How Is A Custom Chin Implant Made?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a chin implant done approximately 10 years ago. I have only mildly been satisfied with the results. I believe the implant was put too far down on my chin bone to lengthen it vertically. Shortly after surgery, the implant slipped off on one side making my chin appear uneven. But it is from the profile view that I dislike my chin the most. My chin and neck are not separated by much horizontal distance. I think I may be a candidate for the vertical lengthening jaw implant that is done with the CT scan. My question there a way to do a consult visit without me physically coming to Indiana? Or is an office visit required to make a determination if I am a candidate for this procedure?

A:  When considering lengthening the anterior lower face vertically, the decision is between a chin osteotomy or a custom chin implant. For the sake of this answer, I will assume that the implant choice is the better option for you. Since there are no off-the-shelf chin implants that have any significant vertical component to it, a custom implant will need to be fabricated. This is a process that requires the following steps. First, a 3-D CT scan must be obtained. This can be gotten at most CT scanning facilities in your geographic location. That scan is then sent to a model manufacturer which creates an actual mandibular (jaw) model that is an exact replica of your own lower jaw. I then take this model and hand-carve a chin implant out of a special clay material that matches your exact aesthetic needs. That custom chin implant is then sent to a manufacturer who makes and sterilizes a silicone implant from the clay mock-up. All of this can be done without you ever leaving your home. Your candidacy for any custom facial implant is determined from afar by phone, photographic and Skype video consultations. One only has to appear for the actual surgery.  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana