What Is The Risk Of Asymmetry In Jaw Angle Implant Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like to ask about the inconsistency that I see and you have talked about in jaw angle implant outcomes. For some reason, results seem to be very inconsistent with this procedure even with the same  plastic surgeon. Could you explain why this happens?

A: Jaw angle implants are a very tough procedure to do and ideal symmetry is often a problem. Even in the best and most experienced hands, asymmetry of identically shaped implants is not rare. While the implants may have an identical shape, the patient’s bone often does not and you are trying to precisely fit a preformed shaped implant that does not have an identical match to the bone on which it sits. In short, it is an imprecise science. The only really good symmetrical results that I see consistently is in the use of custom implants done off of a patient’s 3-D model. And this is for good reason, perfectly adapted implants that have been made to fit the patient’s jaw anatomy.

While jaw angle implants can make a significant aesthetic facial difference, one who undergoes the surgery needs to be willing to accept jaw angle asymmetry is a risk as well as it is impossible to guarantee any particular look that will result from the surgery. For the patient who is seeking a perfect result and will only be satisfied with such, jaw angle implants may not be a satisfying procedure for them. That does not mean that a very good result can not be obtained, but perfect asymmetry in any bilateral surgery (jaw angle implants not withstanding) is difficult to achieve.

Dr. Barry Eppley