About Dr. Bulucea

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Orthodontic Appliances

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About Dr. Roy




Orthodontic appliances are necessary when braces alone are not adequate to fully correct your orthodontic problem.

The Bite Plate is designed to correct a deep bite (when the upper front teeth come down too far over the lower front teeth).

Initially, there may be an adjustment period and speech may be affected for a short period of time. When wearing your bite pate, it is normal if your back teeth do not meet all the way. It may take a few weeks to completely adjust to your new bite plate.

For optimal results, the bite plate should be worn 24 hours a day and only removed for eating and brushing. As with any orthodontic appliance, you should brush all parts of your bite plate as well as your teeth. Depending on the amount of correction needed, the bite plate may be worn for 3 to 6 months. Make sure to bring it to every appointment. 

The Hawley Retainer is one of the most common retainers used after removal of braces. Retainers are necessary to hold the teeth into their new position, allowing for settling of the supporting tissues. Hawley retainers are made of acrylic and wire and are fabricated specifically for each patient by taking an impression.

When you first get the retainers, you will be instructed to wear them full time except when you eat and brush. As your teeth stabilize in the bone, you will be instructed to reduce the number of hours you wear your retainers. We instruct and encourage all of our patients to continue to wear their retainers indefinitely. Even wearing your retainers up to two nights a week for the rest of your life will reinforce the stabilization of your straight teeth.  

Herbst is a fixed functional appliance used in young patients whose lower teeth and jaw are too far back. The Herbst works by incrementally advancing your lower jaw to promote natural growth.

Initially your upper and lower teeth may not touch when you close your mouth and you may experience some tenderness. It may take a few weeks to become adjusted to it, and in the beginning we suggest a soft food diet. If you experience irritation on your cheeks or lips, wax can be applied to the area for temporary relief.

Brushing may seem more difficult at first but you need to make a special effort to keep your teeth clean. You must brush after every meal and floss at least once a day.

Depending on the amount of bite correction needed, the Herbst appliance is normally worn for 8-12 months months. 

The Lingual Arch is a wire that connects your molars. This appliance is glued to your molars and is not removable. The purpose of the lingual arch is to hold back your upper or lower first permanent molars and prevent them from moving forward. 


The Nance Holding Arch ("Nance button") consists of two bands around the back teeth and an acrylic button that covers part of your anterior palate. The Nance button can be used as a space maintainer, in cases in which the baby teeth have been lost prematurely, and the first molars need to be prevented from coming forward. The Nance holding arch is also used for additional support to help drive back the anterior teeth, after the back teeth have been actively driven back with the Spring Jet appliance.

This appliance causes little discomfort and has little effect on the speech. Please stay away from hard sticky food that can break and pull apart your appliance. As with any orthodontic appliances, you should brush all parts of your appliance as well as your teeth.

The Palatal Expander is an orthopedic appliance designed to widen your upper jaw by gently separating the bones of the palate. It works best in teenagers younger than 15 years old, because below this age, the bones of the upper jaw are still pliable. The palatal expander consists of a screw that is attached to the teeth by means of bands that go around your teeth. The expander is activated by turning the screw with a key, as instructed by Dr. Bulucea. As the upper jaw is widened, a space may develop between the front teeth. This space will generally close by itself within a month. Once expansion is completed, the expander will remain in the mouth for approximately three months to stabilize before being removed.

It takes a few days to get used to the expander. Initially there will be some lisping but within a week your speech will be back to normal. Until you get used to eating with your expansion appliance, eat plenty of soft foods.  Pain is rarely experienced, but you may feel the initial pressure on your teeth, in the middle of your palate, and your cheeks. Sometimes patients may experience a slight headache. You can take over the counter pain medication to alleviate the discomfort.  As with any orthodontic appliance, remember to stay away from hard sticky foods that can break and pull apart your appliance. Be sure to brush all parts of your expansion appliance as well as your teeth.

The Quad Helix is an appliance designed to widen your jaws to create room for alignment of your crowded teeth. It is attached to your molars by two bands and has four active helix springs that widen the arch of your mouth.

The helix is activated prior to cementation and will be adjusted as necessary throughout your treatment. There is a short adjustment period and speech may be temporarily affected. Special attention to brushing is required with this appliance and you have to make sure that you brush thoroughly after every meal.

If an imprint appears on your tongue from this appliance, don't get alarmed: this is this is normal. Do not use your fingers or tongue to play with your Quad Helix because it can affect treatment or break your appliance.

Spacers (separators) are little plastic rings that fit between your back teeth and are inserted before placement of your braces to provide some space between your back teeth.

Spacers usually stay between your teeth for several days, and they are taken out before your braces are put on. They often cause some soreness, but this goes away in a few days.

If a spacer comes out a day or two after its placement, call our office for a replacement.  If a spacer comes out a day or two before your regularly scheduled orthodontic visit, it is not necessary to call our office for a replacement. In this situation, a loose spacer means that enough space was created between your back teeth.

Please avoid sticky or chewy foods. Also do not floss those teeth that have spacers between them. 

The Spring Jet is a fixed appliance that is designed to drive back your teeth to correct your bite and improve the alignment of your dental arches. It consists of an acrylic button that covers the front of your palate, and a small Nickel Titanium spring that connects the bands on your back teeth.

There is a short adjustment period and speech may be temporarily affected.

As with any orthodontic appliance, patients need to spend extra time during brushing to maintain good oral hygiene.