How long does root canal treatment last? - Treatment and side effects - The Smart Health Center (2023)

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Sometimes infections are caused by bacteria that get into the pulp of the tooth. To save the tooth in this situation, a root canal is needed. Infected pulp is removed during this procedure and the tooth is sealed to prevent reinfection.

A root canal usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. It can take up to an hour and a half to treat a larger tooth with multiple roots.

The procedure steps, typical times for different teeth, and the possibility of multiple visits are covered in this blog post that explains how long a root canal takes.

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What is a root canal?

An infected or abscessed tooth may experience pain that is relieved by root canal treatment. The swollen pulp is removed during the root canal procedure. After disinfecting and cleaning the inner surfaces of the tooth, a filling is applied to close the opening.

How long does a root canal last?

The number of appointments required for a root canal depends on the severity of the infection in your tooth. A root canal usually lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. It can take up to an hour and a half to treat a larger tooth with multiple roots.

When is root canal treatment necessary?

When oral bacteria infect the tooth pulp, you need a root canal. When a cavity is neglected for a long period of time, this often happens. Also, it can occur when trauma causes your tooth to crack or become damaged.

How long does root canal treatment last? - Treatment and side effects - The Smart Health Center (1)

What are some symptoms that indicate I may need a root canal?

Sometimes, an infected tooth goes unnoticed by the patient. However, many people report some symptoms. Signs that you need a root canal include:

  • Toothache that doesn't go away:Toothache is a common symptom of dental problems. You may need a root canal if you have a deep toothache. Your jaw, face, or extra teeth may also experience discomfort.
  • sensitivityhot and cold:You may need a root canal if your tooth hurts when you eat ice cream or drink hot coffee. This is especially true if the pain persists for a long period of time.
  • Inflamed gums:Pus can collect around an infected tooth. Swollen, swollen, or tender gums can result.
  • Gum Pimples:You may have a pimple or boil on your gums. The infected tooth may leak pus, leaving an unpleasant taste or odor.
  • swollen jaw:Sometimes the area doesn't drain all the pus. As a result, you may notice noticeable swelling in your jaw.
  • Teeth discoloration:Your tooth may appear darker if the tooth's pulp becomes infected. This happens because the blood supply to the tooth is insufficient.
  • Pressure pain:The nerves surrounding the pulp can be damaged if you feel pain when biting down on food or touching your teeth.
  • A chipped or fractured tooth:Bacteria can get into the pulp of your teeth after you've been in an accident, played sports, or just bitten into something hard.
  • Loser Zahn:An infected tooth may appear looser. This prevents the bone supporting the tooth from becoming too soft due to pus from the infected pulp.

How common is root canal treatment?

According to the American Association of Endodontists, more than 41,000 endodontic procedures are performed in the United States every day. In other words, over 15 million root canal treatments are performed annually.

How should I prepare for a root canal?

Your doctor can answer any questions you may have before starting your root canal procedure. Here are some things you can do to prepare for the root canal:

  • Take all prescribed medications:Especially if there is a significant amount of infection, you may be given antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication a few days before your appointment.
  • Smokeless:Tobacco products interfere with your body's healing process. Quit smoking a few days before your root canal appointment and, if possible, quit completely.
  • How healthy:Eat something before the appointment because the local anesthetic used in the root canal will numb your mouth for a few hours.

What happens during the endodontic process?

Your doctor will take x-rays of the affected tooth before starting root canal treatment. This will help determine the extent of the damage and confirm that a root canal is the best course of action. These are the steps performed during the root canal procedure:

(Video) Root Canal Treatment & Tooth Abscess

  1. Anesthesia.The infected tooth and surrounding gums are first given local anesthesia to help them feel better. In addition to nitrous oxide, oral tranquilizers, and intravenous (IV) sedation, there are other medications used in dentistry to help you relax. If you have dental anxiety, your doctor may suggest sedation.
  2. Placement of rubber dam.Before starting root canal treatment, a small rubber dam is placed over the affected area. This will separate the tooth from the coupling and keep it dry.
  3. access hole.A small hole is then made in the crown of the tooth to access the pulp.
  4. pulp removal.Nerves, blood vessels and tissue inside the tooth are removed with small dental instruments.
  5. channel shapes.The pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, disinfected and shaped after pulp removal.
  6. filling the channels.A flexible, rubbery dental material known as gutta-percha is then used to fill in the empty canals.
  7. Sella o dente.A temporary filling is then placed to seal the tooth and prevent bacteria from re-entering the tooth.
  8. Insertion of the last restoration.To protect the treated tooth and correct its bite, a dental crown is usually required. Wreaths usually take two to three weeks to make as they are made to order. The temporary restoration is removed when the permanent crown is prepared and the permanent crown is then placed in its place. Occasionally, you can get a crown in the same visit.

