How Long Does Root Canal Therapy Take?
By Burton Gooch on February 11, 2021
Your dental health is worth fighting for. Sometimes, bacteria gets the better of us and overruns a tooth. When tooth decay spreads past a tooth’s outer protective shell, it can expose the root to bacteria and inflammation. This can cause severe pain and eventually lead to losing the tooth if nothing is done.
Thankfully, there are ways to save teeth from decay. One of the most effective methods is a root canal. You may be wondering how long root canal therapy takes. Dr. Burton Gooch and his Birmingham, AL, dentistry team provide insight into the length of time required to save a tooth from infection.
What Is a Root Canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure in which the internal root of the tooth is removed. The procedure falls under endodontics. This essentially means dental work done on the internal dental pulp of a tooth or on the roots of a tooth and any surrounding tissues.
Inside of a tooth is a chamber full of dental pulp. The dental pulp contains nerve endings, which is why the pain from infected roots feels so intense. You can relieve your pain with root canal therapy before it becomes unbearable. Waiting too long could also lead to losing the tooth and the spread of infection to other parts of the mouth.
Will I Need One or Two Visits for a Root Canal?
These days, it is possible to get a root canal in only one visit. At our practice in Birmingham, we offer same-day root canal therapy barring any dental complications.
Some dentists, however, require two visits. During the first visit, the dentist will clean out the pulp and canals, and proceed to disinfect them. On the second visit, the emptied canals are filled in. For teeth such as molars that are used frequently for chewing, a crown is placed to strengthen the tooth.
Average Length of Root Canal Therapy
A root canal procedure can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, and occasionally up to two hours. The length of time you spend in the chair will vary depending on the severity and complexity of your case. Teeth in the far back of the mouth usually take longer to treat, for example.
In general, root canal therapy is not a long procedure. The first visit will usually take around an hour and anesthetic is always used, so be prepared to experience some side effects of anesthesia for the day. If a second second visit is needed, sometimes anesthetic is not required. Again, it depends on each case.
Taking Care of Your Treated Tooth
Once the tooth is treated with a root canal, the restored tooth should last for many years to come. Proper care never hurts, so we offer a couple of suggestions for avoiding future problems:
- Brush and Floss Daily - Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. Floss thoroughly to keep plaque and tartar buildup at bay, and to prevent gum disease.
- Visit Your Dentist for Regular Checkups - Again, it cannot be overstated how important maintaining good oral health is. Go the extra mile and visit your dentist for cleanings at least twice a year. This reduces the risk of a future root canal infection.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Are you looking for a dentist to perform a root canal? Our Birmingham practice has got you covered. Give us a call at (205) 545-8001 or send us a message online to schedule an appointment today.
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"I have never received such individual attention and care, from the moment I walked in the door through the entire cleaning and exam. A completely comfortable and satisfying experience. I look forward to having Dr. Gooch's team take care of my dental health for years to come."Amber L.