Has your dentist recently recommended that you get a root canal? There’s so much misinformation floating around regarding this procedure, so you’re a bit worried. One of your concerns is the amount of time you’ll have to spend in the dental chair. You don’t want to take too much time out of your hectic schedule, even if it is essential for your oral health. Just how long does a root canal take? Keep reading to find out!
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
There’s a pervasive rumor that root canal therapy is painful, but this treatment is nothing to fear. In fact, it’s designed to relieve your pain by targeting the source – an infection in the center of the tooth, known as the pulp. By removing the pulp and sanitizing the inner chambers of your tooth, it is saved from further damage that might otherwise require it to be extracted entirely.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
In general, you can expect a root canal to take between 30 and 90 minutes. Of course, every case is different, and your dentist can give you an estimate during your consultation.
The main variable that affects how long a root canal takes is the location of the tooth that is being treated. Usually, the farther back in the mouth the tooth is located, the longer a root canal will take. This is because front teeth typically only have one or two roots that must be cleaned out, while molars can have as many as four.
The Steps of a Root Canal
To give you a better idea of what to expect, here’s a basic breakdown of the steps of root canal therapy:
- Anesthesia – First, your mouth is numbed to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. If you need additional help relaxing, you may be offered nitrous oxide sedation.
- Cleaning the tooth roots – After creating a small hole to access the inside of your tooth, the diseased pulp is removed. An antibacterial disinfectant is applied to eliminate any lingering bacteria.
- Refilling the tooth – To retain the tooth’s shape, the roots are filled with a synthetic material.
- Crown – Once the tooth is sealed back up, a temporary dental crown is placed over it for protection. You’ll return to your dentist’s office in a few weeks to receive a permanent crown that is customized to look and feel natural.
If you have a root canal scheduled in the near future, you have nothing to worry about! Rest assured that your dentist and their team will make your treatment incredibly comfortable, efficient, and quick.
About the Author
Dr. Gregory C. Gell is a board-certified endodontist in Concord, NC, meaning he has achieved the highest level of specialization in root canal therapy possible. Over his 30+ years of practicing, he has kept up with the latest technology and techniques that allow him to make root canals safe and effective. To learn more about how long you can expect your root canal to take, you can contact Afton Endodontics at 704-784-4625.