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Dentistry/class 3 underbite


Hmm, just read your advise which is thee same as one orthodontist but differs from another. My daughter is 10 has a class 3  under bite.  One dentist said straiten teeth and keep the under bite, one said do not  do anything until age 18 then do the surgery and of course I found one who wants to use palate expanders etc and says she still has a 25%  chance of the underbite coming back.  However this success rate seems to be reversed from you advise. So my question is does my daughter  have a 25% or 75%/80% of the underbite returning? And which dentist should I listen to?  I don't mind the underbite.  I am worried the palette expanders could do damage to her growth formation. T.hey wish to put the palette expanders in soon

Kathy -  The most important thing that must first be determined by any doctor examining her and suggesting treatment, is to discover if the underbite is due to an over growth of the lower jaw or an under growth of the upper jaw.  If caught early on correct orthodontics can be done to encourage proper growth, since she has not hit puberty.  Even with early orthodontics, surgery may be necessary.  That could include using a palatal expander ( which if used correctly and the problem is diagnosed correctly is a very simple procedure not usually needing surgery at age 10).  If she gets older and her full growth has occurred and nothing has been done, then surgical correction of the irregularity would be the only way to correct this situation.  If left alone, the underbite can produce problems with swallowing, respiratory situation and spasms of the jaw muscles.  So it is important to have it completely diagnosed by a skilled orthodontist and surgeon.  

If you live in or near a large city, look for a dental school, an oral and maxillofacial surgical residency or an orthodontic training program.  The teaching doctors associated with any of the above should be able to arrive at a proper solution.  If you wish, you can get back to me, tell me where you live and I will try to find appropriate doctors to correctly diagnose and suggest possible treatment options.

If you have other questions, feel free to contact me.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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