How Long Does A Root Canal Take

How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

Team Root Canal

Unlike other parts of the human body, teeth can't heal themselves, especially once they are infected. What's even worse is that if left untreated, infection and inflammation will spread to other oral tissues, teeth, or even areas in the mouth.

If this happens, a root canal is the only way to preserve a natural tooth because neither cleanings nor fillings will adequately remove all of the damaged pulp. The only alternative to a root canal is to remove the entire tooth itself. Pulling a tooth is notably more expensive, involved, and time-consuming than a root canal. Pulling the tooth also comes with the burden of replacing the tooth with an implant, crown, bridge, or partial denture to maintain proper oral function and aesthetics. Therefore, often a root canal is the best treatment.

How Long Does a Root Canal Procedure Take?

A root canal typically takes 30 minutes to an hour, but more complicated cases may take 90 minutes or more. The length of the procedure depends on two factors:

  • How many roots your tooth has: For example, molars can have up to four roots, requiring treatment for up to four canals.
  • How bad the infection is: More severe cases may take 90 minutes or more.

What is Involved in a Root Canal Procedure?

A root canal procedure involves:

  • Applying a numbing medication to the gum
  • Injecting a local anesthetic
  • Drilling a small hole in the top of the tooth
  • Carving out the nerve of the tooth
  • Rinsing the tooth
  • Disinfecting the tooth
  • Sealing the tooth

A root canal usually requires one or two appointments to complete. Molars often take the longest because they can have as many as four roots, requiring treatment for up to four canals.

You may experience some slight discomfort, as with any dental filling. However, some soreness, numbness, or mild discomfort may last for 24-48 hours after the treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Root Canals

Will I Have Discomfort After the Procedure?

After a root canal, some patients experience some tenderness or mild discomfort when biting down that can last for a couple of days. If you are one of them, you can take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, according to package instructions, to help relieve the discomfort.

Will My Dental Insurance Cover the Procedure?

Most dental insurance will cover root canal treatment. It's typically covered because the procedure is necessary for the benefit of your oral health and isn't considered a cosmetic dentistry procedure. Our office can help with the coordination of your dental benefits.

Learn More About Root Canals from Howard Levitt DDS

If you are experiencing pain in your teeth or gums, contact us right away. Our experienced dental provider will treat you with kindness and compassion as we determine what the next steps are. If it becomes evidence that you need a root canal, we will explain the entire procedure and be with you every step of the way. Our goal is to give you the healthiest, best-looking smile possible.

Please call our Brookfield, CT office at 203-775-2225 or request an appointment online.