Are Custom Jaw Implants Worth The Higher Cost?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I exhibit a weak jawline and recessed chin. I have had several consultations with doctors in the Los Angeles area. The most logically sounding consultation seemed to be a custom jaw implant. I see that you do this procedure yet also use off the shelf products as well. My question is…is a custom implant truly superior and does the higher cost justify this type of implant? The doctor made a compelling argument for custom implants however the price was extremely high. Look forward to your reply.

A: The key decision between off the shelf and custom jawline implants is in what you are trying to achieve. Depending upon the nature and magnitude of the dimensions of the jawline changes desired, only a custom implant will work for some patients. In fact, in some of these patients they should not have the procedure at all unless they go a custom fabrication route, For others, a custom implant may have no significant aesthetic advantage and off the shelf implants will work just fine. You would have to supply me with the exact jawline changes you are seeking and some pictures to better answer your question about what will work for you.

When it comes to cost, it is important to realize that custom facial implants today are not significantly more expensive than preformed off the shelf implants. Why? While the material cost of the custom implant is higher than the material cost of preformed implants, they are capable of being surgically placed ini half the operative time. Thus the extra cost to design and fabricate a custom jawline implant is partially offset by the savings of a quicker operation. You also have to consider the risk of revisional surgery, where if it were necessary due to an aesthetic issue, any savings from using off the shelf implants would be completely wiped and exceeded.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana