Emergency Care

Emergency Care

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

Emergencies Related to Orthodontic Appliances

Sometimes, appliances may bend or break 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 bees wax, or tuck it under the arch wire 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 erasure or cut with nail clippers. Call our office, during patient hours, if you do not feel the problem has been resolved properly.

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 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.