What Defines an Orthodontic Emergency?

Orthodontic emergencies do not occur very often. Sometimes, brackets can partially detach or come off. Wires can become misaligned and poke into soft tissues. Once in a while, orthodontic appliances or devices may need a repair. Any of these problems can cause some anxiety and discomfort. Our team is here to help you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Soft tissue can become inflamed or infected; however, this is not usually an emergency. Anyone experiencing a broken appliance or sharp piece of wire rubbing against their cheek or any issue causing difficulty opening or closing the mouth should be addressed ASAP.

Orthodontic Discomfort & Pain

Once orthodontic bands are attached to your braces, it is common for teeth to become achy and sore temporarily. This occurs when the periodontal ligament surrounding the fault adjusts to the orthodontic pressure caused by the elastic bands. This discomfort does not constitute a dental emergency. It will dissipate in a few days generally and over-the-counter pain medicine is an option.

Soft tissues can become irritated due to debonded appliances, loose or bent wires, etc. The irritated oral mucosa may become infected over time. Orthodontic wax can be used as a temporary solution until your next appointment in the event of any protruding or poking discomfort.

When Is It Time To Seek Emergency Orthodontic Care?

If an infection becomes swollen and life-threatening airway swelling is involved, it is an orthodontic emergency that requires immediate medical and dental attention. The appliance may need to be removed and antibiotics are given. It is vital to address any type of life-threatening orthodontic issue immediately as the patient’s health and well-being are always the primary focus.