How Long Does a Root Canal Take

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

Team Endodontics, Root Canal

Do you need a root canal? Root canal treatment can save a tooth that is infected or at risk. If you have a toothache, a deep cavity, or a crack in a tooth, a root canal may be necessary. 

Are you wondering how long a root canal takes? Here’s what you can expect when it comes to root canal treatment. 

What is a Root Canal? 

A root canal is a procedure named for the part of the tooth that it treats. The root canal is the chamber inside each tooth that contains soft tissue called the dental pulp. It begins at the base of the crown and extends down into the root of the tooth. If bacteria finds a way into the root canal, such as through a deep cavity or a crack in a tooth, it can infect the dental pulp, putting the tooth at risk of permanent damage. 

During a root canal procedure a small hole is made in the crown of the tooth to access the root canal and remove the dental pulp. The root canal is cleaned and disinfected, then a replacement material is used to fill the space inside the tooth. Then a crown is placed over the existing tooth in most cases to protect the remaining tooth material. The natural root remains in place for support. 

Average Length of a Root Canal Procedure

A root canal for a single tooth can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes. This includes your total time in the dental chair, not necessarily your wait time beforehand. The exact length of your individual root canal treatment will depend on a variety of factors. 

Factors Affecting the Length of Root Canal Treatment 

The time it takes to get a root canal may vary based on the following factors:

  • Complexity of the root structure. The complexity of the root structure of a tooth will affect the length of the procedure. Some teeth have multiple canals that must be reached for thorough cleaning and disinfecting. This can make a root canal take longer. 
  • Location of the tooth. Ease of access to the tooth being treated can make the procedure shorter or longer. 
  • Size of the tooth. The size of the tooth will affect the length of root canal treatment. A larger tooth will often have a more complex root structure, which can make the procedure take longer.  
  • Number of teeth being treated. If you have more than one tooth that is receiving root canal treatment, each additional tooth will add to the total treatment time. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals

What kind of anesthesia is used for a root canal?

Most patients can receive root canal treatment with local anesthesia alone. This numbs the area being treated so that you won’t feel any discomfort. For patients who are anxious we provide nitrous oxide for light sedation to help you feel more relaxed. 

How long does it take to recover from a root canal? 

The numbness will wear off within a few hours of your procedure. You may feel some mild tenderness in the first 24-48 hours following your root canal, but over the counter pain medication should be sufficient to manage your discomfort. 

Why See an Endodontist for Root Canal Treatment? 

An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canals and related procedures. Their primary focus is on the health of the teeth from the inside, where the dental pulp resides. Eagle Endodontics has the expertise and advanced equipment to provide effective root canal treatment, reducing the chances of needing retreatment later on. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.