Occasionally, some patients will experience an injury to the mouth due to sport of an accident while in orthodontic treatment. Dental emergencies while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances generally fall into two categories.
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 immediately. 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.
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. 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.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.
- Watch this video on YouTube that explains how to quickly handle an orthodontic emergency.
After Office Hours
If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please contact our office at our email address info@SeattleOrthodontist.com; you may also contact us through the Contact Us page on this web site. In either case we monitor this email 24/7 and have staff available for emergencies.