How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

I found a few interesting facts for you: According to the American Association of Endodontics, more than 15 million root canals are performed each year in the U.S. AAE research shows that patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than patients who have not had root canal treatment.

Why is a root canal such a dreaded procedure? The truth is, the thing that causes the actual pain is the infection within the root of the tooth. The root canal is just the procedure that eliminates the pain and actually saves the tooth.

The Journey Towards a Root Canal

It starts out innocent enough. A small spot of bacteria goes unchecked and makes itself at home on the enamel of the tooth. The decay deepens over time and digs further into the tooth and finally enters the root of the tooth. This can be very painful. What started out as a simple cavity is now in need of a root canal.

But, how long does a root canal actually take and what exactly happens to the tooth?

Great question! First, let’s cover appointment times. Root canals for a molar will usually take an hour and a half and all other teeth will usually take about an hour. The root canal involves removing the blood supply and nerve from the tooth. Once the infection is gone, the pain usually goes away. Honestly, this part is not so different from getting a cavity filled, but we are not done yet.

A tooth that is no longer able to access the body’s blood supply will become brittle over time and is vulnerable to breakage. So, a crown is usually necessary and put in place to protect as much of the natural tooth as possible. In most cases, your dentist will prescribe three things:

  1. Root canal procedure
  2. Build-up
  3. Crown

Build-up sounds like a pep talk, which you may feel like you need after hearing that you need a root canal. But, the build-up is actually necessary to support your tooth and the crown. It’s sort of like when you dig a hole to place a fence pole, and you always pack the hole with cement to ensure that your fence is secure. The build-up in this analogy is the cement. Root canals are actually pretty common and we treat them all the time.

Don’t Play Doctor

If you are experiencing pain and are concerned that a root canal may be necessary, feel free to call our dental office in Boise. Let us be the doctor and put an end to that nagging tooth pain!

Call our South East Boise office to schedule an appointment today.

~Dr. Wagner