If a bracket or band comes loose the tooth to which it is attached is no longer under the complete control of the appliance. If left this can potentially encourage the development of tooth decay and can result in unwanted tooth movement which may delay treatment. If the bracket or band is still attached to the wire leave it in place and apply wax if required to manage any discomfort. If the bracket or band has come off the wire place it in an envelope and retain it as it may be able to be repaired. In the event that a bracket or band comes loose please contact our office as soon as possible so that an appointment can be made for repair.
Loose Bracket or Band
Broken arch wire or Under-tie
The arch wire is the wire that passes through all of the brackets connecting all of the teeth; although this wire is robust it can be fractured by the heavy forces which act on the wire while chewing. The under-tie is a fine wire which is woven around the brackets of groups of teeth to hold them together at various stages of treatment. If a wire breaks it is important to contact the office for an emergency appointment so that the wire can be repaired.
Loose or Poking Wire
On occasions the arch wire may feel as though it has become loose at the back of the appliance. Early in treatment excess wire may feed out of the back of the appliance as the teeth align and this greater length of wire can irritate the cheek and cause discomfort. If this occurs the wire can sometimes be covered using the soft wax we provide at the start of treatment. If discomfort persists please contact our office for an emergency appointment slot so that we can review the situation and alleviate the problem. On other occasions the sensation of a loose wire can arise when band(s) or bracket(s) on one of the back teeth has come loose. In all situations we recommend that you contact the office for an emergency appointment.
Lost Elastic Tie (O ring)
On occasions the small elastic rings (often coloured) which hold the arch wire into the bracket can come off. If the ties are coloured this is easily recognised by the absence of colour around a bracket (This can be more difficult to recognise if the elastic ties are clear). In these situations the tooth is no longer under the control of the appliance and can move unfavourably creating potential delays to the overall treatment. If you think that you may have lost an elastic tie please contact the office to arrange an emergency appointment.
Accidents involving the Teeth
If you are involved in an accident which involves injury to your teeth while you are wearing braces please contact the office for an appointment as soon as possible. Your general dental practitioner may be better suited to manage certain aspects of your injury so we will refer to them and communicate with them as is necessary. If the injury occurs outside of office hours, attendance to an emergency dental clinic or the hospital is the appropriate first line management.
If you have an Emergency Situation
Which is causing pain outside of office hours our orthodontists can be contacted directly on 021 182 8945 (Dr. Mark Pinkerton) or 021 079 5075 (Dr. David Wescott). Our orthodontists are not available to attend to routine breakages outside of office hours as there are limitations to the equipment and staff available.