Does the root canal hurt?

Many people fear having a toothache after a root canal. However, most patients experience immediate relief after treatment as the source of infection is removed during the procedure. Call your doctor as soon as you experience throbbing pain after a root canal.

How long does root canal treatment last? - Treatment and side effects - The Smart Health Center (2)

What can I expect after a root canal?

You shouldn't experience any severe pain after a root canal, but you may experience some tenderness for the first few days. Prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers can effectively treat these symptoms, which are normal. In most cases, side effects go away after one to two weeks.

Who should perform my root canal procedure?

A general dentist or endodontist (root canal specialist) performs root canal treatment. Because they have fewer roots, the front teeth of the mouth can usually be treated by general dentists. You may be referred to an endodontist if you need root canal treatment on a tooth with multiple roots or if your case is complex.

What are the benefits of a root canal procedure?

The decision to undergo a root canal has a number of advantages. This treatment can:

  • Make sure no additional teeth get infected.
  • Reduce signs and symptoms of tooth infection.
  • reduce the likelihood of jaw damage.
  • Stop the need for tooth extractions.

Are root canals safe?

Root canal treatment is considered safe and effective. With a success rate of up to 98%, this procedure is impressive.

What are the common symptoms of an unsuccessful root canal?

In some cases, root canal complications may occur. This is especially true if damage to the tooth precludes this treatment. Symptoms of a failed root canal include:

  • Dor.
  • inflamed gums
  • pus or discharge
  • tooth discoloration.
  • on the gums, a boil or a pimple.
  • Sinus-Problems.

What happens if my root canal fails?

Your doctor will discuss your options with you if the root canal doesn't work. In certain circumstances, a root canal revision may be required. It might also be time to talk about other options.

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What alternatives to root canal treatment are there?

Tooth extraction is the only means of root canal treatment. It's preferable to keep your natural teeth whenever possible, but extraction may be necessary in some cases to protect your oral health.

If you are not a good candidate for a root canal, the tooth can be removed and replaced with a dental implant, bridge or denture. Consult your physician for more information on root canal versus extraction.

How long does root canal restoration take?

Recovery from a root canal usually takes less than a week. Mild symptoms can last for a few days but can be treated with medication. Call a doctor if you have severe pain or discomfort for more than a week.

Can I eat after a root canal?

Yes, but it is better to wait until the numbness disappears. The effects of anesthesia usually last for a few hours.

Stick to softer foods like pasta, mashed potatoes, and yogurt for the first few days. As her comfort level increases, gradually introduce solid foods.

You should also avoid biting or chewing on the treated tooth. Until your permanent dental restoration is in place, try chewing with the other side of your mouth.

Can you drive after a root canal?

You will be able to travel to and from your appointment if you have had a procedure using local anesthesia or nitrous oxide. Patients receiving oral or intravenous sedation need a friend or family member to drive them home.

Can you smoke after a root canal?

Smoking hinders the healing process and increases the chance that you'll need additional dental procedures in the future, so it's not recommended.

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How long does root canal treatment last? - Treatment and side effects - The Smart Health Center (3)

When can I resume work, school or other activities?

After a root canal, most patients can return to work or school the next day. However, you may need an extra day or two to fully recover if you are sedated during the dental procedure.

What are some root canal aftercare tips?

It is important to keep the area clean after a root canal. To prevent the spread of bacteria, brush your teeth regularly, floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash. If you still have a temporary filling, you should not chew on the treated tooth until the permanent crown is in place.

How long do the results of a root canal last?

When it comes to dental procedures, results are not guaranteed, as they never are. The results of a root canal, on the other hand, can last a long time, even a lifetime if done correctly.

When should I see my doctor?

Call your doctor right away if you experience root canal symptoms such as toothache, swelling, unpleasant aftertaste, or other warning signs. An infected tooth is more likely to be saved if it is treated quickly.

Regular dental checkups are very important to reduce the risk of infection. During these visits, your healthcare professional can catch problems before they get worse.

Are root canals necessary?

Teeth don't heal on their own like other parts of the body, especially after they become infected. If left untreated, the infection and inflammation can spread to other tissues, teeth, or even other parts of the mouth. Because neither cleanings nor fillings completely remove damaged pulp, preserving a natural tooth requires a root canal. Extraction of the entire tooth is the only alternative to root canal. In a tooth extraction, the missing tooth must be replaced with an implant, crown, bridge, or partial denture to maintain proper oral function. This increases the cost, difficulty and time involved compared to a root canal.


