Dental Emergencies


Emergency decorative image

Whether it’s an infected tooth or another endodontic emergency, when you need urgent treatment from an endodontist, waiting can be both stressful and painful. That’s why our team at Contemporary Endodontics of Oklahoma is committed to giving immediate attention to all emergency situations. We’ll make arrangements to see you as soon as possible if you call during our regular office hours.

After hours, call our office and follow the instructions provided. We will return your call as soon as we can. In the case of a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency room for treatment.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Emergency Endodontic Treatment

Why would you need an emergency root canal?

Emergency root canals are typically needed in two circumstances: a badly infected tooth or a tooth that has been severely damaged, compromising the pulp. In both situations, the result is unbearable tooth pain that makes it difficult to eat, sleep, and go about your daily activities.

How long does an emergency root canal take?

A root canal can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the reason the procedure is needed and the anatomy of the canal. In some cases, two appointments may be needed.

Can I go to the ER for a root canal?

If you go to the emergency room with tooth pain, they can help with pain management and prescribe antibiotics, but ERs don’t have dentists on staff, so you’ll still need to make an appointment to get the root canal you need. For this reason, we advise making an appointment with us, rather than going to the ER and then also seeing an endodontist later. 

What helps unbearable tooth pain?

If your tooth pain is unbearable, it’s a sign that your tooth is seriously compromised. The only way to treat this pain is to address the underlying cause, which is often a fractured tooth or infection. In the meantime, cold compresses, over-the-counter pain relievers, and numbing gels can temporarily alleviate the pain you’re experiencing.

What does an infected tooth feel like?

An infected tooth produces severe, throbbing pain that is constant and often radiates to the jaw, neck, and ear. You may notice a small pimple-like bump on the gums—this is an abscess. The area surrounding your tooth is often swollen and warm to the touch and you may have discharge and a foul taste or smell coming from the affected tooth.

What can happen if a tooth infection is left untreated?

If your tooth infection isn’t treated, it won’t go away on its own—it will continue to cause pain and can spread to other teeth, the soft tissues in your mouth, your jawbone, and even other parts of your body. If infection spreads in this way, it has the potential to be fatal.

How can I treat an infected tooth without a root canal?

An infected tooth can be extracted, but it’s always preferable to save your natural tooth if possible. Not only is this better for your oral health, it also costs less in the long-term.