Which Material In Custom Jaw Implants Has The Lowest Rate Of Infection?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m thinking on having a custom jaw implant at your clinic but I’ve been told that jaw implants have a very high rate of infection, specifically of silicone and Porex materials.

What material would you use for my custom jaw implants? I’m very afraid of having a complication and then having to take them off.

Is there a high rate of infection with the material used for the custom jaw implants?

A: Having done hundreds of custom jaw implants I would not say that they have a ‘high’ rate of infection, regardless of their material composition. But implants in the bony jaw angle region, due to the remote intraoral access needed to place them and their location to chewing debris, have an increased risk of infection (4%) compared to every other type of facial implant…standard or custom. (1% to 2%)

When it comes to material composition I am not aware that their are absolutely proven differences between them in terms of infectivity. But as a general implant principle, porous or textured implant surfaces have a higher affinity for bacterial adhesions than smooth implant surfaces do. Thus theoretically smooth implants (e.g., silicone) should have a lower infection risk than textured surface do. (e.g., Medpor)

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana