Can Jaw Angle Implants Correct My Jaw Asymmetry?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  You have a great website and blog! I especially enjoyed reading about the mandibular angle implant procedures that you’ve done and your sensitivity to avoid asymmetrical results. My biggest concern is to correct my asymmetrical jaw.  The left vertical side extends to cause the horizontal jaw line to extend about a 1/2 an inch lower than the right.  This may not seem like much but it is enough to slightly make the left side of my nose droop down in an asymmetrical way.  What I wish I could have done is the right side of jaw lowered to match left perfectly and to do this with mandibular angle implants that would be about a 1/2 inch longer (vertical) on the right than the left. This would give me a symmetrical yet stronger jaw.

A: To lengthen the vertical height of the mandibular ramus, a vertical lengthening jaw angle implant needs to be used. This is one of the two types of off-the-shelf preformed jaw angle implants that are commercially available. It is the more difficult of the two types of jaw angle implants to place because a portion of it must go below the existing lower bone border of the jaw.
When it comes to correcting jaw angle asymmetry, I would avoid the use of the term ‘perfect match’ as I can tell you that is unlikely to occur. A realistic goal is improvement in the symmetry of the jaw angles. Perfect symmetry may happen but less asymmetry is a more likely outcome. Jaw angle implants are the most difficult of all facial implants to place.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana