Occasionally, some patients will experience an injury to the mouth during treatment. Dental emergencies while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances generally fall into two categories.
Emergencies Related to Orthodontic Appliances
Sometimes, appliances might be broken or bent during your orthodontic care. If there are any disturbances, such as loose bands, loose brackets, broken or poking wires, please call our office for an appointment during patient hours. For your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not possible to handle emergencies on a walk-in basis. In the meantime, here are some helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may encounter until our office can see you.
- If a tie wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with wax or tuck it under the archwire with a blunt object like a pencil eraser or Q-tip.
- A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until seen in our office. Call our office during patient hours, when you notice a loose band or bracket. We will schedule you to reattach the loose appliance, if indicated.
- A broken or poking archwire can often be bent in with a pencil eraser or cut with nail clippers. Call our office, during patient hours, if you do not feel the problem has been resolved properly.
- Watch the video below that explains how to handle an orthodontic emergency.
Direct Injuries to the Mouth and Teeth
Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth while undergoing orthodontic care, immediately ice the injured area and you should contact the office as soon as possible. Usually, an x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth is needed to determine the extent of the injury. If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, it is best to contact our doctor immediately. DO NOT WAIT!! Time is essential to making sure the tooth is saved and can be made straight again. If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, the orthodontist needs to put the appliance(s) back to normal as soon as possible or the problem can worsen with time. After seeing our office, you will be asked to see your general dentist to start a baseline evaluation. If issues arise in the future, they will be better prepared to understand your situation.
After Office Hours
If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please contact our office. Information is available regarding who to contact for further assistance.