Can Jaw Implants Be Done After Orthognathic Surgery?

Q:  Dear Dr. Eppley, I am having a bilateral sagittal split mandibular osteotomy with upward rotation as well as a sliding genioplasty done by a maxillofacial surgeon in a few months. I still want to get jaw implants. Is it still possible to get jaw implants even after all these surgeries I am getting? Wouldn’t all the screws and metal plates they are putting into me cancel out the ability to get jaw implants? Thank you.

A: The simple answer is no. Most of the titanium plates and screws that are used in orthognathic surgery ends up inside the bone. The outer screwheads and plate profiles are very thin, generally only sitting up 1 to 2 mms above the bone. Furthermore the location of the metal fixation devices lies in front of where jaw angle implants are placed or behind where a chin implant would be positioned. While there would be some scar from the prior surgery, it only makes the path of dissection a little more difficult than normal. This in so way precludes the placement of any type of jaw augmentation implant.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana