I Have a Severe Underbite and Don’t want Surgery (What to Do?)

Incorrect bites are common problems that cause people embarrassment because it alters their appearance. Underbites occur when your top and bottom teeth do not align properly and the bottom teeth tend to overlap the top ones. While an underbite is often visible from the front of your face, your profile tends to be the most affected. You may also notice issues such as difficulty chewing or speaking if your underbite is especially pronounced.

Girl smiling

I Have a Severe Underbite and Don’t Want Surgery. What Should I Do?

Unfortunately, many people think that they only way to fix an underbite is to have surgery. And this false belief could cause you to go years without seeking help. If you struggle with an incorrect bite and don’t want surgery, then you may naturally be wondering are there other ways to fix severe underbite if surgery is not an option. You can use this guide to find the answers to your questions and get started on finding an acceptable method for treatment.

People Also Ask

  • Is it bad to have an underbite?
  • How do you fix an underbite?
  • Does insurance cover underbite surgery?
  • How dangerous is jaw surgery?


What Caused My Underbite, and How Do I Get It Fixed?

Your underbite is not your fault. In fact, you’ve likely always had an underbite and didn’t worry about it until you got older. In most cases, an underbite is caused by genetics, and you may have an incorrect bite if one of your parents also struggles with orthodontic issues.

Essentially, you were born with your jaw and teeth structure, and you now have the choice to fix it. In some cases, however, your bite may have changed due to habits or behaviors such as sucking your thumb or mouth breathing. In those instances, you may need to change any remaining habits that change your bite as you explore your treatment options.

When you talk to your orthodontist about how to get your bite fixed, make sure to ask, “What are my options if I want a solution for my severe underbite that does not involve surgery?” This allows you to begin the process of exploring less invasive ways to get the smile that you want.


Are There Other Ways to Fix Severe Underbite If Surgery Is Not an Option?

When you say, “I want a fix for my severe underbite but I don t want surgery.” “What are my other options?” You instantly make it clear that you prefer orthodontic treatment that starts with the least invasive method. Typically, this opens up several different ways that you can fix your underbite.

To find out the answers to your questions, your orthodontist will begin with a basic consultation that includes an oral exam so that they can understand all of your oral health needs. During this exam, you may have x-rays and measurements of your mouth taken that allow them to build a 3-D model of your teeth and jaw so that you understand what is possible with each type of treatment.


Is It Easy to Fix My Underbite without Surgery?

Anytime you can avoid surgery, you benefit from having an easier recovery. However, you should keep in mind that severe underbites might require surgical treatment, but this is extremely rare. Instead, common orthodontic treatments to treat your underbite may be used such as Invisalign, traditional metal braces, and other appliances.

Although orthodontic treatment always requires your compliance with the treatment plan, you will find that most of what is expected of you is fairly simple. For example, you will be expected to attend your orthodontic appointments and keep up with your oral hygiene. Certain types of treatments such as metal braces may also require you to change your diet and wear protective mouthguards during contact sports.




What Are My Options If I Want a Solution for My Severe Underbite?

Every person is unique, which means that you must work with your orthodontist to know for sure what your options are if you want a solution for your severe underbite. For severe underbites, you may need to consider a treatment slowly realigns your jaw such as braces. Following treatment, you may also need to wear a retainer. This helps to retrain your teeth and ligaments to stay in their desired places.



The typical costs of jaw surgery to correct an underbite can run from $20,000 to $40,000. Costs are usually lower if surgery is only needed on one jaw. Surgery involves an exam, X-rays, general anesthesia, bone cutting, bone reshaping, and jaw repositioning. Screws, plates, wires, and rubber bands also hold the jaw in place after surgery.

It takes one to three weeks to recover from jaw surgery, and often a dentist will recommend braces or other dental appliances after surgery to keep the teeth in place. You’ll need to check if your insurance provider will cover part or all of the cost.


What Are My Other Options?

When your underbite is severe, you may need special types of appliances that work in ways that braces do not. For example, an expander device can be fitted to the upper jaw that you wear overnight. Each night, you use a special mechanism to expand the device slightly so that pressure is placed on the components of the roof of your mouth.

This pressure helps to open up your top teeth so that they fit differently over your bottom teeth. Some people also benefit from using a device that is referred to as a reverse pull face mask. You may have heard this device called headgear in the past.

This device involves placing bands on your back teeth that connect to a band around the back of your head. Over time, this band places pressure on your jaw that causes it to fall into the correct place. Depending upon the severity of your underbite and how fast you want it corrected, you may be able to wear this device only at night so that you can continue to work or go to school without feeling uncomfortable with your appearance.

While surgery and tooth extractions may be recommended for some severe cases, you can still rest assured that braces are often the most effective treatment for the majority of people with underbites. However, your best option depends upon multiple factors.


What is the Surgery?

Correcting your jaw position sometimes requires surgery. The type of surgery chosen will depend on the underlying cause of your uneven jaw. Your doctor may choose:

  • Jaw wiring. Jaw wiring is used to position the jaw in a certain place or provide support in the case of a fracture or break.
  • Maxillary osteotomy. This is a surgery performed on the upper jaw to correct open bites or cross bites. The upper jaw and teeth are moved forward so they align with the lower jaw and teeth.
  • Mandibular osteotomy. This surgery corrects issues such as overbite and protruding lower jaw. Your surgeon cuts in the back of your mouth to move the lower jaw forward or backward.
  • Genioplasty. Genioplasty will fix a small or crooked chin. The jaw and chin are restructured by cutting the chin bone in the front of the jaw.



How Can I Determine What Is the Best Option to Fix My Underbite?

When you visit our office, we begin by taking a look at your mouth to find out what you like and dislike about your bite. We also use professional measurements and our expertise to make judgments about your best course of treatment. Your age, the severity of your bite, and the overall health of your teeth all play a role in the determination of your treatment.

While the final decision is always up to you, we can provide you with insight that allows you to try the least invasive ways to fix your incorrect bite first. Are you ready to finally love your smile? Give Dr. Childers a call today to find out what you can do when you prefer not to have surgery to fix your underbite.

Contact Us Today


Like what you read? Comment below or CLICK on an APP LOGO to follow us and share the conversation



Childers Orthodontics

201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815



I Have a Severe Underbite and Don’t want Surgery (What to Do?)

1 reply
  1. Ruth
    Ruth says:

    When I was 10 i was told that because I have an underbute I will have to have my jaw broken then put back in place and if it doesn’t work it will need to be done again. Don’t you think that’s extreme to tell a 10 year old


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *