How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

Are you feeling anxious about getting root canal treatment for the first time? Your head must be full of questions and that is normal considering all the rumors that are being said about the whole procedure.

Knowing what to expect ahead of time will help in lowering your anxiety and stress levels during the entire process and in this article we are going to answer one question that might be popping up in your head, “How long does a root canal take?’’.

How Many Visits Are Needed To Complete The Root Canal Treatment?

The type of your tooth (Anterior teeth – Posterior teeth), the severity of the infection and the complexity of your tooth’s anatomy (Curved roots - Narrow canals) play a role in determining the number of appointments that are needed to complete the root canal treatment and the length of each one of them.

Usually, most root canals can be treated in one or two visits but if you have extremely infected teeth, you may need several visits in order to control the infection.

A medication which has the ability to kill the bacteria as calcium hydroxide may be placed in your tooth between the appointments for one or two weeks after cleaning the root canal system.


What Is The Difference Between Single And Two-Visit Endodontic Treatment Protocol?

Single-visit treatment protocol depends on:

  • killing a large number of microorganisms during cleaning the root canals.
  • Burying the residual bacteria by the root canal obturation.
  • That will result in depriving the remaining bacteria of nutrition and space which are necessary for its survival.

Moreover, root canal sealant and the zinc ions of gutta-percha have an antimicrobial effect which can help in getting rid of the residual bacteria.

Usually, the length of a single – visit treatment can take from 30 to 60 minutes while complicated cases can take up to 90 minutes. If you are experiencing any pain or swelling during the appointment, your dentist will probably choose double – visit treatment.

Check out this video which shows a single appointment root canal treatment:

While two-visit endodontic treatment protocol depends on:

  • Cleaning and shaping the root canal of your tooth in the first visit.
  • Using of extra disinfecting agents and irrigants which are able to remove the microorganisms from your root canal system prior to the obturation.
  • The second visit is usually used for root canal sealing and obturation.

What Are The Advantages Of The One-Visit Endodontic Treatment?

  • Reducing the number of your dental appointments and the occurrence of severe pain and swelling.
  • Avoiding root canal contamination and bacterial re-growth.

What Are The Disadvantages Of The One-Visit Endodontic Treatment?

  • It can be tiring and uncomfortable to you as it may last 90 minutes.

What Are The Advantages Of Multiple-Visit Endodontic Treatment?

  • Calcium hydroxide can be placed between the appointments.
  • Your dentist will be able to monitor the progress of the healing process.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Multiple-Visit Endodontic Treatment?

  • If you feel apprehensive about going to your dentist, this will be a bit difficult to you as you will have to pay multiple visits to the dental office.
  • Recontamination of the canals between visits.

So How Long Does A Root Canal Treatment Take?

You should keep in your mind that the length of your upcoming root canal procedure is going to change according to your case.

So, mostly if you aren’t suffering from a severe infection, your root canal treatment can take up to 60 min and it probably won’t need more than one visit to be completed.

On the contrary, if you are suffering from a severe infection, you should expect that the treatment will take a little more time because you will probably need two or multiple dental visits in order to complete your treatment.

After all, studies have proved that there is no difference in the healing rates between single and double or multiple-visit endodontic treatments. So, there is no need to worry about which treatment protocol is the best for you. Leave that to your dentist and rest assured that he will choose the one that is convenient and works best for your case.

Kindly, leave a comment if you have any further questions.

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