Chin Implant Bone Erosion

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I have concerns about chin implant bone erosion. I have noticed the bone holding my lower teeth appear to be eroding somewhat from an overlying Gortex chin implant. Can you remove it and put something in the correct place that will not erode bone.

A: I would like to see the x-rays from which you have determined the occurrence of any bone erosion from an overlying chin implant. What sort of symptoms are you experiencing from it? Almost all chin implants will develop some natural passive settling into the bone which is often interpreted as ‘chin implant bone erosion’. That phenomenon becomes most apparent when the chin implants sits high, above the thicker basal bone of the chin and on the thinner alveolar bone closer to the tooth roots. But this is not a true progressive active inflammatory condition.

That being said it is clear that you also have does aesthetic concerns about the location of the chin implant and maybe even its outward aesthetic augmentation effects. The existing implant can be removed and a new chin implant placed lower over the basal bone. But all types of chin implant materials (silicone, Medpor, Goretex and Mersilene) can develop this passive bone remodeling effect. I have seen it radiographically as well as clinically during chin implant replacements and adjustments. 

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana