Orthodontic Emergencies — Palm Harbor, FL

Fast Orthodontic Care When You Need It Most!

Orthodontic emergencies are relatively rare, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t happen! And as with any emergency situation, it’s essential to know how to handle one before it happens. For instance, would you know what to do if your child broke one of their braces wires, or if you snapped one of your Invisalign aligners? Fortunately, all you have to do is give Dr. Alex Johnson and his team a call. We’ll walk you through what to do next over the phone and schedule you a same-day emergency appointment if necessary. Even if you are unsure if your situation qualifies as an emergency, we encourage you to reach out to us right away. Read on to learn more about orthodontic emergencies and don’t hesitate to give us a call for fast orthodontic care when you need it most!

Woman with braces having an orthodontic emergency in Palm Harbor

Why Choose Dr. Alex Johnson for Emergency Orthodontic Care?

  • Compassionate Orthodontist with Over 30 Years of Experience
  • We Treat Patients of All Ages & Have an On-Site Pediatric Dentist
  • Your Comfort Will Always Be Our Top Priority

What to Do in an Orthodontic Emergency

Pained girl with braces visiting Palm Harbor emergency orthodontist
  • Step 1: Call us right away. If you or a loved one experiences an orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to call us as soon as you can.
  • Step 2: Follow our instructions. Over the phone, one of our experienced team members will walk you through how to address your orthodontic emergency. While many situations can be resolved this way, we may schedule you for a same-day emergency appointment depending on the case.
  • Step 3: See Dr. Johnson. Whether you see us for a same-day emergency appointment or several days later, your Palm Harbor emergency orthodontist will see you right away. If needed, he’ll provide pain relief while evaluating your condition.
  • Step 4: Review the findings & get the care you need. After your examination, Dr. Johnson will review his findings with you and explain the issue. Many times, we will be able to fix any orthodontic emergency right away, but we may schedule you for a follow-up appointment or refer you to your general dentist for treatment depending on the nature of your situation. Whatever the case, we’ll do everything we can to get your smile back on track right away.

The Most Common Orthodontic Emergencies

There are various situations that qualify as orthodontic emergencies, ranging from minor to serious. If you are in pain or if your braces are seriously damaged, you likely have an orthodontic emergency that needs urgent treatment. Other situations that are less demanding, such as a loose wire or a lost aligner, can often wait until the next available appointment to address. Sometimes, we may even be able to handle it over the phone! Below, you’ll find a list of some of the most common orthodontic emergencies we treat.

Understanding the Cost of Treating Orthodontic Emergencies

Picture of a set of broken braces

If you’re dealing with any kind of dental emergency, you’ll likely be more interested in dealing with the issue itself than stressing about payment. For that reason, we make it as easy as possible to pay for your treatment.

We won’t necessarily be able to tell you what your treatment will cost until we meet you in person, but until then, here’s some information that could potentially help you to get the care that you need.

Every Orthodontic Emergency Is Different

Tooth next to a first aid kit

Part of the reason that it’s difficult to tell you what your treatment is going to cost without meeting you first is because every orthodontic emergency is completely different. It can be really difficult to predict how your treatment is going to play out until we meet you in person; it could be fixed with just a minor treatment, or could require a complete overhaul of your orthodontics. When we meet you, we’ll be able to give you a better idea of the treatment options available to you and what they’re likely to cost you.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Orthodontic Emergencies?

Dental insurance form on a table

Typically, dental insurance will cover at least a portion of the typical dental emergency. Most plans will cover anywhere from 50-80% of root canal therapy, crowns, extractions, and other such procedures. However, it’s hit or miss whether orthodontics will be covered by insurance, which means that it’s important to check with your dental plan in order to make sure that you’re taking full advantage of the benefits available to you.

Other Options for Making Orthodontic Emergencies Affordable

Money put into a jar

Even if you don’t have insurance, we have options that can help you make the care that you get from us affordable. You might want to investigate financing options, which can allow you to split the cost of your treatments across several monthly payments. We often work with CareCredit, which is a firm that offers low-to-no interest terms that can take a lot of the financial pressure off of your treatment.

If you want to know more about how you can make the care that you get from us affordable, give us a call and we’ll be able to talk to you about your options.

Taking Care of Your Smile Can Save Your Money

Someone flossing their braces

It’s worth noting that while some orthodontic emergencies can be avoided, this isn’t necessarily the case for all of them. Preventing problems from arising often comes down to putting in a little bit of effort each day to improve the quality of your oral health. Making routine dental appointments and sticking with excellent dental hygiene will ensure that you spend much less time and money in the dentist’s office in the long run.

It's also important to act fast if you find that you’re dealing with an orthodontic emergency, as these kinds of things tend to only get worse with time. If you have a problem, give us a call and we’ll help you get it sorted out.

How to Prevent Orthodontic Emergencies

Pained girl with lollipop and broken braces in Palm harbor

A few simple precautions and healthy habits can tremendously reduce your risk of an orthodontic emergency! Perhaps the best thing you can do to keep your smile safe and healthy throughout your treatment is to stick to the rules of your treatment plan. Be careful with how you clean your aligners, don’t chew on hard food or items, and never use your teeth as tools are just a few of the little things you can do to prevent an orthodontic emergency.

Orthodontic Emergency FAQs

Teen boy covering his mouth, standing against yellow background

Dr. Johnson and our team are ready to take fast action to get your treatment back on track when you experience an orthodontic emergency. Before that happens, though, you might have questions about urgent orthodontic situations and how you should handle them. Below, you will find some practical information. If your specific questions are not touched on here, call our office. We will be happy to speak with you!

What Supplies Should I Keep on Hand in Case there Is an Orthodontic Emergency?

A few supplies that may prove to be helpful during an orthodontic emergency include:

  • Orthodontic wax
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Dental floss and floss threaders (or other supplies that you can use to safely remove stuck food from between your teeth)
  • Extra rubber bands
  • A container to store any small, broken orthodontic appliances

Should I Ever Visit the Emergency Room for an Orthodontic Emergency?

Most problems that relate to braces and other orthodontic treatments should be handled by an orthodontist; emergency room personnel do not have the training or equipment to handle such situations. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, in very rare cases, patients have accidentally swallowed or aspirated a small piece of their braces (to aspirate means to draw something into the lungs).

If such a situation causes excessive coughing, difficulty breathing, or other serious symptoms, a visit to the emergency room is in order.

How Can I Tell if I Should Visit My General Dentist or Orthodontist for Emergency Care?

As a general rule of them, you should visit us (your orthodontist) for any problems that relate directly to your orthodontic treatment. For example, broken braces, lost clear aligners, and similar issues all fall under our domain.

However, if your braces break and you have another serious problem, such as a severely loose tooth, a knocked-out tooth, or a severe toothache, it may be best to visit your general dentist.

If you are ever unsure of whether you should see us or your general dentist, call us and describe the situation. We will provide our professional opinion on the steps you should take.

How Long Can I Wait Before My Emergency Orthodontic Appointment?

Generally speaking, orthodontic emergencies are not as urgent as other types of emergencies. If necessary, you can probably wait a few days before attending an appointment. However, unnecessarily postponing care could cause delays in your treatment and possibly interfere with the progress of your teeth’s movements. It is best to seek treatment as soon as your circumstances allow.