Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 abratt, Community Member, asks

Q: Titanium Jaw Implants

Hi out there,


I'm new to this site.  Iwas wondering if anyone out there has had titanium jaw implants? I would like to talk with anyone about it. Like did you have chronic daily headaches/migraines 24/7x365, arthritus, all the tmj pain? Did you get relief? Recovery time? Noticable scaring? Which system did you use?  I'm looking at Biomet? I've exhausted all non-surgical & surgical options except titanium implants? Look forward to hearing from anyone.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.   abratt

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Answers (11)
Jo, Community Member
11/26/08 6:22am

Anne Beckett can give you more information than anyone.She has lost her lower jaw due to a very good doctor with a very good reputation.He just happened to make a surgical error.And she has to wear a back pack full of antibiotics.I often share post with her because I had oral implants put in 2 years ago.My oral surgeon did not believe me when I told him I had infection.So after 3 consults with ears nose and throat doctors.I finally found one who was honest and good.She cultured me and I have staph and yeast infection.But the antibiotics have torn up my stomach.Another problem I have.I am more worried about infection than anything.So I am waiting to see an oral surgeon and he is a double specilaty also plastic surgeon.I am going also to infectious disease.I feel like I am living in terror.I hope you get some answers on this site from doctors but I just wanted to lead u in the right direction.Go to her site.I think it says surgeries gone wrong,osteomyelitis.She has been through everything and can probably tell you more than the doctors.Good luck.And I will pray for you if you pray for me....Jo

Annilee, Community Member
7/22/12 1:54pm
Think I am going thru same plate was put I. 15 yrs ago but had root canal 2 yrs ago have been dick ever since.....thought TMJ told acid reflux......throat is swollen pills get stuck...neck is killing me headaches And yeast infections, stomach aches nausea did they diagnose you? Reply
sherry glenn, Community Member
11/26/08 7:14am

i haven't personally had the implants, but my son had the implants performed in the military and it was a process to completion and his teeth aren't going anywhere and he loves the final result. i only wish i had the money to do the same.

tbeckys, Community Member
11/26/08 7:56am

My husband just had his two weeks ago and has had no trouble and not much pain at all.

The doctor said it will take 4 months to heal and then they can put the permanant teeth in.

The surgery took about 1.5 hours and the bleeding has stopped by that afternoon.He could not wear false teeth and everything is healing great.

God luck with yours.Just be sure to find a reputable doctor.

Lorraine Holstrom, Community Member
11/26/08 9:26am

I had 3 surgeries for TMJ-first on the right, second on the left. Both times the doctor used teflon. The next titanium. The second time was to get rid of the teflon. My body rejected the tutanium. The final surgery was done on both sides, at the same time(took 6 hrs.!). The doctor took the back of my ears. Haven't had a problem since. ALL surgeries I was cut from the above the ear to down even with the bottom of the ear, in front of the ear. No scars left. The surgeries were in 1987,1987,1992. BUT surgeries have come a LONG way since!! GOOD LUCK!!

starryeyed, Community Member
11/26/08 10:28am


I have no jaw joint on right side, I wear  mouth piece.  Now this was about 15 yrs or so ago, the doctor told me do not let anyone pull any teeth out I have everytooth including molars and dentist sometimes suggest pulling to help.  He at that time told me NOT to have implants that there were too many problems.  But this was so long ago.  At that time they actually had special about I think it was the teflon, breaking up into the body and causing severe pain and problems.  NOW on that I am sure or hoping that there has been fixes for that.  I at this time have chosen not to get it due to brain surgeries and things.  They want to put titanium implants in my neck so it must be better but I thought that was just approved BUT not sure.  I am choosing not to at this time.  I had horrible headaches and my mouth actually went into spasms and I had to have physical therapy, ouch do you know how many muscles and stuff you have in your face!  Not fun.  So my doctor at the time made a special mouth piece and advised me against eating any meat to chewy or any chips , carrots, apples unless juiced etc.  20 yrs later, mouth piece broke so a dentist made one similar and even though I don't wear it all day and nite like supposed to  and even I eat more things than I should on occasion that are hard on the jaw, I am not having the pain and headaches as before (headaches for me also had to do with bad neck and AVM)  But I will tell you this that the physical therapist said that he used to mostly only see women but there was a dramatic increase now in men too and alot to do with sitting in front of computor THE RIGHT WAY.  Which I am terriable about.  But if you are really hesitant ask about a mouth piece and find all the correct ways to sit correctly because it pulls your neck which pulls your jaw.  I truthfully am glad at this time I did not have it especially since I developed so many other problems.  My jaw started because of neck being bad from severe accident(semi vs 51 vw bug at 19) But they said mainly I made it worse by working and sitting wrong in front of computor so much.  Good luck to you.  Do not want to influence your decision just wanted you to know of different option but it also depends on your case. 

Aunt-Cin, Community Member
11/29/08 12:54am

The titanium TM joints/jaw implants are great.  I had my 5th jaw surgery in 1999 to have this done as it was the only treatment that could possible give me any pain relief.  The surgery took about 50% of the pain which is better than nothing.  They left all of the other implants in my face and jaw; the teflon had been removed many years prior as that failed as we all know.  Recovery time was not bad, my mouth was wired shut for 2 weeks (the usual wired shut diet), then started using the device that assists in making you open you mouth further and further.  For about 4 weeks I was totally wiped out, no stamina at all.  After about 6 weeks, I was able to check very soft food.

Please let me know if I can help you any further. 

Carol, Community Member
12/22/09 11:54pm
I will have to have my 1991 titanium jaw implants replaced. they are wearing out. Any advances in the surgery since then? How do I find a surgeon to do this type of complicated surgery? I'm scared. The prior surgery was 9 hours long! Thanks for your help Reply
HRKNOX, Community Member
3/17/10 3:55am

I am on my second set of titanium jaw joints, the first set having been taken out about 18 months after they were placed, because my body rejected them.  I have had a total of 16 major jaw surgeries, including, but not limited to an osteotomy.  The first set of titanium joints were placed after I had been through about 8 surgeries, due to bony ankylosis, I grow excess bone in my body, which inevitably would end up causing a fixated jaw.  I couldn't open more than about enough to get a pinky finger in.  So they would go in about every 3-6 months to clean out the bone, and it continued to grow back.  They even tried radiation therapy over the area, but the bone grew back even quicker.  So the titanium joints were placed in about 1998, within 18 months I had grown bone all the way around them, which started to pull the screws loose out of my skull.  My surgeon then went in and removed the titanium joints, leaving me without any jaw joints.  I went for about 10 years without any jaw joints, but still had incredible daily chronic pain.  I had the osteotomy next, and a chin advancement at the same time, because having no jaw joints to hold things in place, my profile had changed significantly.  Things just kept deteriorating, and my opening bite was less and less as my body was once again forming bone where it shouldn't have been.  My only option then was to have another set of titanium joints placed.  My first set were called Christiansen's, I believe.  Something like that anyhow.  This second set, which I have now had in for almost 2 years were made by tmj concepts, and they have really come a long ways with the technology.  I had to have a 3-D CT scan done, and that was sent away to a company that then made an exact replica skull of mine, then my surgeon was able to train with that, and also know exactly how much bone, etc he was going to have to take out, and then they made the molds so the joints were created for me only.  With the Christiansen's, it was a kind of one size fits most deal.  My first total joint surgery was 13.5 hours long.  My surgeon had operated on 2 other people that day before he started my case, so we were still in the OR at 1:00 am, no recovery room was actually quite scary to think of afterwards.  How tired those Drs. had to have been, and here they are in and amongst my facial nerves, etc.  I have some permanent nerve damage from all the surgeries.  They can't cut through all those facial nerves as many times as they did mine, and not cause some of that.  My second set of total joint surgery was almost 16 hours long, and again, I wasn't my surgeon's first case of the day.  Therefore we were still in the OR at 2:30 am, and when I woke up the 6 hours later, I was in the ICU still intubated.  That is a very scary thing.  All but this last surgery were done at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  My last one was done by a surgeon at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. James Swift, who is supposed to be one of the top 3 Oral Surgeons in the US.  I'm not sure how long this set of joints will be in.  I've still go swelling over both jaw joints, and I have periods every single day where I could just itch my face over that area until it is raw.  To me, it makes me think my body is rejecting the joints.  My surgeon kept telling me the swelling would take time...but 2 years?  I am going to go back to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion on that.  My pain has been somewhat relieved, but the worst pain from all of the surgeries is the supra-orbital nerve over my left eye.  Everytime they went in to do a procedure, that nerve had to be stretched and moved out of the way.  While they try to keep it stimulated during the surgeries, there was always a good chance that too much was too much.  I hope I haven't overloaded you with my story.  Feel free to email me, and I can give you my cell # if you want to communicate more about this.  The answer to your question is yes, there has definitely been quite alot of advances in the prosthesis themselves.  Probably in the surgery as well.  My case is an extreme case, and has been a teaching case for new residents coming into the Oral Surgery Dept. at Mayo for years.  Too bad they don't pay a person for that, huh?!


