Jaw Implant

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question regarding custom wrap around jaw implant to improve asymmetry and enhance jawline.

I have fractured right sub condylar part of the mandible 6 months ago. It has healed nicely although I believe I lost some bone which is causing slight assymetry compared to the left part of the jaw (loss of hollow cheeks and slightly ”fatter” look on the affected jaw). While the assymetry might not be huge, I would like to have it fixed. 

I’m wondering if custom jaw implant could be better option that orthognathic surgery, as I would like to wider my jaw and lengthen the chin in the process. Could the perfect symmetry be achieved with jaw implants only?

A: In looking at your x-ray as well as knowing the natural history of healing subcondylar mandibular fractures, you have not ‘lost bone’ per se. Rather, as is common with these type jaw fractures, you have lost vertical height (top of condyle to jaw angle) as it has healed. (partial condylar collapse) In short, the vertical height of the mandibular ramus is now shorter. This is the current source of your jaw asymmetry.

That could be treated by either a standard small vertical lengthening jaw angle implant or a custom made one.

Certainly any form of jaw implant would be far more effective to simultaneously lengthen the chin and widen the jaw than orthognathic surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana