1007 R.R. 620 S. Suite 201 | Austin TX
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      1007 R.R. 620 S Suite 201

      Austin, TX 78734

      Patient Frequently Asked Questions

      Does it hurt to get braces?

      Absolutely not! The braces being placed on the teeth is sometimes so unnoticeable that more than a few patients have fallen asleep or don’t even recognize they are one until we tell them we have finished. We will always dry the teeth and condition them so that the glue will stick the braces to the teeth. This process requires us to isolate the teeth either by holding the cheeks off the teeth or by using cotton rolls and guaze to maintain the dry surface of the enamel. After the braces are placed, we shine a bright light on the glue which causes it to fully cure and that’s it!

      How much will it cost?

      The cost of every patient’s treatment is different based on their individual needs and complexity of bite issues. Generally the longer the treatment and the more complex the issues are then the fees will be greater than a less complex and comparatively less involved case. Should significant coordination with other specialists and practitioners be required it can lead to a higher treatment fee as well. Another factor that can lead to a higher treatment fee is untreated bite issues that may have been easily corrected at an earlier age had they been caught. It’s always good to get your child in to see an Orthodontist by the age of 7 to detect any of these developing bite issues or just get an idea of their particular orthodontic needs down the road. Be assured that the cost is kept as low as possible to make orthodontics accessible by a wider range of those in need! If you are curious about how much orthodontic treatment might cost you then call us to discuss your concerns and Dr. Bolerjack would be happy to reserve a time to meet with you individually.

      How much longer?

      It completely depends on everyone’s individual treatment needs and case complexity coupled with the ability of the patient to wear rubber bands, come to appointments in a timely manner, keep brackets and wires from breaking/bending and brush well. These things will keep treatment moving very efficiently. Avoiding the tendancy to reschedule at the last minute, which can result in a delay up to 3 weeks in some cases, is a big one that not many patients realize how quickly it can slow down treatment progress. Patients can also wear their rubber bands exactly as prescribed by Dr. Bolerjack and the team in order to keep treatment moving efficiently and on track. By not wearing them consistently the biology of the moving teeth is actually disrupted and it slows the entire treatment process. Clean, inflammation free gums will actually allow the teeth to move faster! By avoiding hard foods that can bend the archwires and break brackets, a patient will experience less visits to the office and less overall treatment time.

      When will my expander come out once I’m done turning?

      No. Expanders do a great job of gaining more arch width by stimulating the upper jaw to actually grow more bone. When this happens the gums and cheeks must make room for the new width and this is a very slow process that occurs over several months. The new boney position of the jaw must also be stabilized during this time to avoid the high potential for significant relapse. We generally recommend that everyone maintain their expanders in place after expansion is complete for up to 9-12mo. They can help a variety of other tooth movements while they are in place and greatly reduce the relapse that will occur naturally when removed.

      When do I start rubber bands? Stop?

      Patients can start rubber band wear as early as the first month of treatment or as late as 12mo into treatment. The timing for beginning rubber band wear and the duration, direction and strength of the rubber bands is all based on what types of bite correction will be done. Most patients will wear them almost up until the last day of treatment to ensure the most stable result.

      How long until I get my lower braces?

      Lower braces are placed as soon as the bite and upper teeth allow or have enough clearance for the lowers to go on and not cause significant bite interferences. Some patients may still require a small amount of bite pad material placed on the chewing surface of the upper teeth to help open the bite while the lower braces are introduced and the bite adapts to the new position of the teeth.

      Do you take all my braces off at the same time?

      We will almost always take off the upper and lower braces at the same time unless there’s a minor detail that must be corrected prior to removing, in either the upper or lower, and doesn’t require rubber band wear to fix. We will always place the lower fixed retainer, if one is indicated during treatment, prior to removing the lower braces.

      Why do I have to wear rubber bands?

      Rubber bands will help to bring the bite together so the upper and lower teeth fit together harmoniously and are comfortable. They can help correct underbites, overbites, crossbites, and midline shifts as well! The more consistent the rubber bands are worn, the more the teeth will respond and the faster the treatment will progress.

      Why did this one tooth get sore all of a sudden?

      Teeth are connected by the arch wires once the braces are placed and can have different levels of force acting upon them when compared to the tooth that is 5 teeth away for instance. This differential in force levels provides for an interesting sensation of tooth movement, that can sometimes be unexpected, as much as 6 weeks after the adjustment appointment. The bone is also more dense in some areas of the mouth, which can cause teeth to move slower than in areas of the jaw bone where it is less dense.

      How long do I have to wear a retainer?

      A retainer must be worn for many years to prevent the teeth from shifting and moving back towards their original position. I recommend the lower retainer remain in place for at least 20 years if not longer! The upper retainer should be worn full time for the first 3-6mo. and then every night for next 5-7 years as the teeth gradually become more and more stable in their new positions. I recommend patients return immediately to their orthodontist if a retainer breaks or gets damaged or lost. Almost unanimously, the #1 reason people seek additional treatment later in life is because they stopped wearing their retainers after their first treatment was completed. So the simple answer is that a retainer should be worn with moderate regularity for life!