Can Jaw Angle Implants Be Custom Made?

Q: Dr. Eppley, can jaw angle implants be custom made out of Porex? I had Porex jaw angle implants placed to restore my jaw bone deformity after jaw reduction surgery. but I am not happy with the result. I realized off- the self implants do not suffice in my case. I am considering my implant removed and replaced with custom made ones. All I have seen of custom made implants is to be made of silicone. Is it difficult to make a custom made implant out of Porex or too much expensive?

A: Quite simply, the manufacturer of Porex implants  is not willing to make custom jaw angle implants. This is undoubtably because the Porex material has to be machined (milled) to create the implants which is both time-consuming and expensive. Conversely, silicone implants are poured into a mold which is far easier to manufacture and more economical. It sounds like you had jaw angle reduction surgery (amputation of angles) and then had them restored by jaw angle implants. I have seen this scenario numerous times. It may be that only custom implants are an appropriate solution for your problem or it could be that the implants you have in place have either not been the right style or not well placed. Medpor (porex) jaw angle implants are notoriously difficult to properly position. So unless your surgeon has tremendous experience in doing jaw angle implants the problem may be in the implant selected or how it was positioned. Unless you have a 3-D CT scan of your face/jaw done it would be hard to know what the real problem is.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana