One side of mandible larger than other
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a photo of the two sides of my jaw to begin with: http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/50/jawcomparison.png
The first photo is the left (good) side, and the second photo is the right (bad) side.
You should be able to see that the right side is more angular, and I'm pretty sure that it's mostly bone that's causing the difference. Is there any sort of procedure that can reduce the larger right side of my jaw to match the slimmer left side without costing me an arm and a leg?
Although the right side might look perfectly fine in these cropped photos, it actually looks quite disproportionate to the right side of my long and narrow face. The difference isn't too noticeable from the front, so jaw width isn't an issue.
I think the second pic is better- more defined jawbone.
My jaw was broken in an auto accident and it healed with one side bowed out. I have consulted with several surgeons about shaving down that side but it is too dangerous to do. A major nerve runs along there. I would be risking facial paralysis with a reduction operation. I was told all the could be done is adding, not subtracting. Problem is I have a very strong jaw and adding to the normal side to match the bulging side would look freakish- that rules out any surgical options for me. Instead I've learned to live with my asymmetry.
I can't tell in the pics if your jaw is weak or not. Looks like it in the first pic. If it is you could do a custom implant on that side to match the other. The thing is though if you can't see it from the front is it really worth it?
Yes, the right side does indeed look more defined than the left. The problem however is that it is disproportionate to the rest of my face, so it really wouldn't really look as good as you think if I had shown you a photo of my entire face.
As for the nerve, I'm pretty sure that you're referring to the one called the "inferior alveolar". It can be seen running through the lower jaw in this diagram: http://www.medical-look.com/systems_...inal_nerve.gif
That nerve isn't even close to where I would like the reduction to be done. A jaw reduction on the side of the mandible would risk paralysis as the surgeon would have to work around the nerve, though this probably isn't the case with me. All I would like is the surgeon to shave the bottom of the jaw slightly around the angle.
Like Mr. Z said, adding would be a wiser and safer decision than trying to take anything away. The trigerminal nerve might not be directly where the procedure site might be, but it still a big risk. It could also affect the dendrites in the lower jaw. Whereas this is not as big of a deal as contending with the nerve, it could be risky.
The pics you posted do not help to illustrate the problem very well. Maybe post a few more? You can see there is a difference, but it appears very slight. I was going to tell you to post a frontal shot, and then upon further scrutiny of your post, you said it is not detectable from the front. If the difference is slight, it might not be worth it to try to undergo a potentially risky procedure.
Also, if you do post additional pictures or have more info and/or questions, you might want to start a new thread.
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