Good luck to you.  I hope what I have told you will help you out.  I live in NW Iowa, which is only 3 hours away from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.  The University of MN, is only 3.5 hours away.  Either place has excellent surgeons.  If you would like names and numbers, I can give them to you.  Just let me know.


Thanks for reading, hope you did not fall asleep!


Carol, Community Member
4/30/10 10:01pm

i SO appreciate your response to me.  Yes, your case is extreme but it sounds as though you are coping with it as well as you can.  I fell out of the car when I was young and hit on my chin, knocked a couple of teeth out, and that started a long long period of imbalance and joint deterioration over the years so that finally I had to have the replacement in both joints in 1991.  I am still waiting to see if I will have to have a second surgery or not.  I'm to the point that after all I have learned about the procedure for the replacement, I just don't want to have it done unless absolutely necessary, like if I can't eat or something.  I do have some numbness from nerve damage on the right side of my face which feels very weird.  I have limited opening but can still eat fairly well.  I would like to be able to stay in touch with you from time to time so that in the event I need the names or the surgeons I could get them from you.  You are so sweet to provide me with all the good information.  I pray you will heal as much as possible and not have to have any more surgery of ANY kind.  Thanks so much.


HRKNOX, Community Member
2/20/12 12:50am



How are you doing with your jaw joints?  Have you had to have another replacement done, or have you been holding out?  I'm struggling with something that they can't seem to figure out at the Mayo Clinic or the University of MN.  The itching over my jaw joints is unbelievably frustrating.  I would like to itch raw all the way down to the titanium joints. Then there is the swelling that has been there for pretty much the whole almost 3 years since these were put in.  My surgeon now has decided that "yes, something is not right in there, but we don't know what it is"  They did a CT scan at the end of Dec. and I still haven't heard back from them.  I need to have 2 root canals done on my two lower eye teeth, which terrifys me.  I can't open very far, and the length of time it takes to do those root canals will have my jaw joints in quite a tizzy of spasms, and I will likely end up in the hospital for pain control afterwards....on top of all this, I lost my local family physician who has been in charge of my pain control for the past 10 years, and the remaining docs in the clinic don't really even want to deal with me, but they will, but they will not keep me on the meds he has had me on for this whole time.  It is frustrating to say the least.  I'm going to have to get ahold of my U of MN docs again and see what they found on the CT scan.  I have a really sad feeling that the swelling over the joints, and in my glands and in my face is my body rejecting the titanium, and the only thing that will take care of that is having them removed, and then what....I go without any jaw joints at all again?  Catch 22.


