17 doctors weighed in:

What is the best way to correct an underbite: jaw surgery or braces?

17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dentistry - Orthodontics
4 doctors agree

In brief: Both

If underbite is dental (teeth out of alignment) but jaws are ok, braces alone may fix the problem. If both teeth and jaws don't match (sometimes u jaw too far back, more often l jaw too far forward) a combination of orthodontic rx and orthognathic (jaw) surgery is the answer. Start with a consultation with a qualified orthodontic specialist who can asses your personal requirements.

In brief: Both

If underbite is dental (teeth out of alignment) but jaws are ok, braces alone may fix the problem. If both teeth and jaws don't match (sometimes u jaw too far back, more often l jaw too far forward) a combination of orthodontic rx and orthognathic (jaw) surgery is the answer. Start with a consultation with a qualified orthodontic specialist who can asses your personal requirements.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dr. Arnold Malerman
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Dr. James Bates
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial
4 doctors agree

In brief: Jaw surgery

The best answer depends on many factors, including age.
If, as it appears, you're 40 years old, an underbite cannot be corrected solely with orthodontic treatment, unless multiple teeth are extracted. In children, nonsurgical methods are best, but in adults, the skeleton is not pliable and must be surgically reconstructed. It may require moving the upper jaw forward or moving the lower jaw back.

In brief: Jaw surgery

The best answer depends on many factors, including age.
If, as it appears, you're 40 years old, an underbite cannot be corrected solely with orthodontic treatment, unless multiple teeth are extracted. In children, nonsurgical methods are best, but in adults, the skeleton is not pliable and must be surgically reconstructed. It may require moving the upper jaw forward or moving the lower jaw back.
Dr. James Bates
Dr. James Bates
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Dr. Louis Gallia
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial
3 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

Both often. Depends on multiple factors.
The best approach is to start with an evaluation by a board certified orthodontist (many are not) who regularly treats patients both with surgery and with braces. Some only use braces and are not experienced with surgery. If you end up having surgery, make sure your surgeon is a board certified oral & maxillofacial surgeon.

In brief: Depends

Both often. Depends on multiple factors.
The best approach is to start with an evaluation by a board certified orthodontist (many are not) who regularly treats patients both with surgery and with braces. Some only use braces and are not experienced with surgery. If you end up having surgery, make sure your surgeon is a board certified oral & maxillofacial surgeon.
Dr. Louis Gallia
Dr. Louis Gallia
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Dr. Hilary Baskin
Dentistry - Orthodontics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

on your case. Not sure there is a 'best' way.
I would think that if your orthodontist could treat without the need for surgery, that would be preferred, but you will need to consult with them as to whether you case is treatable through orthodontia

In brief: Depends

on your case. Not sure there is a 'best' way.
I would think that if your orthodontist could treat without the need for surgery, that would be preferred, but you will need to consult with them as to whether you case is treatable through orthodontia
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Dr. Hilary Baskin
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Dr. David Schleimer
Dentistry - Orthodontics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depends

Modern orthodontics has many ways of correcting underbites, many of which have changed how we orthodontists approach the problem. Growing patients have the greatest chance of avoiding surgery as we can change the skeletal relationships easier. Even with recent advances, severe skeletal abnormalities of the jaws can only be ideally corrected by surgery.
Your orthodontist can tell you the best means.

In brief: Depends

Modern orthodontics has many ways of correcting underbites, many of which have changed how we orthodontists approach the problem. Growing patients have the greatest chance of avoiding surgery as we can change the skeletal relationships easier. Even with recent advances, severe skeletal abnormalities of the jaws can only be ideally corrected by surgery.
Your orthodontist can tell you the best means.
Dr. David Schleimer
Dr. David Schleimer
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Dr. Majid Jamali
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Underbite

It depends on your facial profile.
Orthodontic alone will not be able to fix a skeletal problem in adults.

In brief: Underbite

It depends on your facial profile.
Orthodontic alone will not be able to fix a skeletal problem in adults.
Dr. Majid Jamali
Dr. Majid Jamali
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: Sometimes simple

It depends on which jaw is affected and how much.
Very often in a young person it is simply the upper anterior teeth erupting behind the lower ones which can be changed using a popsicle stick. If it is the loer jaw, more interseptive methods may need to be offered by an orthodontist. A correct diagnosis is essential for the correct treamtment.

In brief: Sometimes simple

It depends on which jaw is affected and how much.
Very often in a young person it is simply the upper anterior teeth erupting behind the lower ones which can be changed using a popsicle stick. If it is the loer jaw, more interseptive methods may need to be offered by an orthodontist. A correct diagnosis is essential for the correct treamtment.
Dr. Robert Eckelson
Dr. Robert Eckelson
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Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: It's individualized

Depending upon the degree of underbite, braces alone may be needed or both braces and surgery.
You need to talk to an experienced maxillofacial or oral surgeon about what is right for you. Sometimes, if the patient is not a good candidate for surgery, that will sway the decision as to what needs to be done.

In brief: It's individualized

Depending upon the degree of underbite, braces alone may be needed or both braces and surgery.
You need to talk to an experienced maxillofacial or oral surgeon about what is right for you. Sometimes, if the patient is not a good candidate for surgery, that will sway the decision as to what needs to be done.
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
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