One hears a great deal about facelifts, brow lifts, cosmetic eye surgery and

Rhinoplasty. However, there's another part of the face that has a huge affect on the look of all the other features. That is the chin.

A small chin can make an individual's nose appear too large for their face, when in fact, that's just an optical illusion. The chin is throwing the other features off balance. A small chin is frequently called a weak chin – giving the impression of a timid, or weak personality. Having a small or receding chin can have a definite affect on how someone appears and on his or her self-esteem.

Chin augmentation (mentoplasty) can solve the problem of having a small or a receded chin. By increasing the chin's projection this augmentation surgery will bring a receding chin into balance and improve both the profile and frontal view of the face.

To determine whether or not you have a small or receding chin note wherever you have the following:

Clicking or popping sounds and aching in your jaw

A narrow, short, or small chin in proportion to the rest of your face

No clear or sharp contours to the jaw

The line of the jaw and the neck appear to merge

The upper lip appears protruded

These are all signs you may need a chin augmentation.

Chin implant surgery is generally performed on an outpatient basis using either local or general anesthesia, based on the complexity of the procedure and recommendation of the surgeon in consultation with the patient. The surgery itself will likely take less than two hours. Here are three possible procedures your plastic surgeon might perform:

Chin implants – Chin implants involve making an incision either inside the mouth, along the lower lip or just below the chin area. Once the incision is made an implant is inserted into a pocket in front of the jawbone.

Bone adjusting – One type of chin extending or lengthening surgery that uses no implants involves cutting the chin bone from inside the mouth. The bone is then moved forward and held in place with a small, metal plate and tiny screws.

Lower jaw implants – Lower jaw implants are placed through incisions made inside the mouth on either side of the lower lip where the implant is inserted. The surgery takes about one to two hours. It does not move teeth or affect the position of your teeth.

If you are bothered by a small chin, a weak chin, or lack of definition in the lower part of your face, you might be a good candidate for chin augmentation surgery.

You will also need to be in good health and old enough for your facial bones to have reached full growth.

Chin surgery is a highly individualized procedure. If you are concerned about whether you have a small chin or how to correct a small or receded chin, you should visit a plastic surgeon and have a thorough consultation.