What is an orthodontic emergency?

A “true” orthodontic emergency occurs when there is physical trauma or bleeding from the teeth or tissues, and thankfully, occurs rarely. However, other situations may still require prompt attention, such as loose bands, broken brackets, appliances or lost separators.

What to do in case of emergency

Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.

Loose brackets or bands

Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

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Wire irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.

Lost separators

Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

The first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will most likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take pain relievers for comfort while you adjust to your new braces. Soft or cooling foods like jello, and frozen yogurt, may also be helpful.

Traumatic Injuries

If you experience traumatic injuries to your face or teeth, contact Dr. Teja and your general dentist as soon as possible. Proceed to the closest emergency room for immediate attention and management of any traumatic injury.

Dr. Zeeny Teja, B.D.S., M.S.c., M.S.D. | 1955 6th Avenue West | Seattle, WA 98119 | Phone: 206-285-7755
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