What Constitutes An Orthodontic Emergency?

Orthodontic treatment refers to the different types of procedures available to straighten teeth and improve both your bite and appearance. While not necessarily painful, some patients can experience various levels of discomfort during their treatment.

For example, if you get traditional metal braces, it’s possible to feel a bit sore right after you get them, as they start pulling the teeth into their most optimal position. This is also a possibility after your routine check-ups where the orthodontist continues to tighten your braces to continue the treatment.

But this sensation usually wears off as your mouth gets accustomed to the braces. The same goes for Invisalign clear aligners, which can cause some soreness immediately after first getting your trays, but the sensation will wear off quickly.

While this soreness is not an emergency, there are some cases where you might need to seek immediate help.

Common Symptoms of Orthodontic Emergencies

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms or situations, you should speak to an orthodontist right away:

  • Feeling intense pain that doesn’t go away even with the prescribed pain-relieving treatment
  • Bleeding because a brace wire snapped and is jabbing your cheek, gums, or another area in your mouth
  • Broken braces or aligners, which render your orthodontic treatment unable to continue
  • Difficulty breathing, talking, or eating with braces or aligners

These symptoms are not normal, and if you notice any of them, you should reach out to an orthodontist right away and describe them. In some cases, the orthodontist may recommend some quick at-home solutions to relieve some of your discomforts while you wait for your appointment. If this is not possible, the orthodontist will ask to see you right away.

How Are Orthodontic Emergencies Treated?

The orthodontist will first consult you to pinpoint why your treatment is causing pain or discomfort. Based on their assessment, they can make several recommendations that will help you:

  • Changing the orthodontic treatment to something more suitable for you
  • Replacing or fixing your bracers or aligners if they are broken
  • Recommending other procedures to improve your experience with orthodontic treatment, etc.

The goal of orthodontics is not only to make sure your teeth are perfectly straight. It’s also about getting your teeth into their most optimal position to ensure a healthy bite that will support your most basic needs, such as talking or eating. The orthodontist will make the best recommendation to ensure you are getting the best possible treatment for your long-term dental health.

Stop by Great Bay Orthodontics for Your Orthodontic Treatment

If you are interested in orthodontic treatments, Great Bay Orthodontics is at your service! We will help advise you on the best course of action for your needs.

Schedule your first appointment with Dr. John Walsh today, or call us at (603) 944-9360 if you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency.

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