Occasionally, some patients will experience an injury to the mouth during treatment. Dental emergencies while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances generally fall into the following 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 our normal office hours. For your convenience, and the convenience of scheduled patients, we recommend calling ahead to alert our office of your emergency. 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 wire tie is irritating your mouth, cover it with wax or tuck it under the arch wire with 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 sometimes be slid back around by grasping the wire at the midline and gently pulling it to one side. 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 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 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. Information is available regarding who to contact for further assistance.