Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting a jaw angle implant for just one side. I have facial symmetry on my right side which is smaller. Not sure why. I’m saving up for that type of procedure now. Is there anyway you can give me a ball park estimate of how much something like that would cost and is any part of it ever covered by insurance? Also, is the surgery normally done when you are asleep or awake and if it’s asleep will I wake up with a tube down my throat? I know it sounds like a dumb question but the thought of it makes me nervous. And lastly, how much of an improvement would this make because I know it won’t make me look perfectly symmetrical and everyone’s results are different. I just want to make sure it’s the best thing I can do.
A: If your facial asymmetry is relegated primarily to the posterior face in the jaw angle area, then unilateral augmentation can be very helpful. You just have to make sure that the asymmetry is located down by the bulk of the masseter muscle area. The effectiveness of jaw angle implant augmentation depends on the size and shape of the implant. How much width and if any vertical lengthening is needed are critical question before surgery to select the proper implant. Because this surgery is for cosmetic enhancement (appearance), it is not ever covered by insurance. The surgery is done through an intraoral approach and involves lifting up the masseter muscle. Thus this is a procedure that requires general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation. The tube will be removed before you wake up so this is not a concern.
Dr. Barry Eppley