How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

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JulesMannJune 25, 2022

A root canal treatment can take between 30 and 60 minutes if the dentist has to perform it on single teeth. However, you should be prepared to give at least 1 to1½ hour of preparation for the treatment. 

A root canal treatment takes significant time because, in this procedure, your dentist removes nerves or dead tissues and then cleans and disinfects it. But sometimes your teeth have multiple pulp canals, and anesthesia set-up and preparation also take a few minutes. But the question arises: How long does it take to do a root canal? And what is a root canal treatment? 

What is a root canal?

Root canal treatment is an essential therapy to save your teeth from eruption or prevent further infection from spreading from other parts of your body, including the neck, jaw, or even to the brain. In this procedure, your dentist will remove the core of your tooth when it gets infected or dead. Moreover, your teeth’ core consists of blood vessels and nerve tissues.  

Your dentist recommends a root canal procedure to save damaged or severely infected teeth instead of extracting them. 

The primary cause of tooth pulp damage or infection are cavities due to plaque and tartar buildup, cracked or broken teeth due to injury, trauma, or gum diseases, and bad oral practices. This may result in pulp inflammation and infection, which is also an irreversible procedure(Pulp inflammation). You will experience immeasurable pain and swelling; however, this pain may be subsidies but returns as the infections spread. Thus, contact a dentist if you experience pain and swelling around your gums and teeth.  

How long does a root canal procedure take?

The entire root canal process may take at least 1-2 dental visits or more, depending on the severity of your tooth. And each sitting takes at least 30-90 minutes; however, a root canal specialist performs root canal treatment under local anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain or discomfort. 

  • Initially, your dentist examines your tooth condition with the help of scanning and X-rays. Also, they will ask a few questions like any medical history, use of any medication drug, etc. 
  • Then your dentist administers local anesthesia to start the procedure. 
  • After the tooth and surrounding area become numb, the dentist will make an opening in your tooth with the help of drilling to access the pulp chamber. If it is your front teeth, they will make an opening at the back of your teeth. 
  • With the help of dental files will clean out the infected and diseased portion of your teeth. Once the dead pulp is removed, the dentist cleans and disinfects the treated site. 
  • Then they will reshape the canal with fine instruments so the dentist can fill it with sutta-percha and sealant.  
  • After the root canal, many dentists recommend tooth caps to increase the durability of your dental treatment and strengthen your teeth bite. 
  • Sometimes if the cavity is too large, your dentist inserts a post next to the gutta-percha to support your crown.

How long does it take to recover from a root canal?

In most cases, patients take a few days to root canal recovery time. As the anesthesia effect goes down, you may feel irritation or soreness for the first few hours. In this condition, your dentist prescribes over-the-counter medication such as painkillers and antibiotics. Also, they will recommend a cold compress to relieve the pain and make an easy recovery. Moreover, you don’t need to compromise your dental practice, such as bruising and flossing. However, after root canal treatment, if you continue to feel any of the signs and symptoms, visit your dentist to know the reason behind it: 

  • If you feel uncomfortable while biting or chewing.
  • The swelling or pain does not subside even after one or two days of treatment.
  • Suppose the temporary filling comes out.
  • If you continue to experience swelling or pain in your gums after 24 hours of the treatment 


Suppose you experience any pain or swelling around your gums and teeth. In that case, you should immediately visit a dentist for proper treatment and diagnosis of the issue.

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