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A 48-year-old member asked:

How long does a root canal take?

18 doctor answers30 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jason Alliger
Dentistry - Endodontics 24 years experience
Depends: Typically a front tooth takes less time then a back tooth. The more roots a tooth has, the more time it will take. Sometimes a tooth will have difficult roots to clean or find and that can add time. Typically a root canal will be 1-2 visits. An endodontist has a practice ltd to root canals so they have a lot of experience in dealing with different types of teeth.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 55 years experience
RCT treatment: The time taken for rct treatment depends upon which tooth, the size, shape and location of the nerve canals, the health of the nerve and the particular dentist. I would estimate the time of each visit being approximately 1 hour (+/-) and one to three visits.
Dr. Jeffrey Krantz
Dentistry 10 years experience
Depends: Depends on the tooth, depends on the patient, depends on the internal anatomy of the tooth, depends on the skill of the clinician, depends on the reason the root canal is being done. How long does it take to drive from town to town?
Dr. Abraham Jaskiel
Dentistry 23 years experience
Root canal: Usually one visit, unless there are complications or difficult canals.
Dr. Fernando Juliao
Dentistry 31 years experience
From 1 to 2.5 hours: Depends on the tooth's location, how many roots it has, if there is draining infection coming out of the tooth. It may possibly have to be done in two separate appointments.. Hope this helps!
Dr. Randolph Todd
Endodontics 45 years experience
Varies: Root canal treatment is a process of getting rid of an infection. Although the mechanical process may only take a visit or two the biologic process is indeterminable and dependent on several factors including the virulence of the bacteria and your defense systems to name two. Be patient, let the doctor determine how much time is appropriate for your case. Good luck.
Dr. John Thaler
Prosthodontics 42 years experience
1 hour: In the hands of an expert, the Endodontist, most treatment takes 1 hour or less. Non-specialist treatment typically takes longer. Of course, this is an average.
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 37 years experience
Depends which tooth,: what is the diagnosis and who is doing it. An upper molar or a lower molar root canal by a general dentist can take 2 or 3 hours, but by endodontist it's about 1.5 hours. A straight forward single root canal only takes about 45 min to 1 hour. In some cases multiple appointments are needed. Take care.
Dr. Louis Gallia
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial 46 years experience
Depends: Partly dependent on the doc. An endodontist (root canal specialist) will do it quicker (maybe better) than a general dentist. 1-2 hours likely.
Dr. J. Blake Perkins
Dentistry 22 years experience
Depends: Depending on the size and shape of the tooth, a root canal treatment can take, on average, about 1-1/2 hours. Time and care must be taken to properly instrument, clean, and disinfect the canals so that, when you seal them up, you leave nothing behind that could cause the treatment to fail in the future.
Dr. Robert Trager
Dentistry 55 years experience
DEPENDS : An endodontist can do a root canal faster in most cases than a general dentist.Some teeth have one or more canals which would take longer. A tooth with 3 canals could take an hour or more or need two or 3 visits.A tooth with 1 canal could be done in 1 visit in about half to 45 minutes .If no complications most root canals can be done in one visit depending on the dentists skill or philosophy.
Dr. Louis Sterling
Prosthodontics 38 years experience
Depends: During root canal treatment, the dentist needs enough time to open the tooth, enter the pulp chamber and root canals, clean the debris out of these areas, enlarge, sterilize and fill the root canals. This may take from 1-3 hours and from 1-3 visits (if there are no complications).
Dr. I. Jay Freedman
Dentistry 44 years experience
Depends : A one canal tooth would be shorter in time than a multi-rooted tooth-later more complex. An elective root canal takes less time and visits than a root canal done in crisis. So each situation varies. Ask your dentist.
Dr. John Thaler
Prosthodontics 42 years experience
1 hour: In the hands of the specialist - the Endodontist- most root canal treatments take 60 minutes or less. Of course there are exceptions based on the condition of the tooth and gum tissue and severity of decay and infection. Good Luck.
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 37 years experience
One to three visits: The majority of root canals are completed in a single visit. However, there are cases ( complex cases) that require multiple visits in order to disinfect the root canal space and complete the treatment.
Dr. Armine Nazarian
Dentistry 30 years experience
Usually one to 2 visits to the dentist.
Mar 8, 2015
Dr. John Yu
Dr. John Yuanswered
Endodontics 17 years experience
Depends: Is it a front or back tooth? Usually a front tooth is faster than a back tooth. Is it done by a specialist? Is it a straight root canal or retreatment? Is there any crown? What's your plan with the old crown? But to give you an estimate, you should give yourself at least an hour for a molar root canal.
Dr. Reena Gupta
Dentistry 20 years experience
Depends: Depends on if it front tooth ..Back molar..Infeced or nonvital tooth..Calcified canals or not..Many factors..Can vary from 45 min to 2 hours to single visit to multiple visit..
Dr. Randolph Todd
Endodontics 45 years experience
Depends: Root canal treatment is the process used to eradicate an infection. The virulence of the bacteria as well as the complexity of the anatomy influence the speed of the process. Allow the doctor to use as much or as little time he or she feel the process should take. You will benefit in the end.

Similar questions

A 42-year-old member asked:

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

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Donley
Dentistry 55 years experience
Depends: It depends on what you mean by "recover". Recover from anesthetic: 1-6 hours. Recover from infection: 0-6 months. Recover from any discomfort to biting on tooth: 0-12 months. It can take some time for things to heal.
A 38-year-old member asked:

How painful is a root canal and how long does it take to heal?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Keith Grimm
Dentistry 26 years experience
Not bad: Provided your dentist achieves good anesthesia, you should feel nothing during the procedure. It can be normal to have a little soreness for a day or two afterwards, but not bad.
A 30-year-old member asked:

How long after root canal should pain continue?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Internal Medicine 51 years experience
Few days....: There generally is pain after the local anesthetic wears off; the dentist should explain and warn about that depending how invasive the procedure is, whether he had to clear out infection, or abscess at the root. He should also give you a script for pain medication appropriate to the procedure, and appropriate to his knowledge of your pain threshold and ability to handle pain. Call, get advice.
A 29-year-old member asked:

How long does the pain last after you have a root canal?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Roth
33 years experience
Usually 1 to 2 days: A root canal involves removing the nerve from the tooth which alleviates some and sometimes all pain. However if an infection was present, the pain may not completely subside untill infection is gone.
A 41-year-old female asked:

After a root canal how long should I not pay my clarinet?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Mark Iacobelli
Dentistry 40 years experience
No restrictions: Unless the treating dentist suggested that there is a fracture present on the tooth, i wouldn't see any reason why you couldn't resume playing today!

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Last updated Jun 17, 2019
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