Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Face and Jaw Surgery

Jaw replacement

11/06/2006

Question:

i had my right jaw removed 7 years ago for a begnine tumor and the piece that the physicians replaced the jaw in was supposed to only last for 5 years, and like a paper clip after being bent several times, the metal in my jaw would break if not replaced. I need to know if there are any new types of surgeries available which do not involve removing bone marrow from my hip to replace the jaw with bone and thereby allowing this piece to be `accepted`... I totally do not want to have this surgery done because they said the hip would hurt more than the jaw.. . yikes.

Answer:

Yes.

Metal bars do break after a period of time. Most cancer centers (ENT surgeons) now use fibula, not hip grafts. The fibula is one of the bones in your lower leg. It is the smaller one located in the back of the leg. This bone is an excellent source for a graft with minimal post-surgical consequences (It does not affect the patient's ability to walk, etcetera).

Dental implants are usually placed in the bone during the same surgery by an oral surgeon which allows the prosthodontist (restoring dentist) to make a fixed bridge to restore function. Interestingly enough, I am currently restoring a patient with a similar situation as yours. The patient has had a fibula graft and implants placed.

Take care.

For more information:

Go to the Face and Jaw Surgery health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Meade C van Putten, DDS, MS Meade C van Putten, DDS, MS
Associate Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University