Depending on the number of teeth to be cleaned, the severity of the problem being treated, and whether the crown is placed on the first or second visit, root canal treatments can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. A simple root canal procedure usually takes 30 minutes to an hour and requires 1-2 appointments.

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What are the long term side effects of root canal treatment? ›

Tooth fracture – The only long-term side effect of getting root canal treatment done has to do with the increased brittleness of the treated tooth.

How long does it take for a root canal to feel normal? ›

In most cases, patients require only a few days to recover from a root canal procedure. After the procedure, the patient may feel some irritation or soreness for the first 24 to 48 hours. To manage this pain and soreness, your dentist will prescribe over-the-counter pain medication.

When will root canal stop hurting? ›

A successful root canal can cause mild pain for a few days. This is temporary, and should go away on its own as long as you practice good oral hygiene. You should see your dentist for a follow-up if the pain lasts longer than three days.

Do you get sick after a root canal? ›

While the root canal procedure is safe, there's a chance of getting an infection after the treatment. Although it is rare, patients can get a mild to serious infection after a root canal procedure.

What not to do after a root canal? ›

We recommend avoiding:
  • Very hot and very cold foods and beverages, which can irritate sensitive teeth.
  • Sticky foods like gum, caramels, and other candies.
  • Chewy foods like steak and crusty bread.
  • Hard foods like nuts.
  • Crunchy foods like pretzels and tortilla chips.
Mar 6, 2021

Can you still feel nerves after root canal? ›

Even though the pulp tissue is gone following a root canal, the tooth still retains some sensation. It just isn't the same sensation as before. “It still has a nerve sensation coming from the structures that are supporting it into the jaw bone,” Richards said.

Is it normal for root canal to hurt after 2 weeks? ›

Serious Or Prolonged Pain 1-2 Weeks After Treatment Is Not Normal. If you have severe, sharp pain, or pain that's still very intense up to 1-2 weeks after your treatment, this is not normal at all, and it indicates that your root canal has failed, and the infection is still present in the tooth.

Do you need antibiotics after root canal? ›

Antibiotics are not absolutely necessary after a root canal. After a root canal, you need very little time to recover, and post-operative care is the best way for fast healing. However, a dentist may recommend antibiotics before root canal to improve the chances of a successful outcome.

Can I brush my teeth after root canal? ›

Can I Brush My Teeth After a Root Canal? The short answer is yes! It's very rare that any dentist will instruct you to not brush your teeth after a dental procedure. Once the numbing medication has completely worn off, you are free to brush your teeth as you normally would.

Why am I in so much pain after root canal? ›

Sometimes, complications can develop after a root canal. You might be feeling extreme pain because the treatment didn't fully remove the bacteria or source of the infection. An issue with the filling or a small crack in the tooth may be causing the issue.

Does root canal infection show up on xray? ›

When we take periodic x-rays of your teeth, we can detect a root canal infection long before it shows any symptoms and becomes serious.

Why do I feel tired after root canal? ›

After root canal the treatment, what next; as the numbness begins to wear off, your mouth will feel heavy, and you might also feel drowsy and sleepy, this is normal.

How do you know if you have a bone infection after root canal? ›

Signs of infection include pain, fever, swelling, abscess and/or pus. If you experience any of these symptoms after the root canal treatment you should contact your endodontist immediately.

How long is recovery time from root canal? ›

How long does root canal recovery take? Typically, root canal recovery time lasts less than a week. Mild discomfort may be present for a few days, but this can be managed with medication. If you have severe pain or discomfort that lasts longer than a week, call your healthcare provider.

Do you need bed rest after a root canal? ›

The number one root canal recovery tip is to get as much rest as possible. Your body is trying to heal and getting an adequate amount of sleep will help you get back to your normal routine asap. When sleeping, make sure to elevate your head in order to minimize the pain from your recently treated dental tooth.

What painkiller is prescribed after root canal? ›

Anti-inflammatory medications (IBUPROFEN, ASPIRIN, ALEVE) typically work best on soreness following root canal therapy and should be taken first if you are able. Anti-inflammatory drugs are excellent pain relievers and help to prevent the inflammation that causes pain. We recommend ADVIL (ibuprofen).

Does the dentist remove the nerve during a root canal? ›

During a root canal, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is then cleaned and sealed. It's important to note that a root canal does not kill the tooth. While root canals do remove the nerves inside the tooth, these nerves serve little function in a fully formed tooth.

What does nerve damage from a root canal feel like? ›

Symptoms of nerve damage after root canal treatment

Tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, face, jaw or neck. Loss of feeling or numbness in the mouth, face, jaw or neck, which can cause issues with chewing or speaking. Minor nerve damage will usually get better on its own, given a few weeks.

