Emergency Care

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

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. After hours feel free to leave a message for us and we will return your call the next business day to schedule you an appointment. 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 beeswax 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 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. Even if you feel you have resolved the problem, if you have bent of cut something please call our office and make an appointment for us to evaluate the situation and make sure the problem has been resolved properly.
  • Watch the video below 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 after hours where the patient is in pain that cannot wait until the next business day, please call our office. Information is available on our outgoing message on how to contact our emergency answering service for further assistance.