Occasionally, some patients will experience a mild injury to the mouth during treatment. Dental emergencies, while few and far between, generally fall into two categories – emergencies related to orthodontic appliances, and direct injuries to the mouth and teeth.
Emergencies Related to Orthodontic Appliances
Sometimes, appliances might be broken or bent during the time between your orthodontic visits. If there are any disturbances, such as loose bands, loose brackets, and 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 tips to remedy some of the problems you may encounter until we can see you in the office.
- If a tie wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with orthodontic 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 Marda Loop Braces, during patient hours, when you notice a loose band or bracket. Generally, it can be left in place until we see you next. 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 Dr. Chen’s videos below to review handling an orthodontic emergency using a nail clipper.
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 ASAP. 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 ASAP, 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. Please leave a voice message and we will return your call within 12 hours.