True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. We'll be fable to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
Orthodontic Emergencies Requiring Immediate Attention:
Direct injuries to the mouth usually require an X-Ray of the involved tooth to determine the extent of the injury. Please use the following guidelines:
• Call our office immediately.
• If you have a serious injury to the mouth involving braces, and you are
unable to reach us, we recommend you call your general dentist or go
directly to the Emergency Room to obtain appropriate care.
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. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you can identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in a pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.
The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!
Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less as it's worn more, so be sure you're getting in the prescribed number of hours.
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.
If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue.
Using a tweezer, try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.
Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.
Broken Orthodontic Appliances
Broken appliances can occur from time to time during your care. Please call our office as soon as possible so we can evaluate the urgency of the problem and schedule you accordingly. The following helpful hints will remedy some of the problems until you can be seen in our office:
• If a wire comes loose, use tweezers and try to put wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened.
• A broken archwire, or one that is irritating the gum or cheek tissue, needs to be seen as soon as possible.
• For any broken appliance, call us as soon as possible so we can schedule you to reattach the loose appliance.
• If a loose bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you can leave it in and place wax on it.
• A bent headgear facebow, or removable appliance that is not fitting well should not be worn until it can be properly adjusted in our office.
Scheduling Emergency Appointments
Emergency time is held open during each working day so that we may schedule you as soon as possible during normal hours. Please understand that although we keep a variety of emergency times available, we may not be able to offer you your “ideal” time for an emergency appointment. Our goal is to accommodate you as soon as possible based on the urgency of the situation. If you have an emergency with your appliances, please call the office before you come in. This will allow us to assess the problem and determine the appropriate amount of time needed for your appointment.