How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

May 15, 2024

More than 90% of adults in the US have had cavities. Dentists fill cavities to save teeth, but you might need a root canal if the decay is very bad.

If your dentist says you need a root canal, you probably have many questions about the procedure, including how long it takes. Read this blog to find answers.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that removes decay from an affected tooth’s root. This decay often stems from cavities or damage to the tooth and can lead to painful infections that reach the tooth’s pulp and nerve.
During a root canal procedure, the dentist skillfully removes the infection from the pulp, ending the pain and preventing future dental problems.

What are the Signs I May Need a Root Canal?

You might need a root canal to clear the infection if you have an infected tooth. Sometimes, an infected tooth shows no symptoms, but when it does, you might notice:

  • Constant tooth pain: Many things can cause toothache, but pain deep in a tooth or spreading to your jaw, face, or other teeth could signal an infection.
  • Pain when you bite: If your tooth hurts when you eat or touch it, the nerves around your tooth pulp might be damaged.
  • Swollen gums: An infected tooth can make your gums swell or feel tender.
  • Gum pimples: Infected teeth can cause pimples or boils on your gums that ooze smelly pus.
  • Discolored tooth: An infection in the tooth pulp can block blood flow, turning the tooth dark.
  • Loose tooth: Pus from an infected tooth pulp can weaken the bones supporting your tooth, making it feel loose.
  • Swollen jaw: If pus from an infected tooth does not drain, your jaw might swell.

A root canal can preserve the tooth and reduce these symptoms, getting you back to feeling your best.

How Long Does a Root Canal Procedure Take?

The time it takes for a root canal treatment depends on how damaged the tooth is. Usually, it takes between 30 and 90 minutes.

First, the dentist prepares the tooth and gives you a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. Before the procedure, the dentist talks to you about your anesthetic options.

After giving the anesthetic, the dentist opens the top of your tooth to remove and clean the infection. Then, the dentist checks to ensure all the inflammation and infection are gone.

To protect your tooth, the dentist places a crown over it. The crown covers the damaged tooth and blocks more bacteria. The crown attaches to your other teeth, which might take longer.

You should only need one trip to the dentist’s office for the whole process. But, if the dentist can’t finish in one visit, you might need to return. Your dentist might advise you not to drive after the anesthesia.

In a Nutshell

Root canals are safe and effective, and the time it takes for a root canal procedure depends on the severity of your infection and how well you heal.

If you have tooth pain, contact Smile Unique Dentistry today at (832) 391-8660 to schedule your appointment. Soon, you’ll be back to normal!


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