Advice for Orthodontic Emergencies

Dental Health Advice

Orthodontic emergency care is rarely required, however if you’re having an issue with your orthodontic needs (whether that means your braces, retainers, Invisalign or any other form of orthodontics) it’s important to know how to resolve the issue, and when to see an emergency dentist.

What is considered an orthodontic emergency?

In some cases, your orthodontics may result in a dental emergency. In which case emergency orthodontic care may be required from an emergency dentist (if you need urgent treatment). 

Orthodontic emergencies can include:

  • Severe swelling of your gums, cheeks or face. This swelling may persist or spread across your neck, eyes or floor of your mouth. Please mention this when booking your emergency orthodontic care.
  • Unbearable and ongoing pain in your mouth that affects your sleeping and/or ability to concentrate on simple tasks.
  • If you have been following self-help guidance but the issue continues to worsen.
  • Facial trauma to the mouth that has directly impacted your teeth. Please note that you should contact an emergency dentist for dental trauma, regardless of whether you have or had not had orthodontic care. Find out more about dental trauma.
  • Loose or broken braces that you may be at risk of swallowing, or are causing severe pain in your mouth that you have not been able to subside with home remedies.

If you are experiencing any of the above, you may require emergency orthodontic care. Contact your nearest 247 Dentist to discuss your dental emergency and we will schedule in for an urgent appointment.

In extreme cases, it is recommended that you visit A&E for immediate support. These emergencies include:

  • If you have swallowed a piece of your brace and are suffering from choking or difficulties with your breathing.
  • Facial swelling that has begun to affect your vision, ability to swallow or open your mouth more than 2 fingers wide, and/or is causing problems with your breathing.
  • Dental trauma that has resulted in loss of consciousness, blurred/double vision, or sickness/vomiting.
  • Uncontrollable and rapid bleeding from the mouth that will not stop.

These symptoms require immediate care as they may indicate additional issues to your dental emergency. If you are experiencing any of the above please visit your nearest A&E centre for support.

What issues do not require emergency orthodontic care?

There are a few issues you may face with your orthodontic treatment that cause some discomfort, but are not considered a dental emergency and do not require emergency dental care. In these cases it’s best that you contact your orthodontist and schedule a regular dental appointment to resolve the problem at hand, or try safe at-home remedies. 

These “non-emergencies” include:

  • Wires from your braces digging into your cheeks or gums.
  • Lost or broken retainers.
  • Lost or broken elastics.
  • Discomfort from new braces or from braces rubbing.
  • A broken bracket or orthodontic tube that isn’t painful, causing damage to your mouth, or that you are not at risk of swallowing.
  • Lost or loose orthodontic appliances that you cannot fix yourself, or lost springs/modules from fixed braces.

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