What Is a Root Canal and How Long Does A Root Canal Procedure Take?

root canal procedure

A quick answer to the question “How long does a root canal take”: 

The average time that a root canal treatment takes is 30 to 60 minutes, in major conditions, it can also take around 90 minutes. 

It requires one or two appointments to complete the treatment.

Many people believe that a root canal is a very painful 30 to 90-minute process. However, it is just a myth. The truth is, root canal treatment is used for removing the pain. As before getting treated the tooth itself hurts.

To clear out all these myths we have written everything about root canals in the below article, so, keep reading and find all the answers to questions related to root canal:

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a pulp chamber present inside a tooth. It contains pul, nerves, and blood vessels. This connects the tooth to bone and gums. 

Root Canal treatment is a procedure to eliminate germs and bacteria from infected root canals. It is a dental procedure that is used to get rid of damaged tooth roots while preserving the natural tooth. When the inflammation and infection increase inside the soft tissues and around the teeth root canal becomes necessary. 

If the infection increases the teeth start turning yellow and black color. Also, you will feel intolerable pain in your teeth, gums, and bone.

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What is a root canal procedure? 

The root canal procedure removes tooth infection due to disinfectants present inside, fills and seals the pulp chamber, and mainly preserves the natural tooth structure with a dental crown. 

Dental crows are the caps placed over a damaged or broken tooth. It is recommended to protect the tooth from breaking and helps in restoring its function.  

The procedure of root canal:

  1. The dentist will numb the surrounding area of the tooth

If you feel difficulty getting numb or suffer from anxiety at the time of the procedure, you can use sedation dentistry, it will make you feel comfortable.

  1. After this, the dentist will create a small opening in your tooth to access the pulp chamber inside the tooth.
  1. The dentist will carefully remove the infection and pulp present in the tooth.
  1. The dentist will thoroughly disinfect and rinse the inside of the tooth.

Also, in major problems, the dentist may place medication inside the tooth to get rid of the infection and will ask you to come for another appointment.

  1. After all this, the dentist will fill the root canal with resin to prevent it from infection and reinforce the structure of the tooth.

Thus, depending upon the severity the root canal process may take 30 to 60 minutes. And in some cases, it may require up to 90 minutes or three regular appointments.

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How many appointments does a root canal procedure require?

Generally, the root canal takes two appointments, one for cleaning and shaping the root canal and the second for filling and sealing the tooth.

Usually, these appointments are scheduled a week apart. The main benefit of taking two appointments is that it ameliorates the challenge of potential flare-ups. Also, it provides a chance for the dentist to monitor the progress of tooth healing.

It’s always recommended to visit your dentist for a dental health checkup a week after any dental process is done to ensure good oral health.

How to identify the need for root canal procedure:

Generally, the need for root canal treatment arises with regular pain in the tooth and jaws.

However, there are some commonly occurring symptoms that help to identify whether you need a root canal procedure or not:

  • Irregular tooth pain
  • Continuous pain in molars
  • Discoloration of teeth
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Pain and swelling in gums
  • Pain while chewing
  • Chips or cracks on the tooth

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What are the causes of tooth infection:

A tooth infection occurs when bacteria reach inside your tooth into the root canal.

Following are some common reasons responsible for tooth infections:

  •  Cavities or tooth decay spreads beneath the enamel layer and into the pulp chamber.
  • Dental damages like chips and cracks. These damages expose the inner layer of the tooth and allow the harmful bacteria to go inside the tooth.
  • Invisible dental trauma.
  • Many times treatment of a single tooth.

Alternative to root canal procedure:

If you’re scared to get a root canal procedure as it’s a bit of a painful procedure you can go for tooth extraction. 

However, it can also cause pain and in this procedure, and, this procedure is more expensive than a root canal and the main thing is that you will lose the benefits of a natural tooth.

Oral care after root canal treatment:

Following are some oral health care tips that you should follow after root canal treatment as these prevent the tooth to get reinfected:

  • Wash mouth 5 times in a day
  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss once in a day
  • Do gargles twice a day
  • Eat soft food
  • Use lukewarm salt water to clean your teeth
  • Avoid spicy food
  • Avoid crispy food
  • Take less amount of sugar
  • Avoid sour food
  • Do not touch the gums

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A root canal is considered as a serious treatment. However, for many people, it doesn’t come out as a painful process as compared to the standard cavity filling procedure. 

Remember that it is better to be in the dentist’s chair than being in an emergency room because of a severe dental infection. 

Also, if you are planning for a root canal and are concerned about how long a root canal takes, ask your dentist as they will tell you the exact time they need for the root canal. Remember that the time of root canal depends upon the severity of the tooth.

Hope you found this article very informative, as it covers everything about root canal procedure and after care.