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Article: Volume 42 Number 3 Page 221 - April 2015

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  Dent Update 2015; 42: 221-228

Orthodontics:  Emergencies in Orthodontics Part 2: Management of Removable Appliances, Functional Appliances and other Adjuncts to Orthodontic Treatment

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Abstract: In the second of two papers, management of orthodontic emergencies involving appliances other than fixed appliances will be detailed. Problems relating to removable appliances, as well as other orthodontic adjuncts, will be discussed. Unfortunately, orthodontic appliance breakage does occur, despite the clinicians giving clear and concise instructions to the patients and their parents at fitting. If general dental practitioners have a practical knowledge of how to diagnose problems and to provide appropriate advice or timely ‘emergency’ treatment, this will significantly reduce the inconvenience for all parties concerned. It should also ensure that treatment progresses in the most efficient and comfortable manner for their patients. In specific situations the early, accurate identification of the problem and instigation of its appropriate management can avoid more serious consequences.

Clinical relevance: Appropriate handling of an orthodontic ‘emergency’ by the dentist can, on many occasions, provide immediate relief to the patient. This will, in turn, allow treatment to continue in the right direction, thus allowing more efficient and effective use of valuable resources.

Author notes: Paul Dowsing, BDS, DGDP(UK), FDS RCPS, MOrth, FDS(Orth) RCPS, MPhil Orth, Consultant Orthodontist, The Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, Alison Murray, BDS, MSc, FDS RCPS, MOrth RCS, Consultant Orthodontist, Royal Derby Hospital and Jonathan Sandler, BDS(Hons), MSc, PhD, FDS RCPS, MOrth RCS, Professor and Consultant Orthodontist, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK.

Objective: To recognize and diagnose orthodontic ‘emergencies’ and to prescribe the appropriate treatment for the most common problems.