Jaw Angle Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, There is one other question that just occurred to me to ask you regarding jaw angle  implants. I have noticed that when I clench my molars (I.e., bite down), my jaw looks wider and better-proportioned, which I’m assuming is due to having well-developed masseter muscles. Having said that, if someone’s jaw looks significantly wider when they clench their teeth, do you take this into consideration when designing a custom wraparound implant for them? Should the implant add only minimal width so that the patient’s jaw (after having the implant placed) doesn’t look too wide when they clench their teeth?

A: This is a good question but the simple answer is no, the prominence of one’s masseter muscles are not taken into consideration when selecting or designng jaw angle implants. The amount of time one spends clenching their teeth together or biting done is miniscule compared to the relaxed facial position. It is sort of like selecting clothes or an outfit taking into consideration what does one look like when they are flexing their chest or biceps. (although clearly some people do take that into account) You care much more about what one looks like naturally and not in a muscular contraction state.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana