What Is Considered An Orthodontic Emergency?

What Is Considered An Orthodontic Emergency? 

Team Orthodontics

An orthodontic emergency is an urgent situation related to your orthodontic treatment, such as a protruding wire or a loose appliance. In most cases an orthodontic emergency is not a true emergency, as it is not life threatening or even a serious health risk. However, the situation should still be addressed promptly for the purpose of your health, comfort, and orthodontic treatment. 

What is considered to be an orthodontic emergency? Here are some examples of situations when it is necessary to contact your orthodontist. 

Examples of Orthodontic Emergencies

The following situations are examples of orthodontic emergencies that should be addressed the same day or the next day if possible: 

  • Protruding wire. Wires that are part of braces and other orthodontic appliances can come loose as your teeth shift or may bend out of place when eating. A protruding wire can poke your cheeks, lips, or tongue, causing discomfort. Sores may develop on the soft tissues of your mouth. Let us know right away if something is poking your mouth or causing irritation. 
  • Loose brackets or bands. Braces and other orthodontic appliances include brackets that attach to your teeth and sometimes bands that go around your back molars. If these come loose or come off completely, give us a call. We will see you as soon as possible to reattach the loose pieces. 
  • Food stuck in braces or an orthodontic appliance. It is common for food to get stuck in the brackets, bands, or wires of your braces and other orthodontic appliances. When it happens, it can be uncomfortable and should be addressed right away. There is also a risk of tooth decay when food is lodged anywhere in your mouth and can’t be removed. 
  • Severe mouth sores. If your orthodontic treatment is causing severe mouth sores that are extremely uncomfortable, there is a risk of infection. Contact us if your braces or other appliances are causing significant discomfort or if you develop a fever, which is a sign of infection. 
  • Lost orthodontic appliance. If you lose a separator, retainer, aligner, or any other part of your orthodontic treatment, please let us know. We will want to replace it as soon as possible so that you can resume your treatment and avoid any setbacks. 

What if an Emergency Occurs After Office Hours?

Most orthodontic emergencies can wait until the office is open, either later in the day or the next day. Use orthodontic wax to cover any protruding wires or places that are causing irritation until we are able to get you in for an appointment. You can also attempt to bend protruding wires back into place with a pencil eraser until our office is open. If you do have a more urgent matter, call us after hours and follow the instructions provided. 

If you develop a high fever or your health is at risk, seek urgent or emergency care at your nearest facility. In case of a life threatening emergency, call 911 or proceed to the nearest hospital emergency department. 

Why Choose Dr. Suzanne Stock?

Dr. Suzanne Stock is a highly qualified and experienced orthodontist. When it comes to orthodontic emergencies, we treat your situation with importance and care. We understand that urgent situations can be stressful and that you may be uncomfortable, which is why we provide after hours emergency care if necessary. 

If you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency, contact us at your most convenient office location. During regular office hours we will find time for you to come in the same day. After hours please call and follow the instructions provided to leave us a message and someone will contact you shortly.