Brushing, flossing, dentist checkups – you do it all! But sometimes, stubborn bacteria or even an injury can damage the inside of your tooth, even if it looks okay on the outside. The good news? A root canal procedure can save the day!

The whole root canal procedure usually takes 30-90 minutes, but it can vary depending on the complexity of the case.

Keep reading to learn all about root canals, when you might need one, and what affects the length of time they take.

When is a Root Canal Necessary?

Ever heard of the “tooth pulp”? It’s the inner layer of your tooth. Sometimes, this pulp can get damaged or infected. This infection can spread and cause problems. Here’s where a root canal treatment becomes necessary. It removes the infected pulp and saves your tooth.

  • Common causes of pulp damage include cracks, fillings, deep decay, or old injuries.
  • Symptoms of an unhappy pulp include tooth sensitivity, bad breath, discoloration, swollen gums, and loose teeth.

How Long Does It Take to Do a Root Canal?

A simple root canal takes about 30 to 60 minutes if the tooth has one canal. However, be prepared to spend up to 90 minutes at your appointment.

The process takes time because the nerve needs to be removed, cleaned, and disinfected. Some teeth have multiple canals, while others have just one. Anesthesia, setup, and preparation also add a few minutes.

  1. Molars
    Those strong chewing champs in the back of your mouth, called molars, can be trickier for root canals. Why? They can have up to 4 canals where the infection can hide.
    Since the dentist needs to clean each canal carefully, a molar root canal can take a bit longer than a root canal on a front tooth. Expect the whole appointment to take around 90 minutes or more.
  2. Premolars
    Premolars are a bit simpler when it comes to root canals. They usually only have 1 or 2 canals. This means a root canal on a premolar is generally quicker than on a back tooth. The root canal for a premolar can take around an hour or maybe a little longer, depending on your tooth’s condition.
  3. Canine and Incisors
    The front teeth you use for biting and tearing are called canines and incisors. They usually have one root canal, which means a faster procedure than those trickier back teeth.

Still, root canals for front teeth usually take 45 minutes to an hour, not counting the time needed to get a crown. If your dentist can place a crown during the same appointment, which is rare, plan for at least another hour.

This is only possible if the dentist can make the crown in their office on the same day. Often, dentists recommend waiting a bit after the root canal to ensure the tooth has healed and there are no complications before placing a permanent crown.

Wrapping it Up!

Now that you know how long a root canal takes, you should not delay it! A root canal can save a damaged tooth, relieve pain, and preserve your smile. Visit Hermosa Dentistry for a comfortable experience. Call us today to book your appointment:

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