How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

Root canal procedures takes two to three appointments to complete usually – but much depends on the individual case.

In this procedure, the infected or dead tissue from within a tooth will be removed. If the infection is left untreated, it can damage the tooth, but it can also spread to other parts of the mouth and decay other healthy teeth too. Therefore, it’s crucial that you treat an infected tooth as quickly as possible, so please seek immediate dental assistance in these cases. A root canal would likely save a tooth that would otherwise have needed to be extracted.

Why do I need a number of appointments?

On your first visit to your dentist, they will remove any infected pulp in the tooth canal and then proceed to apply an antibiotic to eliminate any bacteria from the treatment site. If you were experiencing discomfort before this, you might feel some relief after your first appointment since the infection has been removed by the dentist.

The time between your first and second appointments is crucial, as this will be to allow enough time to ensure the infection is completely eliminated. The dentist will clean the tooth canal thoroughly and sterilize it at your second appointment.

Once the canal is fully clean and infection free, your dentist will have to make the decision whether to fill up the root canal with a sterile compound, to ensure no bacteria can reenter the tooth canal in future, or whether to monitor the tooth further and fill it at a final, third visit. The procedure will be similar to a filling, but inside your tooth.

How much time will I be in the dental chair?

Since everyone is different and every tooth is different, to put an exact time to it is impossible. But as an estimate, the treatment takes between 90 minutes and 4 hours over the 2-3 appointments it would take to complete the root canal procedure.

Why do the times vary so much?

There are four types of teeth in our mouths – incisors, canines, premolars and molars. They are each made up of a different number of roots and root formations. Incisors, canines and premolars usually are made of one root but molars could have three or even sometimes four roots. These molars with multiple roots take a longer time to treat than a regular canine with one canal.

The roots of your teeth are not like straight pipes – imagine them more like a bendy straw. It will take time to eliminate the infection from the twists and turns inside the root canal. Another complication is when calcium deposits show up on your teeth as you age. They can be bone like in structure and quite tough to breakdown. They reduce the width of the root canal and this could lead to a hard time for the dentist who has to navigate around all the calcified bits to ensure the full length of the root canal is fully clean and infection-free.

Typically these procedures take three appointments to complete, but each case is different. Sometimes you could complete the treatment in two visits or even just a single appointment. Your dentist will be able to guide you best on your individual case.

Call us now!

If it’s time for a root canal, our experienced dentists can help get you back to feeling great.

To make an appointment call our friendly staff on (07)3067 7990 or book online.