Sorry this was all about me.  Please let me know how you are doing. Hope you had a good holiday season...Heidi

Carol, Community Member
2/20/12 5:01pm

Sounds like you are having a really difficult time.  The itching is probably nerve related -they probably already told you that which doesn't help a thing anyway.  I have a BIG itch on my back constantly that is a nerve and no matter how much I scratch it - it just itches worse.  A neurologist told me it is a nerve in my back.  I don't understand that at all.  My jaws are not quite a critical as long as I watch what drugs I take.  I realized that Vicodin really makes me clench so that was one thing that was causing so much pain and swelling in my jaws.  I quit taking it.  It's so hard to find a doctor that understands our type of pain.  I'm sorry you lost your local MD. How long have you have had your titanium joints in??  I am just trying to baby mine along and hope that they will last a while longer.  I have not heard of rejection of the titanium material - or at least I don't know of anyone that has had that problem.  I suppose anything is possible.  I just hope you can do without more surgery.  Keep in touch as often as you wish and let me know what the CT scan shows.  Oh and about the root canals, I had to have one done a while back and it wasn't bad at all.  The doctor would have me rest my jaws often at regular intervals and gave me "laughing gas" to relax me more. I also had to have one implant done and that oral surgeon made a special tool to get in my mouth better so he could complete that.  I can't open very wide at all.   I've been lucky to find patient doctors/dentists etc. 

m, Community Member
1/18/09 2:15pm
i had tmj surgery around 1993 and have titanium metal through my jaw to keep it together like a cast. now, many years later i've had many sinus infections - was told i needed a surgery for that. i saw a holistic doctor who does something called clinical nutrition - visit this site to contact the doctor for questions, they may be able to advise you to see someone in your area: i found out the titanium is the cause of a fungus in my body causing sinus infections. the antibiotics work while i take them and then as soon as i'm done the fungus grows back due to the metal. with all natural supplements and no carbs and sugar it's now under control and i don't need surgery. i would do a lot of research before getting any metal in your body. there are long term health effects that i still may be in danger of. Reply
starryeyed, Community Member
2/28/09 5:50pm

Hi, I answered once awhile back and mentioned a mouth piece I have for my jaw (no right jaw joint)  I just went to specialist for fibro and he told me I made right decision NOT to have any implants.  I do not suggest this is right for everyone but he also had a strong no as my original doctor so I just wanted to let you know that you might want to check with different docs about this.  I am no means an expert just the docs I have talked to said no way. I have lived with this many years and mouth piece for at least 15 or more and I am not good patient don't wear it as I am suppossed to but it really helps me.  Just another option.  It has to be built for you mouth it is not a night gaurd.

I wish you best of luck and very sorry you have to have this problem. One thing I did go thru special pysical for jaw to stop the spasms.  I do not have all the pain I had and I do have to watch what I eat so there is things that go along with it.


Carol, Community Member
12/22/09 11:56pm
Did you have implants done? I have the titanium implants but they are older....placed in 1991. I may have to have them replaced soon. They seem to be wearing out. I have had very little problem since 1991 until recently. The relief from headaches was complete and the recovery time was about 4 to 6 weeks. Soft diet was difficult. Other than that, I seem to have the kind that do not last a lifetime. Reply
Joan, Community Member
9/ 2/11 1:40pm

Hi there,

I had my titanium jawjoints put in 4 years ago on Boston.

I have had no problems at all.

I can open up and down with some limitation. With my tit. jaw I cannot move it from side to side. This makes it a little difficult to eat.

It went around the country to different labs because it is custom made.

I apologize because I do not know the name of it. Four years ago, it was state of the art. It may be "tit. concepts.'

There is some 'snapping' sounds to it which I can only hear.

There are 2 scars on each side. One in front of the ears and the other appx. 2 inches along the jawline.

I have close to no pain .

I wish you the best. 

chey, Community Member
10/19/11 1:07am

my mother who is now 50  had a jaw inplant it has beeen 3 years after surgery and she has chronic pain... it gets so bad to the point where she can no longer chew food its been going on for a while but as beem getting worse, does anyone here know of any doctors in canada/unites states who can give my mother any awnsers of ehy this may be?

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By abratt, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/01/13, First Published: 11/25/08