Can Jaw Implants Be Placed After Mandibular Osteotomies?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have had prior jaw surgery which hasn’t gone so well. I was just wondering if you can have jaw angle implants put over a metal plate that was left in my face? I have bone scans which I can send to you to have a look at.

A: I suspect what you are referring to is a jaw angle/inferior border deformity after an orthognathic surgery procedure. I have placed jaw angle implants over metal plates in the mandibular ramus area numerous times. It is not rare to have mandibular ramus notching and bone resorption around healed sagittal split osteotomy sites. This problem may be severe if one developed a non-union or infection after the procedure. These deformities may be able to be improved by implant augmentation. Even though fixation hardware (plates and screws) exist on the outside of the bone and considerable scar tissue will be present, and pocket dissection is not easy, jaw angle  implants can be successfully placed. I shall look forward to reviewing your bone scans and photographs.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana