Q: Dr. Eppley, I currently have mandibular angle implants but they are just slightly too large and I would like to get them shaved or switched for a slightly smaller pair. 1.) How difficult is the process of shaving them down? 2.) Is the recovery time just as bad as when they were first placed? 3.) Do you recommend shaving them down or switching them out for a smaller pair? Thank you in advance for your response.
A: Modification of jaw angle implant size is certainly easier than the first procedure. This is because the submuscular/subperiosteal pockets have already been made. This is what causes the real trauma and swelling from their original placement. While there will be some swelling the second time around, it will not be as bad as the first. Whether you modify in size or get new jaw angle implants depends on what type of implant was placed (silicone vs medpor) and what is the dimension that you want changed. If it is a silicone implant, I would just replace it with a smaller size as their cost is very low. If they are porous polyethylene (Medpor), I would shave down the existing implants because their cost replacement is substantially higher and they are easy to shave down after they have been implanted for awhile. (get softer with hydration)
Dr. Barry Eppley