Underbite Jaw Surgery: Procedure Benefits and Risks

Underbite Jaw Surgery: Procedure Benefits and Risks

November 13, 2023 0 By contentwriter

Underbite jaw surgery, a term that might evoke curiosity and apprehension, is a significant milestone in maxillofacial surgery. This specialized surgical procedure aims to correct an underbite, a dental condition where the lower teeth extend beyond the upper, leading to functional and aesthetic concerns. The journey to understanding underbite jaw surgery is not just about exploring a medical procedure; it’s about unraveling a transformative journey that impacts one’s quality of life, self-confidence, and overall health.

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of underbite jaw surgery, examining its necessity, the advanced techniques involved, and the profound changes it brings to those who undergo it. Join us as we navigate through the complexities and triumphs of this life-altering surgical intervention, offering insights that could be a beacon of hope for many grappling with the challenges of an underbite.

Is it worth getting jaw surgery for an underbite?

Underbite, a condition where the lower teeth extend past the upper teeth, can lead to challenges, from difficulties in chewing and speaking to self-esteem issues due to facial appearance. Orthognathic surgery, performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, is often considered when orthodontic treatment alone cannot correct the misalignment. This surgical procedure realigns the jaw bones, ensuring proper upper and lower teeth overlap and improving overall facial symmetry.

  • Severity of Underbite: Surgery is generally recommended for severe underbite cases where the lower jaw’s position significantly affects function and appearance.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: Often, surgery is part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes orthodontic appliances like braces to move teeth into their correct position post-surgery.
  • Surgical Procedure: The surgery involves repositioning the jaw bones, sometimes the upper and lower jaws, and securing them with plates and screws.
  • Recovery and Risks: Post-surgical recovery can take about six weeks, gradually returning to normal jaw movement and diet. As with any surgical procedure, risks are involved, which should be thoroughly discussed with the surgeon.
  • Long-Term Benefits: Beyond improved bite and speech, the surgery can significantly enhance facial appearance and self-confidence.

Jaw surgery for an underbite is a considerable decision that depends on individual circumstances, including the severity of the underbite, the patient’s age, and overall health. It’s a commitment to a lengthy process, often involving braces and surgery, but for many, the outcome of improved functionality and appearance justifies the journey. Consulting with experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists is crucial to make an informed decision about this life-changing procedure.


Underbite corrective jaw surgery procedure

An underbite can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, affecting everything from chewing and speech to self-esteem due to facial appearance. Underbite corrective jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, is often recommended when less invasive orthodontic treatments are insufficient to correct bone development. This procedure involves a strategic approach to repositioning the jaw bones, particularly the lower jaw, to achieve proper alignment with the upper jaw.

Key Points:

  • Assessment and Planning: The process begins with a thorough assessment by an oral surgeon, often in collaboration with an orthodontist. This includes detailed imaging to understand the skeletal structure and plan the surgery.
  • Surgical Procedure: The surgery typically involves cuts in the jaw bones, known as osteotomies. In cases where both jaws are misaligned, a double jaw surgery (maxillary osteotomy for the upper jaw and mandibular osteotomy for the lower jaw) might be performed.
  • Use of Surgical Hardware: The repositioned jaw is often secured with tiny bone plates, screws, and sometimes wires, ensuring stability as the jaw heals.
  • Recovery Process: Post-surgery, patients usually undergo a recovery period that includes a liquid diet initially, followed by a gradual return to normal diet and jaw movement. The initial jaw healing phase can take about six weeks, with complete healing taking several months.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: Post-surgical orthodontic treatment is often necessary to fine-tune the alignment of the teeth and ensure a proper bite.
  • Long-Term Outcomes: The procedure not only corrects the underbite but also improves facial symmetry, potentially resolving issues like sleep apnea, speech impairments, and jaw pain.

Underbite corrective upper jaw surgery is a significant undertaking that requires careful consideration and planning. It involves a collaborative approach between oral and maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists to ensure the best functional and aesthetic outcome. For many patients, the surgery is a life-changing procedure that enhances facial appearance and improves oral functionality and overall quality of life.

Underbite jaw surgery benefits

Underbite jaw surgery, a significant procedure in the realm of oral and maxillofacial surgery, offers numerous benefits for individuals struggling with an underbite. This condition, where the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw, can lead to various functional and aesthetic concerns. The surgery, known medically as orthognathic surgery, addresses these issues effectively.

