How Long Does a Root Canal Take?
Once a tooth has begun to experience decay, the issue needs to be treated as soon as possible. The longer the decay is allowed to continue, the worse that the decay may become. Eventually, the damage from the decay may lead to additional oral health issues—such as a root pulp infection. If the root pulp of a tooth becomes infected, it needs to be removed through a process called root canal therapy.
What Is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy (often called a “root canal”) is an oral healthcare procedure that involves the removal of damaged, dead and/or infected root pulp. The procedure helps to avoid an abscess, and can help to avoid the need for an extraction.
Signs of Root Pulp Infection
While you’ll need to visit a dentist to have a root pulp infection properly diagnosed, there are certain signs that you can look for to help determine that you have a root pulp infection. Some of those signs include:
- Pain while biting and chewing.
- Discoloration of the tooth (often a grey shade).
- A severe tooth ache.
- The swelling of nearby gums.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
If you are experiencing the signs of a root pulp infection, you’ll want to set an appointment with your dentist for as soon as possible. Don’t wait until your next checkup and cleaning. The sooner the issue can be handled, the higher the likelihood of saving your tooth and avoiding an abscess. If you are lucky, you may simply have a cavity that needs to be treated.
Root Canal Procedure
Once you’ve visited your dentist and they’ve determined that you have an infected root pulp, they may suggest providing root canal therapy that same day, or setting an appointment for some time in the future. If you are unable to have the procedure performed same-day, make sure to set an appointment for as soon as possible.
Once the procedure has begun, your dentist will numb the area with local anesthesia, and will create an opening in which they can access the root canals and pulp chamber. The damaged root pulp will be removed, and the root canals will be sealed off. The tooth will then be restored.
Root Canal Procedure Length
The actual length of a root canal procedure may vary, but are often between 30 and 60 minutes. A big factor when it comes to the length of the procedure is how severe the damage is. Your dentist should be able to help provide a better estimate of how long the procedure will take.
Avoiding Root Pulp Infection
In order to avoid a root pulp infection, you’ll want to make sure to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. It is there that your dentist can diagnose any issues that you are having early on and treat them before they worsen.
If you believe you have a tooth that has an infected root pulp, set an appointment with your dentist today.
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