True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call Dr. Eric Wu at the office at (650) 593-1160 when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.
- 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 our office, 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 eraser or cut with nail clippers. Call our office, during patient hours, if you do not feel the problem has been resolved properly.
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 you should 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 is best to contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries.
If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible, after you have seen your general dentist, depending upon the comfort level of the patient.