Should a root canal still hurt after 5 days? ›

You can expect mild to moderate pain for a few days after a root canal. Any discomfort beyond a few days might require additional cleaning of the canals or other procedures from your dentist.

Is it normal to have pain 5 days after a root canal? ›

Still, a root canal can be uncomfortable. Even with a perfectly performed root canal, there can be pain that is considered normal for three to five days after you've had root canal surgery.

Is it normal for a root canal to hurt a month later? ›

A recent meta-analysis of the Endodontic literature suggests that 5.3% of patients who received root canal therapy report some form of pain 6 months or longer following treatment.

What are the dangers of root canals? ›

Infection after root canal: After the root canal procedure, the infection can progress inside or outside the location that the root canal was performed. Accumulation of unwanted materials: Cholesterol crystals can accumulate and irritate the tissues where the root canal was done, as well as scar tissue or cystic ...

What is life of tooth after root canal? ›

Teeth that receive a root canal, and a subsequent filling and crown last about 20 years. Teeth that receive either a filling or a crown after a root canal last around 11 years. Teeth that receive no restorative work after a root canal only last about 6.5 years.

How many times can a root canal be treated? ›

How Many Times Can You Get A Root Canal Procedure On The Same Tooth? A dentist can repeat a root canal treatment on a tooth two or more times. While teeth that undergo a root canal procedure can last a lifetime, some of these teeth may not heal properly due to salivary contamination and other reasons.

Can a root canal cause nerve damage? ›

A number of nerves can be damaged during dental procedures, but the inferior alveolar nerve (“IAN”) and the mental nerve (“MN”) are the two nerves most frequently injured by root canals when the dentist performed the root canal below the standard of care.

What can I do instead of a root canal? ›

Dental treatment alternatives to a root canal include direct pulp capping, pulpotomy, pulpectomy, endodontic retreatment, endodontic surgery, tooth extraction, dental implants, bridges, or dentures.

Is it better to have a tooth extracted or root canal? ›

In most cases, root canal therapy is a better way to treat an infected tooth than an extraction. However, there are exceptions, such as if the tooth has suffered extreme damage. Your dentist will carefully analyze your oral health before making a treatment recommendation.

Do root canals cause heart problems? ›

Root canal treatment is performed exclusively to eradicate bacterial infection, thus preventing that very occurrence. Do not believe the myth that root canals can cause heart issues or other illnesses. On the contrary: they may be the very thing that saves you from such problems.

Can I wait a month to get a crown after root canal? ›

How long can I wait to get a crown after a root canal? After a patient has completed the root canal therapy and any follow-up appointment, the tooth can be prepared immediately to receive a crown.

Do all root canals need crowns? ›

Root canals are sometimes uncomfortable and costly, so it can be disappointing to hear that you may also require a crown. While not necessary in every case, crowns can provide the protection and stability needed to extend the life of a tooth.

Is a crown necessary after a root canal? ›

The need for a crown is typically determined by the amount of remaining tooth structure after a root canal. Generally, if more than half of the tooth is gone, a crown is indicated to restore the tooth's structural integrity.

Should you take antibiotics after a root canal? ›

Antibiotics after a root canal are not necessary. After root canal treatment, it takes a little time to fully recover. Do not eat crispy or hard things after a root canal. It is most important to protect against dental damage after treatment.

Why do root canals take 2 visits? ›

The root canal procedure is completed in two separate visits to ensure that the tooth is thoroughly cleaned out, sealed up, and protected from further damage.

Is it possible to have a root canal for every tooth? ›

Conclusion. Root canals preserve a patient's natural teeth. In some cases, individuals present with multiple damaged or decayed teeth. While dentists do not perform numerous root canals in one appointment, they do perform this treatment on multiple teeth over a period of time.

Is the nerve still alive after a root canal? ›

Though a root canal involves removing the nerves from inside a tooth, the tooth continues to function as normal. The nerves play an insignificant role in a fully developed tooth; thus, the tooth is still alive.

What should I worry about after a root canal? ›

Post Treatment Care
  • Severe pain or pressure lasting more than a few days.
  • Visible swelling inside or outside your mouth.
  • An allergic reaction to medication (rash, hives or itching)
  • Your bite feels uneven.
  • The temporary crown or filling, if one was put in place, comes out (losing a thin layer is normal)

What happens if a nerve is left in a root canal? ›

Pain After Root Canal: A Canal or Nerve May Have Been Missed

When a root canal is performed, sometimes the tooth has multiple canals, and if the dentist misses a canal or doesn't remove all the damaged nerves, then the original pain will persist even after the procedure is completed.


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