss may require the use of more syringes per session,” says Dr. Goldman.
Filler is gradually metabolized and broken down by the body. Your doctor may recommend that you come back for refresher injections every 6 months or so. These smaller amounts of filler may cost you half the amount or more of your initial treatment.
Jaw filler results are immediately visible.
Individual results vary, but for many users, hyaluronic acid filler may last as long as 2 years. Calcium hydroxylapatite may last as long as 15 months.
No matter which type you use, you may start to see diminished results in 9 to 12 months, especially if refresher injections aren’t administered consistently.
You can help maintain the life of jaw filler by:
Pain can be subjective, and some people may feel more discomfort than others when receiving jaw filler injections.
Talk to your doctor ahead of time if you’re anxious about the discomfort you anticipate.
Before you receive any filler injections, your practitioner may numb the area with a topical cream or other type of local anesthetic.
If you’re in the hands of an experienced injector, jaw filler injections shouldn’t hurt. You may feel brief pressure or a strange sensation with each injection, but likely not much more than that.
You may feel a small amount of pain or discomfort at the injection sites once the numbing cream wears off. This shouldn’t last for more than 1 day.
Severe or lasting pain, while unlikely, warrants an immediate call to your doctor.
During your initial consultation, ask your doctor what you can expect during and after getting jaw filler.
Before the procedure
Here’s generally what you can expect to do before getting jaw fillers:
- Let your doctor know of any medications or supplements you currently take.
- Stop taking blood thinners, over-the-counter pain medications, or supplements such as St. John’s Wort, vitamin E, garlic, ginseng, and primrose oil.
- Avoid drinking alcohol for 1 or 2 days prior to getting fillers.
- Halt any use of topical skin treatments containing glycolic acid, retinols, or retinoids several days before your appointment.
- Don’t use any hair removal products, including tweezers, during this time.
- Drink and eat normally prior to your treatment, since jaw filler is a nonsurgical procedure.
You should arrive for jaw filler treatment without makeup and in comfortable clothing. Here’s the short procedure you can expect:
- Your medical provider numbs the area of injection.
- After numbing, a small amount of filler gel will be injected strategically in multiple sites along the mandible. A cannula may be used to help guide the filler in.
- Your doctor should go slowly and continually assess the results of each injection during treatment.
Jaw filler treatment takes around 30 minutes from start to finish.
You may also apply ice immediately after treatment and afterwards, as needed.
Even with mild swelling, your results should be visible and apparent immediately. You should also be able to return to work or to your normal activities immediately following jaw filler treatment.
Here’s what you can do to ensure that you have the best possible results:
- Don’t try to cover up post-procedure redness or swelling with makeup or concealer.
- Avoid strenuous exercise.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
- Avoid being out in bright sunlight.
Common side effects from jaw filler include:
Less common side effects can include:
Severe complications from dermal fillers are uncommon.
But it’s important to seek treatment from an experienced medical professional so that you’re less likely to experience serious complications from accidental injections into facial arteries or nerves.
Severe complications can include:
Jaw filler isn’t for everyone. Based on the result you’re hoping to attain, alternatives you might wish to consider include:
- Exercise and diet. Exercises geared towards tightening the jawline can be beneficial for anyone who wishes to have a more pronounced look. If you have a double chin due to being overweight, adjusting your diet may also help.
- Botox. Unlike jaw filler, Botox may be used to slim down or reduce the appearance of the jaw. It may also be beneficial for helping to alleviate the pain caused by TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders).
- Kybella or Coolsculpting. These products are used in procedures designed to eradicate the fat pad under the chin, which causes the look of a double chin. Coolsculpting works by freezing and killing fat cells. Kybella works by dissolving fat cells.
- Jaw surgery. If you wish to have a more permanent result, you may consider surgery for your jawline. While highly effective, jaw surgery may not be covered by insurance and can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars.
Jaw filler is a nonpermanent way to safely change the look of your jawline, chin, and entire face.
It’s typically used to get subtle results. But even a small change in jaw definition or chin volume can have significant effects on the entire look of your face.
It’s important to assess your goals for this procedure and to schedule a consultation with a licensed, experienced practitioner to discuss them.