If decay is left untreated, it can make its way deep inside of your tooth. And once it reaches the inner area where the pulp is located, a root canal may be required.
It is not uncommon for patients to worry when they hear that a root canal treatment is needed. After all, it has been viewed as a long, invasive procedure for decades. Truth is, root canals are very routine in dentistry today - much like filling a cavity. And, endodontists specialize in them.
So, how long does a root canal take? Generally about 30 to 60 minutes. Though, let’s dig into it a little more.
What Is a Root Canal?
The root itself is the inside of the tooth that contains the pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. And it is what secures the tooth to the gums and bone. Each of these roots has at least one root canal. As the infection spreads into this area it becomes infected and inflamed, requiring treatment.
The area is small and can often contain very intricate root canals where the infection needs to be addressed. Root canal treatment involves removing the pulp area and clearing out the infection before sealing the tooth back up. It is common for your endodontist to recommend that you cover the tooth with a dental crown following your root canal procedure. This will allow the tooth to have greater integrity and a healthy tooth structure.
There are a few different things that may cause this infection in your tooth that requires a root canal. A few of the most common are:
- Tooth decay that made its way through the enamel
- Dental trauma
- Multiple dental treatments to the same tooth
- Chips, cracks, or other dental issues can make an easy way for bacteria to enter
Signs You May Need a Root Canal
A dental professional - primarily an endodontist - is the best person to tell you whether or not you need a root canal. Though there are a few symptoms that may signal to you that you could potentially be dealing with an infected tooth.
- Tooth pain that is chronic or that comes and goes
- Sensitivity to temperatures, such as hot and cold food and beverages.
- Swollen, inflamed gums
- Tooth discoloration
- Tooth pain when biting or chewing - or even touching the tooth
- A broken chipped, or cracked tooth
Keep in mind that not all of these symptoms mean you definitely need a root canal as they could also be present for other dental health conditions. This is why it is so important to see your endodontist as soon as possible.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Ok, so now that you know why root canals are so important - and that they are very routine, common procedures - how long will it take? It depends. As we have said, on average, a root canal may take 30 to 60 minutes. Though, in reality, the time it takes to do a root canal will depend on which tooth is being treated and how complex the infection and root canal are.
Canines and incisors have one root and can take between 30 and 60 minutes for the actual root canal procedure. On the other hand, molars (your back teeth) can have multiple roots and may take a little longer - say, 90 minutes or even longer.
The entire time, you will be at ease thanks to local anesthesia - and you won’t feel a thing.
Highly-Skilled Root Canal Procedures
If your dentist has advised that you need a root canal or you are experiencing some of the signs mentioned above, you will want to seek out the most experienced endodontists for your treatment. And that is what you will find at Cragun Endodontics.