Can Custom Facial Implants Be Made Of Titanium?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like to make a few enquiries regarding facial implants.
My plan is to have bespoke implants fitted precisely over my current facial skeletal bone structure to adjust the appearance. I am interested in various different locations on the face, and I know fairly precisely the dimensions of the facial appearance I would like to have. I was wondering if you have an information pack for new patients for this procedure and some advice on getting started?

My second questions is in regards to the materials used for the implants. On your website, you mention two materials – silicone and Medpor. I was wondering if you ever work with, or would consider working with 3D printed titanium implants. the reason I am particularly interested in this material is the strength advantage it has over others.

A: The best way to get started is to send me some pictures of your face and a detailed list of what you want to achieve and where you envision the augmentations to be done. Using that information, custom implant designs can be done on a 3D CT scan which you would need to get. That CT scan can be done in your local community.

As for custom facial implant materials, only silicone is currently available for use as a custom facial implant material for 3D CT fabrication. While I am certainly not opposed to using any other material, such as titanium, you have to factor in other important considerations such as cost and access. Very stiff materials, such as titanium, require much larger incisions to place dependent on their size and location. This is an issue that patients never think about but can be a very limiting issue. In addition, there is no advantage to a stiff metallic material as an implant. Since bone is the backing for all implant materials, they all become firm and ‘bone-like- once in place.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana