What Are The Risks Of Having Metal Plates And Screws For A Sliding Genioplasty?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am considering a chin osteotomy as opposed to a chin implant for my weak chin. What I am most concerned about, however, is the complications that may be involved (numbness around the area and using titanium plates/screws inside my bod). As I have decided not to correct my overbite, would you still recommend that a sliding genioplasty would be a good option for me? Thank you very much.

A: In my opinion, the sliding genioplasty is and has always been your best solution. It solves all your chin issues at the same time. I would not concern about titanium being implant and in your body for the rest of your life. Titanium is the most biocompatible metal that is known in medicine and will be completely overgrown with bone anyway. I have never had to remove titanium plates and screws from a chin nor have I ever seen it to be a problem. This is the best place for such metal materials in the face because it is has a thick bone and soft tissue cover and is not exposed to the stresses of mastication. While there is always the risk of some feeling loss from chin osteotomies, my experience is that it is very low. The key is to do the osteotomy at least 5mms below the mental foramen if not lower to avoid any risk of permanent loss of sensation to the lip and chin.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana