Root canals are widely used to save damaged teeth because they have over a 97% success rate of preventing an extraction. Your dentist may recommend root canal therapy to rehabilitate an infected or severely compromised tooth. Although they have a bad reputation for being painful, new innovations in dentistry make them virtually pain-free. You’ll also be surprised to learn the process is much quicker than before. Here’s how long you can expect the process to take.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
A root canal is an endodontic procedure used to extract the inner layer of the tooth, called the pulp. The tooth is sterilized and sealed before placing a dental crown over it to restore its function and appearance. This also creates an added layer of protection to avoid future complications.
Traditionally, the entire process would take at least 2 appointments. During the first visit, your tooth would be prepared, and an impression would be taken of your mouth. A temporary crown would be necessary because the permanent restoration was created at an off-site dental lab. Once the crown has been sent back to the office, you would need to return for a second appointment to have it bonded in place.
You don’t need to worry about missing several days of work or dealing with a temporary crown. You can have the procedure and receive your permanent crown in just one day using CEREC technology.
How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Several factors influence the duration of your procedure, such as which tooth is being treated and the number of root chambers. On average, you can expect it to take:
- Anterior: 1 hour
- Premolar: 1-1.5 hours
- Molar: 1.25-2 hours
After your mouth is numb, your dentist will open and shape the root canal space using special dental instruments. Your tooth will be disinfected before sealing it with a material called gutta-percha. Next, you won’t need to hold a messy foul-tasting material in your mouth for several minutes. Instead, you’ll save time and avoid discomfort with a digital impression, which takes a quick scan of your tooth to create a 3D model of your tooth.
Your dentist will use CAD/CAM technology to design your restoration using the scan. The information is then sent to an in-office milling machine, where your crown is cut from a single block of all-ceramic material. In about 1 hour, your crown is ready to be bonded to your tooth, so you won’t need a temporary crown or second appointment. Your tooth may be tender for a few days, but you don’t have to take time off work for a long recovery.
Save Your Tooth Today
Your dentist will create a personalized plan to rehabilitate your tooth. You’ll enjoy a streamlined treatment to restore a healthy, beautiful smile.
About Dr. John Verbeyst
Dr. Verbeyst earned his dental degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1988. Throughout his 24-year career, he has regularly continued his training to provide advanced services. He combines his training with state-of-the-art technology to deliver superior care. If you need a root canal, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.