Are there dental emergencies when wearing Invisalign aligners?

Are there dental emergencies when wearing Invisalign aligners?

Jun 01, 2023

Orthodontic treatments have restored many people’s self-confidence by improving smiles’ appearances and elevating oral function. However, it is worth noting that the treatments are usually long, typically lasting between 6 and 21 months. Within such a long time, you are likely to experience some complications that may necessitate urgent care, particularly for dealing with discomfort or pain.

What Are Orthodontic Emergencies?

They are dental problems that arise during orthodontic treatment near you. Ideally, the complication affects the shifting teeth with teeth aligners or braces. These can be oral issues affecting your mouth directly or harming your orthodontic devices.

Examples of Orthodontic Emergencies You Can Experience

When you are aware of common orthodontic emergencies, you will know when to contact a dentist near you for treatment. Besides, identifying the common ones helps you narrow down the signs that indicate you need urgent care from your orthodontist. Some of the prevalent orthodontic emergencies are:

Broken or loose brackets:

It happens to people with braces. A bracket may come loose or break off from a tooth, causing pain and discomfort.

Wire poking:

The archwire that connects the metal brackets in braces can sometimes poke out or shift. Such a wire will irritate your soft tissues like the cheeks, lips, tongue, or gums.

Severe pressure:

You may experience intense pain, sensitivity, and soreness in the teeth, gums, or jaw due to the pressure that your aligners or braces exert to move teeth. Ideally, the discomfort is high immediately after an adjustment or getting a fresh tray of Invisalign® in Mississauga, ON. Generally, the discomfort should fade away after a few days. Only consider it a dental emergency if it is getting in your way of eating or speaking, especially longer than a week after adjustment.

Loose teeth:

It’s not uncommon to feel loose teeth while undergoing orthodontic treatment. However, if a tooth extremely loosens or falls out, it may indicate an underlying problem with your gums and jawbone.

Appliance damage:

Sometimes, orthodontic appliances such as aligners, expanders, headgear, or retainers may break or crack, leading to new dental problems. When your device breaks, you do not need much inquiry regarding when to contact the orthodontist. Instead, seek dental care immediately not to compromise your treatment’s progress.

Swelling or inflammation:

Although these can result from the discomfort of adjusting teeth aligners, they can also cause alarm. Be especially keen to note when swelling is accompanied by bleeding in the gums, as it can indicate infection or other oral complications.

How to Handle Orthodontic Emergencies

Many adults who receive teeth aligners for themselves or their children ask their orthodontists what to do if an aligner is lost or broken. It is usually the most anticipated dental problem in orthodontics. However, if you experience any other dental emergency, at least know a few things on how to respond accordingly.

  1. Call your orthodontist
  2. Take over-the-counter medicine for managing pain, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain.
  3. Cold compress the affected area with ice to reduce swelling and pain.
  4. Use orthodontic wax to cover the sharp edges of a broken appliance to prevent irritation.
  5. Try to gently push back a poking wire into place using an eraser or the back of a spoon.

​Can You Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies?

Our aim for all our Forest Park Dental Arts patients is to achieve proper alignment within the predetermined period with little to no complications. Therefore, our dental team is big on prevention tips to avoid emergencies, such as:

  1. Brush and floss daily after meals to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
  2. Avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods can damage your appliances and natural teeth.
  3. Wear a mouthguard to guard your teeth and braces from impact and injury.
  4. Attend regular orthodontic appointments.


Ultimately, the goal of an orthodontist is to straighten your teeth and jaw while minimizing your risk of orthodontic emergencies. If you are keen on preventive measures, your treatment plan progresses smoothly without any setbacks during the months of treatment.

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