What is Considered a True Orthodontic Emergency?

Aug 31, 2023 | Braces, Orthodontic Expertise

Orthodontics is a journey towards a confident smile, and like any journey, it can have its share of bumps along the way. And one of those bumps? The inevitable orthodontic emergencies that we tackle on the path to a straighter smile. But don’t worry! At Inspire Orthodontics, we’re always here to help navigate these situations to keep that smile bright, healthy, and happy for your entire treatment. And today, we’re going to be breaking down the exact times that you’ll need professional, urgent help for a problem (and when your troubles can wait until the morning).

Which Orthodontic Issues Can Wait Until an Appointment?

Sometimes, we encounter things that seem like a crisis on the surface – but actually, it’s something that we can throw a Band-Aid on until you’re able to visit Dr. Wade at our local Littleton office. Identifying these situations can be tricky, though. So, what are some things that we classify as little emergencies?

Most orthodontic “emergencies” are minor but can cause discomfort or concern. These include issues like broken brackets and wires, general discomfort, or a loose archwire. If a bracket breaks, keep it safe and call us at your earliest convenience. For discomfort, remember – it’s normal after adjustments! Over-the-counter pain relievers, dental wax, and a soft diet can help ease this in-between phase. If an archwire comes loose, use a pencil eraser to push it back into place gently, if possible, or cover the sharp wire in wax to protect your cheek. Then, give us a call.

These situations may be uncomfortable but don’t panic. They’re all part of the journey towards an inspiring smile, and you won’t need to rush to the ER or call us for an emergency visit.

Which Orthodontic Emergencies Require Immediate Attention?

While less common, major orthodontic emergencies can happen to anyone, and these special situations require you to either go to the emergency room or contact your local orthodontist for immediate attention. When you start braces or Invisalign, you’ll need to know what problems are big concerns. Fortunately, these are easy to spot and can be expertly handled by a professional orthodontist, dentist, or doctor.

Major orthodontic concerns include major trauma or injury to the face, mouth, or teeth, severe and lasting pain, broken teeth, and prolonged swollen or bleeding gums. Whenever a tooth has been damaged or broken, it’s a big deal – especially with braces! When you receive any injury to your face, it’s essential to visit your dentist or ER immediately to save the tooth and protect your mouth.

Once you’ve received initial treatment from a doctor or emergency dentist, contact our office so we can get your orthodontic treatment plan back on track. There will probably be a few important adjustments to your care so that we can accommodate the new tooth placement or injured area.

Remember, in these scenarios, always prioritize immediate medical attention!

Finding the Best Orthodontic Treatment at Inspire Orthodontics!

Understanding what constitutes a true orthodontic emergency empowers you to respond effectively to unexpected situations on your path to a perfect smile. At Inspire Orthodontics, we’re committed to making your orthodontic journey as smooth and comfortable as possible, especially when you’ve encountered an injury or other emergency. We’re here to support you through every twist and turn, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need us. Keep smiling, and remember – every step, even the challenging ones, takes you closer to your dream smile!