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Map 165 Bedford St #2
Burlington, MA 01803
Call (781) 272-0441 Dental Emergency Hotline:
(781) 262-3811

Emergency Dentist – Burlington, MA

Rescuing Your Smile When an Emergency Strikes

Dentist and male patient talking to each other

Apples are one of the most delicious fruits out there. The minute you pick one up you can't help but want to sink your teeth in it immediately. But when you pick up that shiny, delicious apple and finally take a bite, the worst happens...CRACK. “Wait, what was that? Did I just crack my tooth?” This is a classic example of a dental emergency, and they rarely happen at a convenient time. Hopefully, you or a loved one never need emergency care, but if you do, we're here for you! In the event of a sudden injury or toothache, contact us right away. With decades of experience, the latest technology and equipment, and a compassionate staff, Dr. James Kostas provides outstanding care as an emergency dentist in Burlington, MA.

How To Handle Common Dental Emergencies

Someone holding a knocked out tooth

Whether a longstanding problem like a toothache flares up or you have an unexpected accident, Dr. Kostas and his staff can handle any type of emergency. The first step is to call our office immediately to schedule the first available appointment. From there, there are several things you can do to stabilize the situation until you can make it in.

Toothache or Swelling

Toothaches can range from mild to severe. Even if you're only having minor discomfort, schedule at your earliest convenience to prevent it from progressing into more serious pain. You can also apply a cold compress and take over-the-counter pain medication for pain until your visit.

If your toothache is painful enough that it prevents you from eating, sleeping, or going to work, we'll do everything we can to see you the same day you call. And if you notice swelling or a pimple-like bump on your gums, you may have a serious infection. Infections can become very dangerous if they spread, so go to an urgent care center or hospital if you can't see us within a few hours. If necessary, they can prescribe antibiotics and buy you some time until you can come in for dental work.

Chipped or Broken Teeth

Unless you have a severely broken tooth, chances are you won't be in severe pain. Regardless, you can always hold a cold compress over the area and use over-the-counter pain medication as directed. You can also cover any sharp edges with dental wax from the store until we can treat you.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If you've knocked out a tooth, do your best to act quickly but calmly. Time is usually the difference between saving a tooth and needing to have one replaced, and we'll have the best chance of saving your tooth if we see you within one hour. If you can't make it in by then, go to the nearest hospital or urgent care center.

As for immediate care, try to handle your tooth as little as possible and only touch the crown, not the root. DON'T wipe it off or scrub it, simply rinse it off. Then try to put it back in its socket, facing the right way. If you're unable to do that, just make sure to keep the tooth moist by either putting it in a cup of milk or holding it in your cheek pouch (only for adults and kids over age 6). If possible, avoid storing it in tap water.

Lost Filling or Dental Crown

If you've lost a filling and have a sharp or jagged edge, cover it with dental wax from the drugstore. If you've lost a crown (either temporary or permanent) rinse it and dry the inside with a Q-tip. Then put a very small amount of dental cement from the store, denture adhesive, or toothpaste inside the crown and put it back on your tooth. Avoid the temptation to use other types of glue because they can cause more harm than good. Finally, chew on the opposite side until you can see us.

How To Prevent Dental Emergencies

Child with a bloody lip

While it's impossible to prevent every emergency, you can take steps to minimize them:

  • Practice good oral hygiene at home to prevent gum disease, cavities, infections, etc.
  • See us for checkups and cleanings every 6 months. Your teeth and gums will stay cleaner and healthier, and Dr. Kostas can find small problems before they turn into emergency situations.
  • To protect your teeth from being chipped, broken or knocked-out, wear custom-made sports guards or nightguards as needed.
  • Don't open packages or bottles with your teeth and avoid chewing on ice, hard candies, etc.

The Cost of Treating Dental Emergencies

Woman seeing an emergency dentist

Each emergency (and each patient) is different. Dr. Kostas may recommend a simple dental filling or you could need something more extensive such as a root canal in Burlington. Our primary goals are to get you out of pain while helping you maintain your long-term oral health. After examining you, we'll explain our findings and try to give you multiple treatment options when we can. Once you've made a decision about how you want to proceed, we'll discuss your treatment costs as well as insurance or financing as necessary.

Emergency Dentist FAQs

Woman talking to dentist about tooth pain

Now you know all about handling, preventing, and treating dental emergencies! If you’d like to learn more to be as prepared as possible, we would love to help. To make the research process convenient, we have taken the time to respond to a few frequently asked questions below. However, if you can’t find the answer you are looking for or would prefer to speak directly with our team, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

What Should I Do If My Jaw Is Fractured?

If your dental injury has resulted in a potentially life-threatening condition, like difficulty breathing, a deep facial cut, or a fractured jaw, then you should call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room right away. While they may not be able to treat the damage sustained to your teeth and gums, they can provide you with the medical attention you need so we can. Just give us a call once you have been discharged so we can schedule a same-day appointment for you with our emergency dentist in Burlington, Dr. Kostas.

How Can I Bring Down Facial Swelling?

One of the most common symptoms of a dental injury is facial swelling. Fortunately, there are a few measures you can take to decrease the inflammation until you get to our office. First, try rinsing with a mixture of salt and warm water. This natural disinfectant is simple to put together, effectively kills harmful bacteria, and can alleviate inflammation. Next, place a cold compress or towel-wrapped icepack against the area for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.

Should I Be Worried If My Tooth Is Sensitive?

Dental sensitivity could stem from receding gums, eroding enamel, or simply genetics. If it is something you’ve struggled with for years and your dentist has confirmed there is nothing to worry about, then try using a special toothpaste and avoiding extremely hot and cold foods and beverages. However, if this is a relatively new symptom, then it is better to be safe than sorry and schedule a same-day appointment. That way, our team can assess the state of your oral health, administer the appropriate treatment, and prevent any further damage from occurring.

What Items Should I Include In My Emergency Dental Kit?

When it comes to dental emergencies, preparation is paramount. Whether you are on your way to our office or have a few hours until your appointment, having the below items on hand can help keep you comfortable until you get to our office:

  • Latex-free gloves
  • Over-the-counter pain medication (like Ibuprofen)
  • Gauze pads
  • Orajel
  • A container large enough to fit a tooth
  • Salt (or a saline rinse solution)
  • A dental mirror
  • Our contact information

Contact Us

Dr. Kostas and our team hope that you never experience a dental emergency. But, if one does occur, you can trust that our team will be ready to assist in whatever way we can. Don't wait -- call our office immediately! We're prepared to handle your emergency with regular office hours 6 days a week as well as broader emergency coverage. Residents in and around the Burlington, MA area, including Bedford, Woburn, Wilmington, Lexington, Billerica, and beyond, are encouraged to see us whenever a dental emergency happens. Remember, time is of the essence, so the sooner you can see us, the better chance you have of saving a tooth.