How long does a root canal take

A root canal procedure involves removing the inflamed or infected pulp from the inside of the tooth. Your dentist will clean and disinfect the tooth, fill it, and seal it properly. Root canal surgery is required to remove the bacteria from the infected root canal. If you’ve been told by your dentist that you need a root canal procedure, you might be wondering “how long does a root canal take?”. Here is everything you need to know. 

How long does a root canal take? 

After researching root canal, what it is and who needs it (you can read all about it here - what is a root canal), you will want to know what to expect. Most of us get impatient when sitting on the dentist’s chair, which is totally understandable! So how long does root canal take and how long is a root canal procedure? If your tooth has one canal, a simple procedure is required. This takes between 30 and 60 minutes. You could be sitting on the dentist’s chair for longer though - around 90 minutes - depending on the complications and on your specific issue. The reason for the length of time required for a root canal is because the dentist carefully carves out, rinses and disinfects your tooth’s nerves. Also, some cases of teeth with root canal show multiple pulp canals that are inflamed or infected, therefore requiring more time for the procedure. You should keep in mind that anesthesia, setting up, and preparing for the procedure also take several minutes. You can click here for before and after pictures of a root canal (root canal before and after) to know what the procedure entails. 

How long does a root canal take on a back molar?

How long is a root canal treatment, differs with each tooth. Depending on which tooth is being treated and how many pulps are in the root canal, the time spent at your dentist’s can differ. Molars are the teeth that are situated at the back of your mouth. Molars are large teeth and can have up to 4 canals. This makes them time-consuming for the dentist. The root of a molar can take up to an hour to remove, disinfect and fill. If you’re wondering how long does a root canal take on a molar, the answer is 90 minutes and sometimes a bit more. The cost can also differ with the type of tooth being treated. Click here to know everything about a root canal cost

How long does a canine root canal take?

The answer to the question “how long is a root canal procedure” is different when it comes to canine teeth. These teeth are the front teeth of your mouth and have only one root. This makes the procedure faster than molars and premolars. It can take up to 45 minutes to an hour to complete a canine root canal. Also, if a crown is required, you will need to add another appointment which takes up to an hour. This should also be factored in the cost of your root canal procedure (click here to know everything about root canal costs). 

4 factors that affect how long do root canals take

For you to fully grasp how long is the root canal procedure, it is useful to understand each step of the procedure and the factors influencing the treatment you will receive. Below is a list of everything you need to know to estimate root canal time. 

Factor 1 - Type of tooth

As explained in the paragraph above, the time required for a tooth canal depends on the type of tooth being treated and the number of root canals it has. The more the tooth has infected canals, the more time is required for the procedure. 

Factor 2 - X-rays

X-rays are required prior to the procedure and also after it. Your dentist will want to be thorough and check everything in detail before starting and after the procedure to avoid future complications.

Factor 3- Set-up, preparation and anesthesia

Before starting your root canal procedure, your dentist will use an anesthetic to numb the area of the tooth. They will then use sterilized equipment to drill a small hole in your tooth and clean and disinfect the inside of it. 

Factor 4- The need for dental crowns

Your dentist might judge it is necessary to have a dental crown placed on your tooth after the procedure to make sure it is sealed and protected permanently. You will need a follow-up visit for this. 

How long does it take for a root canal to fully heal?

After a successful root canal procedure, you must expect to feel mild pain for several days. The pain is mild and should be easily managed by over-the-counter painkillers. If you’re wondering how long does it take to recover from a root canal, the answer is just a few days if no complications arise. 

Why do root canals take 2 visits?

Root canal usually takes 2 visits to make sure your tooth is properly cleaned, sealed and protected. You can read all about root canal and what it is on this link (what is a root canal).

Key takeaways about how long does a root canal take

Nowadays, root canal is a common procedure that most people undergo. Once you are aware of what it is (root canal) and the costs it entails (root canal cost), you will know what to expect. Root canal treatment usually takes 2 to 3 visits, between x-rays, consultations, the procedure and a follow-up. Take a look at before and after pictures and information when it comes to root canal treatment here (root canal before and after).

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