What You Should Know About Root Canals
Do you need to have a root canal performed on one or more of your teeth? If this is your first time, then you probably don’t know what to expect. Here are some of the basic things you need to know about getting a root canal done.
Can a Root Canal be Completed in One Visit?
To begin with, you should know that a root canal treatment can be completed in just one visit, but there is also the more traditional two (or more)-visit approach. With more than one visit, the first appointment is usually dedicated to the task of cleaning and shaping the tooth’s root canal system. About a week later, the second appointment takes place and is used to fill and seal the tooth. Since the ‘90s, however, the single visit treatment has gained not only widespread acceptance, but popularity as well, as soon as people realized that this approach does not compromise treatment quality.
Can we say that one approach is better than the other? Both have their advantages, of course. It’s really a matter of choosing the most suitable option for each case. For instance, if the tooth still harbors some live pulp, then a single appointment is probably the preferred treatment choice. In cases wherein the entire root canal harbors bacteria, multiple appointments are probably necessary. The same is true for complex cases or cases wherein the patient is suffering from pain, swelling, or tenderness.
One of the things you’re probably eager to find out is the length of time an appointment lasts. How long do root canals take? Over the past decades, experts have discovered new techniques while dental equipment manufacturers have introduced new devices and machines that improved the efficiency of the root canal procedure. This is definitely the reason why single-visit treatment is now possible.
How Much Time Does a Root Canal Take?
A good estimate of any single root canal appointment is about 30 minutes to an hour, with the possibility of it extending for about 30 minutes more. If you can’t commit to a long session for whatever reason (schedule issues, jaw joint difficulties, problems with sitting still for extended periods of time, etc.), you have to inform your dentist that the treatment has to be broken down into multiple visits. On the other hand, if you really have a strong preference for fewer visits, then you need to signify this to your dentist as well.
So, how long do root canals take? You can assume at least 30 minutes. At the end of the day, the duration really depends on the condition of your tooth and how much time you’re willing to commit to a single visit.