A root canal can seem like a daunting procedure, especially if you’ve never gotten one before. When patients hear that they need one, the first question that usually pops up in their head is, “How long will it take?”. Although it’s hard to say with certainty the exact amount of time you’ll spend in the treatment chair, the process is much quicker than you might think. That said, here’s how long you can expect your root canal to take and what the recovery process usually looks like.
What Is a Root Canal?
The pulp chamber inside the tooth that contains the pulp, nerves, and blood vessels is called the root canal. It’s what connects the tooth to your bone and gums. When a root canal becomes infected or inflamed, it will need root canal therapy to treat it. Otherwise, the infection can spread to other parts of your body and cause you more pain and other complications down the line. If you leave it untreated for too long, your only viable solution would be an extraction, which is far more extensive and costly than a root canal procedure.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Root canal therapy involves removing the infection and damaged tissue from within your tooth. Your dentist will clean out the inside, disinfect it, fill it with sterile material, and close it again. The healthy tooth structure is preserved with a dental crown or other restoration. On average, a root canal treatment typically takes about 30 to 90 minutes to complete. Of course, it depends on the severity of the infection and how many roots the tooth has.
Here’s the average time it takes for each tooth:
- Molars – These are located in the back of your mouth and have up to four roots. It usually takes about 90 minutes or longer to completely clean out.
- Premolars – These are between your molars and anterior teeth, having only one or two roots. It can take about 45-90 minutes to perform a root canal.
- Canines – These only have one root, meaning a root canal should only take about 45-60 minutes.
What to Expect During Your Recovery
In most cases, patients only require a few days to recover from root canal therapy. After the procedure, you may experience mild soreness and irritation for the first 24 to 48 hours. You can manage this discomfort with a prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. For some added relief, you can also apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek over the area where you had a root canal. By diligently following your dentist’s aftercare instructions, you can expect to make a speedy and smooth sailing recovery!
Root canal therapy is designed to relieve your pain and restore your oral health as quickly as possible. Thanks to modern practices and advanced technology, your dentist can remove any infection and strengthen your tooth in no time at all!
About the Practice
At Endodontic Associates Saratoga, we have three highly trained dental professionals on our team who can resolve even your most sensitive and complex dental problems. Our team will always go the extra mile to ensure you receive the best treatment possible. If you need root canal therapy, you couldn’t be in better hands than our endodontists, who are experts at performing this treatment. To make an appointment, visit our website or call (408) 255-6511.