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FAQ:  Headgear

At age 14, female, is it possible to use the HERBST headgear to treat a class III underbite without resorting to jaw surgery?

I have consulted two oral surgeons and one orthodontist and they all say only jaw surgery will work. Is jaw surgery really the only way to fix the class III underbite? ...Visitor from CA

A Class III bite can be resolved in many ways.

Surgery is one option, and may be the only option given other factors...such as your facial profile. It may not be an issue of what CAN be done, and more of an issue of what SHOULD be done.

Illustration: You CAN get from the third floor to the ground level by jumping out a window, but you SHOULD take the stairs. Why? Sometimes what CAN be done is not what is best.

If three separate specialists have advised you towards surgery, you are probably best served in that fashion.

Regarding the Herbst/ Headgear. These appliances treat Class II bites, and NOT Class III bites.

Editorial Staff

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