Custom Jaw Implant

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am pretty set on getting a custom jaw implant done but I have a few questions.  Do I need to do anything in order to prep for this type of implant?  I imagine I wouldn’t even need a custom fit but one side of my jaw has gotten noticeably smaller due to having the two back teeth on the bottom of one side removed. Would I need to get these replaced with a tooth implant before surgery to prevent any additional bone loss?  Would replacing these teeth with an implant spur bone growth?  Also, my periodontist said that my bite is slightly off (I feel like it would be about an eighth of an inch or less maybe) as my top teeth stick out a tiny bit further than the bottom, does this need to be fixed?  

First I am going to get a fat transfer done to replace some facial volume loss. Is having a jaw implant going to effect this?  I’d imagine the skin would have to stretch a  bit due to the added volume.  And will the implant increase chin projection?  Looking for both projection and vertical height in that area.

Thanks for your time.

A: In answer to your custom jaw implant questions:

1) If you have jaw asymmetry you would be better served by a custom implant approach. If not then expect the use of regular implants will still have some asymmetry afterwords.

2) Whether you get a dental implant or not that will have not impact on the jaw angle area.

3) Any bite issues you have are irrelevant for this surgery unless they are significant enough to require jaw surgery for correction.

4) If you are gong to get a fat transfer it should be done after jaw implant surgery. The trauma and swelling from jaw implant surgery will have a negative impact on fat graft retention.

5) Your dimensional needs of your jaw implant is determined before surgery but of you want both increased chin height band projection you are speaking to a custom implant design to create that type of change.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana