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A 18-year-old female asked:

How bad does an underbite need to be in order to have jaw surgery?

7 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jatin Shah
Dentistry 40 years experience
Jaw surgery: An orthodontist normally decides when the jaw discripency needs surgery due to open bite or cross bite which can't be treated alone by orthodontist.
Dr. Christopher Pace
Specializes in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Not bad at all: Some underbites can be corrected with tooth movement alone (ie. Orthodontics) but, if the bite is unstable or unattractive a jaw surgery procedure is necessary to achieve the optimum results. This discussion should start with the orthodontist and include the oral surgeon. Make sure to go to an orthodontist who feels comforatable doing "surgical" cases and doesn't try to overcompensate.
Dr. Elizabeth Robles
27 years experience
Depends: Depending on the underbite, whether it be 'teeth only' underbite or a combination of teeth and jaw differences, as well as patient's soft tissue profile will all play into what would be the best turnout or decision. Best to have an evaluation with the orthodontist.
Dr. Louis Sterling
Prosthodontics 38 years experience
Depends: If the orthodontic is determined to be a skeletal problem (the jaw positions or sizes are not compatible) then the malocclusion is best treated surgically. If there is a minor discrepancy in jaw size or if the malocclusion is of a dental nature (tooth size or position) then the malocclusion can be treated with braces (+/- extractions), .
Dr. Harry Aronowitz
Orthodontics 45 years experience
Really depends: A non surgical correction entails tipping your upper teeth out while tipping your lower teeth in. If your teeth are already tipped in those directions, you may need surgery. If your teeth are tipped in the opposite way, you may look great with just orthodontics alone.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 54 years experience
Bad enough: Bad enough that non-surgical Orthodontic Treatment will not resolve the malocclusion. Please consult with a qualified Orthodontic Specialist. As no two malocclusions are alike the Orthodontist will have to evaluate your malrelationships and then recommend the best treatment for you.
Dr. Louis Gallia
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial 46 years experience
Depends: Depends on a number of factors. Most important is initial assessment by board certified orthodontist skilled in both surgical and non-surgical treatment. Sometimes correction can be either surgical or non-surgical, with pros and cons that should b presented to patient. Also consider oral surgical opinion before you start orthodontic treatment.
Last updated Oct 24, 2017
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