How Long Does A Root Canal Take?
Like many people, you may be anxious about hearing you need a root canal. This procedure removes the damage in your tooth’s roots while preserving your natural tooth. These become necessary when infection or inflammation develops in the soft tissue inside and surrounding one of your teeth.
The damaged tissue is carefully removed, and your tooth is sealed so new bacteria can’t enter. With more than 15 million taking place in the United States each year, you aren’t alone in wondering just how long it will take.
What’s Involved in A Root Canal Procedure?
To know how long your root canal may take, it is important to know what goes into one. There are several steps, but all of them are pretty straightforward. At your appointment, you can expect:
- The dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the entire area where your tooth or teeth are being treated.
- They will use sterilized equipment to drill a small hole in your tooth. The insides of your tooth will then be slowly cleaned, removing any damaged tissue or infection.
- The dentist will rinse the inside of your tooth several times. They may place medication inside your tooth to kill off any remaining bacteria if they suspect any infection is still present.
- They will take x-rays to ensure that the tooth is completely clean.
- If you return to have the root canal completed or have a dental crown placed, the hole in your tooth will be filled with a temporary material. If your dentist finishes the root canal in one appointment, they place a more permanent restoration.
A crown may be placed during a follow-up to protect and seal your tooth permanently. Crowns can be important after a root canal, especially for back teeth used in chewing, because removing the tooth’s pulp weakens it.
How Long Does it Take?
Since you know what goes into a root canal, we can determine how long it can be. A simple root canal procedure can take between 30 and 60 minutes if the tooth has one canal. You should prepare to spend about 90 minutes in the dentist’s chair for a root canal appointment.
A root canal takes significant time because your nerve needs to be carved out, rinsed, and disinfected. Some teeth have multiple pulp canals, while others have just one. Anestentisa, set-up, and preparation also take time.
The location of the tooth that needs a root canal is also an impacting factor. Your back teeth will take more time because they have more roots. For the most part, you should also expect to have to come back after a few weeks to get your permanent crown placed to ensure everything went smoothly.