Root Canal Treatment: What to Expect?

A root canal treatment is a dental procedure meant to remove an infected tooth pulp and protect the decontaminated tooth from potential microbial invasion.

When the pulp becomes inflamed, injured, or infected, it needs to be removed to preserve the tooth structure.

If you are wondering, “how is the root canal procedure done?” and “how long does a root canal take?” read on so that you can know what to expect.

Root Canal Treatment

How is Root Canal Treatment Procedure Done?

For a root canal treatment procedure, you have to visit the dentist’s clinic three times.

Here’s what happens during each visit:

  1. During the first visit, they kill the soft tissue in the root canal by sealing it with an inactivating medicine. The dentist surgeon drills through the tooth to assess its condition.
  2. During the second visit, they remove the dead pulp and fill its chamber with an antiseptic solution. Then, they properly clean the cavity and use a needle to measure the canal’s length to know how much filling is needed.
  3. During the third visit, they insert the filling into the tooth cavity and insert cement to ensure it matches the root canal’s shape. Finally, they completely seal the canal to avoid any bacterial infestation.

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

Time spent on your root canal depends on your tooth complexity, your surgeon’s skill, and the medical equipment they use.

Generally, the procedure takes around 20 minutes for front teeth and approximately 40 minutes for back molars. You have to visit the dentist three times, each visit taking around 60, 25, and 40 minutes respectively.

Advanced level dentists can complete all three procedures in a single sitting, which takes around 2 hours in total. However, keeping your mouth open for such a long time can lead to mouth muscle injury.

Root Canal Treatment: Is it Painful?

With the help of anesthetics and modern techniques, dentists try to make the root canal procedure as comfortable for the patient as possible.

However, you may feel minor tooth sensitivity for the first few days after the procedure. Your endodontist may prescribe some medicines to relieve the discomfort.

However, if you feel severe pressure or pain in the area, it’s better to seek medical help.

Costs Involved

The cost depends on the location of the affected tooth and the condition’s complexity. Treatment of molars is complex, so it may cost more than front teeth.

Check if your dental insurance plan covers the cost of your endodontic treatment.

Precautions to Take During Root Canal Treatment

You may typically eat up to one hour before the root canal procedure. But it’s recommended to brush your teeth before going to your appointment. Once the treatment is done, avoid eating hot or harrowing foods that may hurt your teeth.

Eat soft food items like fish, eggs, yogurt, and applesauce, as they require minimal chewing. Your endodontist may suggest not to eat anything for a few hours until your mouth numbness subsides.

Now that this article has answered your question, “how long does a root canal take?” ensure that you follow your dentist’s instructions carefully before, during, and after the root canal procedure.

Usually, they would advise you to avoid eating hard and chewy foods, brushing your teeth twice a day, and being cautious around the treated area. With a little care, you can save your smile and relieve your condition.