Here are some helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may encounter until our office can see you.
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:
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. Please call us as well. 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.
Broken 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 unless you are in pain. For your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not possible to handle emergencies on a walk in basis. If you have an appointment already scheduled for an adjustment appointment, please call us to tell us and explain the problem. This will help make your appointment more efficient and allow enough time to repair the damage.
- If a tie wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with bees wax or sugarless chewing gum 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 you are 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.
After Office Hours
If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please contact our office and follow the prompts for an orthodontic emergency. Either the doctor or clinical technician on call will be paged for you.