How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

There are over 15 million root canal procedures done every year so there is a good estimate of home much time the root canal in chapel hill nc will take. Each of us are different as is each tooth so the final time expended will vary from that estimate. The reason for having the root canal is the first variable and then there are a few to follow.

Why have a Root Canal?

Your living tooth has several parts that make up its anatomy. The white part you can see in the mirror is the crown. The crown has a hard surface called the enamel. Under the enamel is a second layer called the dentin. Inside of the dentin is a chamber full of soft tissue called pulp. The pulp carries nerves and blood vessels from the tip of the root to the dentin feeding the tooth nutrients and distinguishing between hot and cold. If you have an unfortunate accident and break off a tooth, chip a tooth or even fracture a tooth in a sporting event, the tooth in now very susceptible to disease and infection. If the pulp becomes infected, due to the concentration of the nerves, it can become quite uncomfortable.

The Root Canal Procedure

The procedure itself has one objective. When the dentist is finished, you have maintained a natural tooth in your mouth. Even though not alive you can get many years out of that tooth. By not extracting it the neighboring teeth are not allowed to shift into that vacant spot. The tooth and surrounding tissue is numbed with an anesthetic. A small hole is drilled in the crown to allow access to the pulp chamber. All the infected pulp is then removed from the chamber and the roots, the space cleaned and then filled with a rubbery like substance called gutta-percha. Once filled the hole is cemented closed. The best part is the pain of the infected tooth is immediately gone.

The Variables affecting the Length of the Root Canal Procedure

The very first variable is the condition of the tooth and the ease of access by the dentist. The next variable is a front tooth with one root or a molar with three roots. They all must be cleaned out. A single root procedure can range from as little as 20 minutes to 55 minutes, or a national average of 37 minutes. A molar can range from 45 minutes to 110 minutes, or an average of 75 minutes. This time is after the anesthetic has been administered and does not include any x-rays or the evaluation to determine the course of action.

Two further outlying variables is whether it is in your best interest to do the root canal in two appointments versus one. Your dentist might also suggest that you consider a crown in the near future to protect that tooth. Without the nutrients feeding the tooth it will become fragile over time and could chip or crack. Again, with a crown and good home oral health care, you can have that tooth for many years.

More About Root Canals : How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

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At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.