Custom Jaw Implant

Q: Dr. Eppley, In further discussion of getting a custom jaw implant is whether you also handled corrective jaw surgeries.  I don’t know medical vernacular, but my dentist informed me that I should consider corrective jaw surgery. I don’t have an over/under bite, but rather a bite that resembles the “chattering teeth” toys, where my teeth more or less sit on top of one another.  I thought if that is a procedure I need done, it would seem more cost effective, as well as better for my work schedule if both could be done simultaneously.  Let me know your thoughts at your convenience, thanks.

A: As both a board certified plastic surgeon as well as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, I have done many orthographic surgery procedures….but not many that incorporated a custom jaw implant at the same time. The key question as to whether that can be done or is even needed is whether the jaw correction would be done by a maxillary (LeFort 1 procedure) or a lower jaw moving procedure. (sagittal split) In an isolated LeFort 1 osteotomy, a lower jaw implant can be done. If the lower jaw is cut and moved then a lower jaw implant can not be done at the same time.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana