Chin Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, Wouldn’t a jaw implant have the same issues as chin implants where eventually the bone starts to become reabsorbed?

A: The belief that chin implants cause ‘bone erosion’ is both inaccurate and biologically misinterpreted. Some, but not all, chin implants develop passive settling into the bone as a biologic response to the tissue displacement pressures of the implanted device. This is a passive and natural process that occurs in many augmentation implants throughout the body that is self-limiting as a method of pressure relief. This should not be confused with an inflammatory process like bone erosion which develops as an adverse reaction to either a material’s composition or an infection from the implant material.

Such passive tissue remodeling responses to a facial implant is most commonly see in chin implants. It is probably because of the tight tissues of the projecting soft tissues of the chin stretched out over a projecting underlying bone. This puts a lot of pressure over a single bone point. (chin) This is not seen in larger jaw implants because the displacement forces are spread out over a much larger bone surface area and there is no one single pressure point or area.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana