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Racy Root Canals: How Long Do They Usually Take?

December 5, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — smiledmd @ 7:55 pm
Close up of a severely damaged tooth requiring a root canal

No one wants to hear that they need a root canal, but if you have an incredibly damaged tooth, it’s sometimes necessary. To preserve your tooth and avoid an extraction, your dentist will need to remove any decayed or infected areas, and then fill and seal them back up to prevent further harm. While it sounds like a long and tedious procedure, that’s fortunately not necessarily true. Keep reading to learn more about how long it takes to get a root canal so you can be better prepared!

How Long Do Root Canals Usually Take?

Because everyone’s situation is different, only your dentist can give you an accurate estimate of how long they expect your surgery to last. It also depends on how many teeth, and which ones, need to be repaired. You can safely estimate the following timelines for each type of tooth:

  • Canines and incisors: 45 to 60 minutes. These are in the front of your mouth so they’re easy to reach, and each only has 1 root.
  • Premolars: 60 minutes. Though they’re slightly further back, they’re still relatively easy to access but can have up to 2 roots which take longer to treat.
  • Molars: 90+ minutes. These are in the back of your mouth and have 4 roots which require more work.

This is enough time for your dentist to apply a local anesthetic, gently drill into your tooth to eradicate the infection, and then close it back up. They’ll probably finish up by fitting you for a dental crown to protect the vulnerable pearly white from potential injury down the road.

How Long Until I Recover from a Root Canal?

It usually doesn’t take more than two weeks to fully heal after your appointment. Though it depends on your circumstances, generally you can expect the following symptoms:

  • The day of the root canal: You’ll begin to feel some irritation as the numbing agent wears off, but typically you can relieve aches with over-the-counter medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen.
  • 1 to 2 days after: You may continue to feel mild tenderness.
  • 3 to 5 days after: Any noticeable pain and swelling should abate.
  • 6 to 10 days after: All your discomfort should be resolved.

If you still have a toothache after two weeks, be sure to let your dentist know. They may want to schedule a follow-up appointment to verify whether you’re healing correctly or developed a complication.

Fortunately, it’s rare to experience symptoms more than two weeks after your procedure. That means it won’t be long before you can get back to life as usual!

About the Practice

At Newton Corner Dental Care, three experts provide a wide range of oral health services all under one roof, including root canals. Our dentists want you to feel calm and comfortable, so work diligently to offer world-class care while taking the time to get to know you and your concerns. We use state-of-the-art technology to provide you with accurate, efficient treatment options for results that last. If you have a toothache and would like to make an appointment, you’re welcome to request one on the website or by calling (617) 332-6232.

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