  • Improved Bite Alignment: The primary benefit of underbite jaw surgery is the correction of bite alignment. By repositioning the jaw, the surgery ensures that the upper and lower teeth meet correctly, enhancing chewing efficiency and overall oral function.
  • Enhanced Facial Aesthetics: This surgery can dramatically improve facial symmetry and balance, leading to a more proportionate and aesthetically pleasing facial appearance.
  • Reduced Risk of Oral Health Issues: Correcting an underbite can decrease the risk of dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease, as a proper bite allows for easier cleaning and maintenance of teeth.
  • Alleviation of Pain and Discomfort: Many individuals with an underbite experience discomfort or pain, especially in the jaw joint. Surgery can alleviate these symptoms by realigning the jaw into a more natural position.
  • Improved Speech and Breathing: An underbite can affect speech clarity and breathing patterns. Post-surgery, patients often notice improvements in both areas, leading to better overall health and quality of life.
  • Boost in Self-Confidence: The psychological impact of correcting an underbite should not be underestimated. Many patients experience a significant boost in self-esteem and confidence following the surgery.

In summary, underbite jaw surgery offers a comprehensive solution that not only improves oral functionality and health but also enhances facial aesthetics and overall well-being. For those considering this procedure, understanding these benefits is crucial in making an informed decision.

Underbite jaw surgery drawbacks

chin surgery upper teeth overlap

Underbite jaw surgery, a critical intervention for correcting severe underbite jaw joint issues, involves repositioning the lower jaw to align properly with the upper jaw. While the outcomes can be life-changing regarding improved oral function and aesthetic appearance, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks and risks accompanying this major surgical procedure.

Key Points:

  • Surgical Risks: As with any major surgery, there are inherent risks such as infection, bleeding, or adverse reactions to anesthesia. The complexity of orthognathic surgery also brings specific risks like nerve damage, which can lead to numbness or loss of sensation.
  • Recovery Time: The recovery period can be lengthy and challenging. Patients experience swelling, discomfort, and a restricted diet for several weeks post-surgery. The total healing process can extend over several months.
  • Orthodontic Treatment Requirement: Most patients will require orthodontic treatment before and after surgery, which can extend the overall treatment time and add to the cost.
  • Financial Considerations: Let’s start with the real talk – the financial aspect. Undergoing orthognathic surgery is an investment, and the price tag can be substantial. However, the financial journey doesn’t stop there; insurance coverage dances to its tune, leading patients to potentially significant out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Physical and Emotional Impact: The surgery and recovery can be physically demanding and emotionally taxing. Adjusting to changes in facial appearance and temporary speech difficulties can also impact self-esteem and mental health.
  • Potential for Relapse: But wait, there’s more. A potential pitfall in this journey is the risk of relapse. Picture this – the teeth deciding to play a game of musical chairs, slowly inching back towards their original position. It’s a scenario that could call for a round two of treatment, adding another layer to the decision-making process.

Underbite jaw surgery is a game-changer, no doubt. It promises to dramatically improve the quality of life for those grappling with severe underbites. However, this is no light undertaking. Potential patients need to step into this decision-making arena with eyes wide open. Consulting with experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons and orthodontists, along with considering personal health, lifestyle, and financial factors, are essential steps in making an informed decision about undergoing this surgery.

Underbite treatment options other than jaw surgery

Exploring underbite treatment options reveals a range of alternatives to jaw surgery. Often less invasive, these methods can effectively address the misalignment of the upper and lower teeth in open bite, providing relief and improved oral health without surgical intervention.

  • Orthodontic Braces: Traditional braces are a common and effective treatment for correcting underbites. They gradually move the teeth into the correct position over time. In some cases, braces may be combined with other orthodontic appliances to achieve the desired result.
  • Clear Aligners: For less severe underbites, clear aligners like Invisalign offer a less noticeable treatment option. These custom-made, removable aligners are designed to shift teeth gradually.
  • Dental Restorations: In cases where the underbite is caused by misshapen or misaligned teeth rather than jaw misalignment, dental restorations such as crowns or veneers can be used to reshape the teeth and improve the bite.
  • Tooth Extraction: Sometimes, removing one or more teeth can provide the space needed for the remaining teeth to move into a better position, thus correcting the underbite.
  • Growth Modification Devices: In children and adolescents whose jaws are still developing, growth modification devices can be used to guide the growth of the jaws into a more favorable alignment.
  • Palatal Expanders: These devices are used primarily in younger patients to widen the upper jaw so that the lower teeth no longer protrude over the upper teeth.

