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Endodontic Emergencies

Dr Talkov speaking with patient photo

It is common in our practice for patients to present to us with problems that have developed suddenly. We make every effort to see patients who have pain or swelling as soon as possible, usually on the same day that we become aware of the problem.

Sometimes after-hour emergencies arise. If this should occur, call our office phone number. Our answering service will take the message and relay it to your doctor. Please allow a reasonable amount of time for us to return your call, but please do call back if more than an hour transpires.

Brookline Office
Peabody Office
Beverly Office
Gloucester Office
Newburyport Office

Dental pain can vary from mild to severe and can often cause systemic symptoms due to infection and pain. These symptoms often develop suddenly and can become life interrupting.

That is why at North Shore and Brookline Endodontics, we see emergency patients as soon as possible. Whether you see your general dentist first or call us directly, we will work you into our schedule ASAP.

We prioritize emergency patients because as specialists in Endodontics (root canal treatment) we are specially trained in the diagnosis of facial and dental pain. We utilize the latest in imaging technology including three dimensional cone beam CBCT, microscopic examination, and our experience gained from over 50 years of serving the needs of patients.

Alleviating dental and facial pain is our specialty. We see patients daily who have developed symptoms suddenly. Our diagnostic and treatment skills allow us to quickly identify the cause of the problem and help patients get back to their regular life.
Eliminating pain while still saving a patient’s natural tooth is a significant service that we are uniquely positioned to provide. We are specialists and our practice is set up to provide emergency care.

We also manage the pain and injury that can result from facial and dental trauma. In collaboration with your dentist and other specialists, we can help save traumatized teeth and quickly get patients back to a pain free natural appearance.
North Shore and Brookline Endodontics has been trusted by patients and Dentists for over 50 years to eliminate pain and to save natural teeth. Call our practice or ask your dentist to refer you to us when you find yourself in need.

Frequently Asked Questions About Emergency Endodontic Treatment

Why would you need an emergency root canal?

The most common reasons why you might need an emergency root canal are when the pulp inside the chamber is compromised after your tooth has sustained severe damage or when you have a serious tooth infection. The pain that results can often be unbearable, making it hard to eat, sleep, work, and go about your normal activities. An emergency root canal is needed in these circumstances not only to alleviate the pain you’re experiencing, but also to save the affected tooth. Without prompt treatment, extraction may be necessary.

How long does an emergency root canal take?
The length of time needed for an emergency root canal depends on the internal anatomy of your tooth. A tooth with complex canals may require as much as two hours to treat and in some cases, two appointments may be needed. A tooth with a single, uncomplicated canal can take about one hour for treatment.
Can I go to the ER for a root canal?
While ERs can prescribe antibiotics and drain an abscess in cases of infection and may provide pain management, they do not have dentists on staff and cannot offer root canal treatment. That means when you go to the hospital, you’ll still need to make an appointment with an endodontist to get the dental treatment you need. Please call NSBENDO and speak with our staff or an on-call doctor before going to the ER.
What helps unbearable tooth pain?
When pain is unbearable, it’s an indication that the affected tooth is severely compromised. While you can use cold compresses, over-the-counter pain relievers, and numbing gel to alleviate the pain temporarily, the only treatment is to address the underlying cause of your pain—often an infection or broken tooth.
What does an infected tooth feel like?
The pain from an infected tooth is usually described as throbbing and deep, radiating throughout the jaw and face. While pain from a cavity may come and go, pain from an infected tooth is usually constant. Other signs of a tooth infection include swelling, pain to biting, pressure, discharge, foul taste or smell, and a pimple-like bump on the gums near the affected tooth.
What can happen if a tooth infection is left untreated?
Tooth infections that are left untreated have the potential to spread to other teeth, soft tissues, and bone. In rare cases, infection can also travel to the brain or chest cavity, which has the potential to be fatal. For this reason, it’s important to seek prompt treatment if you believe you have an infected tooth.
How can I treat an infected tooth without a root canal?
Extraction is the only other option for an infected tooth, but root canals are preferable as it gives you a chance to save your natural tooth. With an extraction, you will eventually need a dental bridge or implant to replace the missing tooth, making it a more costly, time-consuming option.
Looking for a practice in the Greater Boston and Surrounding areas? Contact us at 617-735-8500 to schedule an appointment today!