Orthodontic Treatment in Kansas City, MO

Teenage boy wearing a blue/green shirt.At Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics, we believe everyone deserves a smile they feel proud to show off – and our mission is to help each of our patients achieve one through high-quality orthodontic treatment. Dr. Kurt Kavanaugh and our highly-trained team of orthodontic specialists work closely with patients to design personalized treatment plans that perfectly suit their needs, and we strive to make orthodontic treatment a convenient part of your routine. Generally, orthodontic treatment is just that: routine. But in rare cases, orthodontic emergencies may arise – so here's what to do in case of emergency.

How to Handle an Orthodontic Emergency

In almost any case, the most important step is to call our office. If we're closed and the situation is serious, proceed straight to an emergency room. Be sure not to come directly to our office without contacting us first, as we need to create time to see you – even if the problem needs to be addressed immediately. Even if you're already scheduled for a checkup, you should notify us if you need repairs so we can prepare for the treatment.

Loose or Broken Brackets or Bands

If a wire or bracket comes loose or disconnects, call us immediately to find out how to handle the situation. Sometimes you may need to cut a wire or slide a bracket off the wire at night or over the weekend. If this is necessary, you can cut the archwire using a pair of nail clippers sterilized in rubbing alcohol. If at all possible, call us before doing this, and be sure to call us as soon as possible if you had to handle the emergency outside office hours. In all cases,  please let us know so we can put your treatment back on track.

Wire Irritations

It's fairly normal for bits of the archwire or corners of brackets to irritate certain areas of the mouth. Try moving the wire away from the irritated area using a pencil eraser or cotton swab, and if that doesn't work, cover it with a piece of dental wax. If the wire is extremely painful, you can cut it with sterilized nail clippers – just be sure to call us before and after you do this.

Lost Separator

It's extremely normal to lose a separator during treatment, so don't worry too much if this happens. The main concern is if the separator did not fall out but got pushed up into the gum instead. Please give us a call so we can determine what needs to be done.

Pain or Discomfort in Orthodontic Treatment

Almost all patients experience some level of soreness or discomfort during their first week with braces and after having adjustments made to their braces. Generally, this discomfort is mild and fades within a few days to a week. You can use a warm washcloth, a heating pad, or over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol the handle the discomfort. However, if the pain doesn't go away or is extremely severe, you should call our office to find out how to handle it.

Contact Your Kansas City & Sedalia, MO Orthodontist

Thankfully, orthodontic emergencies are exceedingly rare – but in the unlikely case that one does happen, these tips can help you handle it. As always, if you have any other questions on orthodontic emergencies or another aspect of treatment, we're happy to speak with you. Reach out to us at our contact page with any questions, or request an appointment online at either of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope to help you achieve a new smile through an emergency-free treatment process!