Root canal therapy is necessary for stopping your dental pain and saving your tooth after your dental pulp has become infected. When planning the procedure, one question that you’ll probably want to ask your endodontist is, “How long should I expect the treatment to take?” This question can have a few different answers depending on your situation; here are the basics covering what to expect on the day of your root canal therapy.
What’s the Average Amount of Time for Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal can last anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours. This wide range is due to the fact that some treatments are going to be more complex than others. It partly depends on how severe the infection is, but one of the biggest factors to consider is the specific tooth that’s being treated. Each tooth contains a number of root canals that need to be disinfected in order to complete root canal therapy; the more canals a tooth contains, the lengthier you can expect the treatment to be.
How Long Can I Expect Root Canal Therapy to Take for Specific Teeth?
Your endodontist may be able to give you a more specific estimate for the length of root canal therapy based on the kind of tooth being treated:
- Molars: Molars tend to take the most time to disinfect, as they can contain as many as four root canals. You can generally expect the treatment to take 90 minutes at minimum, especially since the roots alone can take at least an hour to clean and fill.
- Premolars: There are only one or two roots in each premolar, meaning they aren’t as complex to treat as the molars. The average root canal will last an hour, although it may take a bit longer depending on the anatomy of your teeth.
- Canine and incisors: The teeth near the front of your mouth only have one root each, which typically makes them the easiest to work with when it comes to root canal therapy. The treatment can take about 45 minutes to one hour.
Note that if you receive a crown to restore your tooth on the same day as your actual root canal therapy, then you can expect to add an hour to the estimates listed above. If you don’t get a crown right away (which is usually due to the endodontist wanting to make sure there are no further complications before restoring the tooth), an additional appointment will need to be scheduled.
Knowing how long root canal therapy is expected to take can help you plan for the day of the procedure. Talk to your endodontist to get a better grasp on the expected timeline, and be sure to ask any questions you might have on what you should do to prepare ahead of time.
About Endodontic Associates Saratoga
At Endodontic Associates Saratoga, we have three friendly and experienced endodontists on our staff, all of whom have years of hands-on experience helping patients keep their natural smiles whole with root canal therapy. We use the latest technology to help us perform our treatments more efficiently without compromising on quality or safety. If you’d like to learn more about the root canal process, you can schedule a consultation with us by visiting our website or calling (408) 255-6511.