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. 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 Dietterick Orthodontics, 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 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 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 injury. If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, it may be best to contact both your family dentist and us. Depending upon what appliances are present and the type of trauma, we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required that your dentist would have on hand. If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible.

After Office Hours

If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please call the office telephone number.  Information is recorded daily regarding who to contact for further assistance when the office is closed.