Emergency Care

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our Chula Vista or El Cajon office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself.

It is very important that you call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.

ONLY IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY THAT CANNOT WAIT AND THE PATIENT IS IN EXTREME PAIN, PLEASE PAGE THE DOCTOR AT (619) 294-1646, AND AFTER YOU HEAR THE BEEPING SOUNDS, PLEASE INPUT YOUR PHONE NUMBER FOLLOWED BY THE # SIGN. (This is very important to understand, for example: If your phone number is (619) 123-4567, after hearing the beeping sounds, please input 6191234567# to send your page to the doctor.)

If you experience an emergency, it’s helpful to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify which part is broken or out of place. Learn about the parts of your braces here!

Bent, Broken, and Loose Appliances

Sometimes, appliances might be broken or bent during your orthodontic care. If you experience loose bands, loose brackets, or broken or poking wires, please call our office to schedule an appointment during regular office hours. Walk-in emergency appointments are not available.

In the meantime, here are some helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may encounter until your scheduled appointment.

Loose appliance

If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment.


Loose bracket

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.


Loose wire

Try to put your wire back into place using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn't help, use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp, place wax on it.


Poking wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so it is no longer irritating.


Injuries to the Mouth or Tooth

If you experience trauma to your mouth or teeth, whether you are undergoing orthodontic care or not, apply ice immediately to the injured area and contact your regular dentist as soon as possible. He or she will be able to determine the extent of the injury with and X-ray.

If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary resources required to treat these injuries. If your appliances become dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust them as soon as possible.

Contact us during regular office hours to schedule an appointment.

American Association of Orthodontists American Dental Association California Dental Association San Diego County Dental Society Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists