Native Houston Dentist Dr. Jasmine Naderi talks and answers common questions regarding root canals that may help clear any confusions you may have in regards to root canals. Dr. Naderi is on the front lines of dental technology that is revolutionizing the field. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, and has been awarded the Top Doctor Award in 2017, and 2019.
How Long Does A Root Canal Take To Complete?
A root canal procedure will take anywhere between 15 minutes to two hours to complete depending on the tooth that is being worked on, and the complexity of the tooth being worked on. Generally, teeth closer to the front are easier to work on than the molars in the back. The teeth in the front have less nerve tissue to remove and generally have a simpler anatomy, making the procedure faster to complete. Some very complicated cases may take dentists and endodontists (root canal specialists) over a few appointments to complete.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Root Canal?
This again really depends on your situation. Generally speaking, most root canals, after completion, don’t hurt and cause minimal discomfort after the procedure. This mild discomfort generally last only a few days to a week. However, if the tooth being treated with a root canal was infected, or its surrounding tissues were severely inflamed, then the recovery process will take longer, and you will have pain for up to three weeks. The pain can range from mild to severe. If the pain is severe, don’t panic. Ask your dentist to look at the tooth to make sure everything is healing properly, and allow him to prescribe you some strong pain medications until the body has had a chance to heal itself.
How Long Does It Take For A Root Canal To Heal?
If your tooth that had the root canal performed on was infected, the healing process may take anywhere between 6 months – 2 years. This does not mean that you will have pain during that time. It basically means that is the amount of time it takes for the body to rid itself of the infection that has plagued the tooth, and to replace it with normal healthy tissue. That’s how long the body usually needs to heal completely from an infected tooth.
If your tooth was not infected, the root canal performed should take anywhere between 1-3 weeks to completely heal. This tooth’s inside canals may have been contaminated, but the surrounding tissues were not plagued by infection yet. There is no doubt that the surrounding tissues would have, at some time in the future, been highly prone to infection.
How Long Will It Take For A Cavity To Turn Into A Root Canal?
This again will be determined by your genetics. Some cavities spread through teeth like wildfire turning them into root canals within a few weeks to a few months. Some cavities can remain dormant, and not get any larger over time (these are few and far between). The bottom line is that no one can tell you how quickly a cavity can spread and turn into a root canal. There is no set amount of time. It is based on genetic and environmental factors such as your diet and hygiene. Speaking as an oral healthcare provider, I suggest any and all cavities be removed by your general dentist as quickly as possible. This will help you prevent that dreaded root canal treatment.
I hope these answered some of the long sought questions that many of you had about root canal therapy. For anymore further questions, you can always contact your local dentist or endodontist. If you happen to be in Houston or any of the surrounding areas, feel free to contact our office.