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
Most problems you may encounter in your orthodontic care are not considered a true orthodontic emergency and can be handled during regular patient hours.
It’s normal for appliances to become loose or broken during your orthodontic care. If you are feeling discomfort (from a pokey wire, loose bracket, etc.) and it’s outside of normal patient hours, please review the video below which should help you relieve any discomfort until we are able to see you. Please keep in mind that for your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not possible to handle emergencies on a walk-in basis so please call to schedule a follow-up appointment with us during normal business hours at your earliest convenience. If the video below doesn’t resolve the discomfort and it’s after our normal patient hours, you can contact us on our emergency line by calling our office. Thanks!
- If a tie wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with bees 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 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 this video on YouTube that explains how to handle an orthodontic emergency.
Direct Injuries to the Mouth and Teeth
Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, immediately ice the injured area and you should contact your regular dentist 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 your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible after you have seen your general dentist, depending upon the comfort level of the patient.
After Office Hours
If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please contact our office. The office voicemail system will guide you the process of contacting the doctor after hours.