What Are The Potential Complications From Jaw Angle Implant Surgery?

Q: With all of the jaw angle implants that you have placed, what are the most common complications? What problems have you see long-term? Are they permanent or would I need another in future?

A: Jaw angle implants, in my experience, are uniquely different than all other types of facial implant locations. Because they are put under the biggest muscle in your face (masseter muscle), and the only facial muscle that actually moves a bone (mandible, lower jaw), there is more discomfort and recovery from the procedure than any other facial implant procedure. The sides of the jaws are fairly swollen and the mouth will not open normally for a few weeks. (trismus) This is due to the stretching and trauma to the masseter muscle. Because it is a large implant that is put in through the mouth, the risk of infection seems to be higher than any other facial implant.  Despite doing  every infection precaution available, I have found that the infection rate is about 5% of all patients implanted, necessitating removal and/or replacement. The other complication risk is asymmetry. Because the implants are on opposite sides of the face, it is challenging to always have a perfectly symmetric result. (many patients don’t have jawbone/angle symmetry to start with) This leads to a revision rate for symmetry correction in jaw angle implants of around 5% also. Collectively, this means that one out of every ten jaw angle implant patients will need some sort of revisional surgery. These complications are seen early within the first few weeks to several months.

On the good news side, jaw angle implants are permanent and will not change over one’s lifetime once successfully implanted amd healed into place.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana