Broken Wire/Permanent Retainer

Permanent retainers work great to keep your teeth aligned after braces or Invisalign treatment. A broken permanent retainer is something that can happen from time to time. Teeth will tend to shift  if they aren’t held in place. If the wire of the permanent retainer starts hurting your tongue or bothering you before you can get it repaired, you should reach out your orthodontist or Emergency Dentist  to have it repaired in a timely manner.

For same day appointment, please call us on 0131 629 1158 or Book Online.

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How is a broken permanent retainer fixed at Emergency Dentist Edinburgh?

The type of permanent retainer and which part of it is broken will determine how your orthodontist or Emergency Dentist Edinburgh can fix it. If the wire of the permanent retainer is still solid, but the composite has gotten too thin or come de-bonded from one or two teeth, the fix is a simple  procedure. Your orthodontist or local emergency dentist will place new dental composite over the wire and bond it to your teeth. If you have a broken permanent retainer that comes completely off your teeth, your Edinburgh orthodontist or Emergency Dentist Edinburgh can oftentimes take this same retainer and bond it back onto the teeth.

Why do permanent retainers break?

This happens because permanent retainers are bonded to the back side of the teeth with a material called dental composite. While very strong, dental composite likely won’t last forever.  Over time the  composite may get thinner after repeated abrasions from chewing and brushing, become de-bonded  from the teeth due to a large impact or fracture after you bite into a hard object directly on the retainer. Additionally, the wire part of the permanent retainer can also lose its strength over time and eventually break.


Is a broken permanent retainer emergency?

If your permanent retainer breaks, most of the time it is not something extremely urgent. You will likely feel a loose or broken wire or you will feel a shift in one of your composite bonds. If you notice  something like this however, you should reach out to your orthodontist to have it repaired in a timely manner. If the wire of the permanent retainer starts hurting your tongue or bothering you,

please call your orthodontist or Emergency Dentist Edinburgh for repair or new one.


Will my teeth shift if my permanent retainer is broken?

Teeth will tend to shift if they aren’t held in place. If a broken permanent retainer is not repaired after a few weeks – or several months – it is likely that you will see some shifting of your teeth. Those patients with a removable retainer that they wear over top of their teeth as a permanent  retainer backup will not see much, if any, tooth shifting.  Having your removable retainer is a nice reinforcement for your permanent retainer and helps to make sure everything stays in its proper  place.  If you have a removable retainer and you notice a broken permanent retainer, make sure to wear your removable retainer at least every night until you’re able to get in and have your broken permanent retainer repaired. 

What should I do if I have a Dental Emergency in Edinburgh?

Initially, call your own regular dentist as they may have emergency slots and /or advice available You can also call your Local Emergency Dentist. If you are having trouble getting an appointment you can always call us on 0131 629 1158 to book an emergency consultation with one of our experienced dentists or Book Online

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