For those dealing with an underbite, several treatment options are available beyond jaw surgery. These alternatives offer effective solutions for correcting dental misalignments, from traditional braces to innovative clear aligners and growth modification devices. Patients must consult with dental professionals to determine the most suitable treatment plan based on their underbite severity and individual needs. The right approach makes achieving a healthy, functional bite and improved appearance possible without surgery.

How painful is underbite surgery?

Underbite surgery, medically known as orthognathic surgery, involves a significant procedure to correct misaligned jaws and teeth. The orthognathic surgery unfolds under the comforting embrace of general anesthesia, ensuring a pain-free procedure. Yet, the postoperative phase introduces its chapter of discomfort. 

While pain levels vary, prescription medications are adept at managing it effectively. Most patients experience jaw soreness and swelling, gradually easing in the following days. It’s crucial to recognize the individuality of pain thresholds and healing processes. Your experienced oral surgeon becomes your guide, offering tailored pain management advice and ensuring a recovery journey as unique as yours. Trust the process, follow prescribed guidance, and each day brings you closer to a pain-free stride.

Potential risks if underbite left untreated

orthognathic jaw surgery

When an underbite, a dental condition where the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth, is left untreated, it can lead to various potential risks and complications. More than a cosmetic issue, this condition can significantly impact oral health and overall well-being.

  1. Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorders: An untreated underbite can put undue stress on the jaw, leading to chronic jaw pain and the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. This can result in discomfort during jaw movement and even chronic headaches.
  2. Tooth Wear and Damage: The misalignment caused by an underbite often leads to uneven wear on the teeth. This can result in enamel erosion, increased susceptibility to cavities, and even tooth breakage over time.
  3. Speech Impairments: An underbite can affect a person’s speech, potentially leading to speech impediments. This is due to the misalignment impacting the normal movement and function of the tongue and mouth.
  4. Chewing and Digestion Issues: Properly chewing food is another consequence of an untreated underbite. This can make eating challenging and affect digestion, as proper chewing is the first step in the digestive process.
  5. Facial Structure Alterations: Over time, an untreated underbite can alter the structure of the face. Picture this: an untreated underbite leading to an imbalanced facial appearance, becoming a silent player in the confidence game. It’s not just a physical concern; it’s about how you perceive yourself and others.
  6. Sleep Apnea and Breathing Difficulties: But the ripple effect goes further. Severe underbites can cozy up with obstructive sleep apnea, a nighttime condition where breathing takes unexpected breaks. The consequence? Poor sleep quality and a potential menu of other health issues.
  7. Increased Risk of Gum Disease: Let’s talk about oral health. The misalignment caused by an underbite can turn teeth cleaning into a tricky task, opening the door wide for gum disease and oral infections to make an entrance. It’s like an unwanted invitation to oral health troubles.
  8. Psychological Impact: Beyond the physical realm, an untreated underbite has a knack for making its mark on your mental landscape. It can weave into your self-image and dance into your social interactions, creating a psychological impact that shouldn’t be underestimated.

The golden ticket here addresses that underbite early in the game – ideally during childhood or adolescence. The arsenal of options includes braces, orthodontic appliances, or corrective jaw surgery in more intense scenarios. The playbook? Consult an orthodontist or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to determine the winning strategy. It’s about understanding the risks and taking charge of your underbite narrative.


In conclusion, underbite jaw surgery is a pivotal solution for those grappling with the challenges of an underbite. This surgical intervention aims to correct dental misalignments and addresses a spectrum of related health issues, from jaw pain and speech impairments to potential breathing difficulties. By considering this treatment, individuals can look forward to an enhanced facial aesthetic and a significant improvement in their oral health and quality of life. It’s essential for anyone considering this path to thoroughly discuss with healthcare professionals to understand the full scope of the procedure, its benefits, and the recovery process after requiring jaw surgery. Ultimately, underbite jaw surgery can be a transformative step towards a healthier, more confident smile.


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