Customized Facial Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question, and it  involves customized facial implants for the cheeks and chin/jaw. In college I played for the football team and and broke my face. My nose was shattered with an effort made to fix it several times. My cheeks and jaw were damaged and there is a lack of harmony between these facial features (cheeks, jawline, chin) that they once had. That may have gotten worse due to the fact that I was still growing. But I was wondering if these customized implants in both areas could “put me back together” and really give me more confidence. I know you place your cheek implants higher so as not to create a rounded face and to achieve angularity and do CT scans to create a perfectly conforming chin/jaw implant with the degree of jaw “flare” or width and verticality desired. I know very few people choose to have their photo put on the website, but with these tools is it basically possible to create the best/patient desired jaw angle/width and cheek implant/placement? Even “male model quality”? Because I know fillers are always another option but they are not permanent.

My last two questions are these:

1.Would a chin implant eliminate my chin dimple? I would not want that. If it was softened a little, that would be fine, but I wasn’t sure exactly where the implant was placed and how it would effect the soft tissue.

2. What is the infection rate on jaw implants? I know it is higher than chin implants, but thought maybe the CT used to make customized facial implants “custom build” would help  reduce the instance of infection and subsequent removal. Thank-you for your time.

A: Thank you for your inquiry and detailing your facial concerns. First and foremost I would need to see pictures of your face for my assessment and computer imaging to see what may be possible. Second, while custom facial implants can be designed to any shape and dimensions, how to make those dimensions create any specific look is more an art than a science and is not a completely predictable process. Third, a chin implant will not efface or eliminate a chin dimple. Lastly, of all facial implants, any implant that involves the jaw angles has a high infection rate. While the overall rate of facial implant injections is around 1% to 2%, that increases to 3% to 4% in the jaw angle region.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana