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Orthodontic Emergencies

During orthodontic treatment, you may experience one or several emergencies. Orthodontic emergencies fall into two categories: direct injuries to the mouth and teeth, and emergencies to orthodontic appliances. The following outline will help you know what to do when an emergency occurs.

Direct injuries to the mouth and teeth

While you or your children are under orthodontic care, it is likely that an appliance will become disturbed or broken. Call our office as soon as possible if you experience a disturbance, such as a loose band or wire. We will evaluate the urgency of the problem and schedule an appointment accordingly. In the meantime, following the tips listed below may help keep the problem from worsening until you can visit our office:

Irritating tie wire- Use wax to cover it or use a blunt object, such as a toothbrush handle or pencil eraser, to tuck it under the arch wire.

Loose band or bracket- In most cases, it can be left where it is until you have an appointment with our office to have it reattached. If it causes you discomfort, cover it with wax.

Broken or irritating arch wire- Use a clean pair of nail clippers or a small wire cutter to snip any excess wire.

After office hours

Our office is open Monday through Friday, with some exceptions due to holidays and other special occasions. Each day includes a designated time for emergencies, so patients who experience problems can be seen as soon as possible and during normal office hours. If you need assistance after office hours, please call one of the phone numbers listed on our after-hours answering machine.