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How Long Does a Root Canal Take? – Average Cost & Procedure
how long does a root canal take?

Are you experiencing a severe toothache? Do you have a chipped tooth or swollen gums? Are cold or hot beverages causing sensitivity? These could be signs that you need a root canal treatment.

In this article, we’ll explain what root canals are, the procedure in detail, how they relieve pain and infection, and where you can get the best root canal treatment in Glendale, California.

What Is a Root Canal & How Long Does It Take?

A root canal treatment, or endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure performed on an infected tooth. Dentists remove inflamed or infected tissue inside the tooth. The cavity is then cleaned and disinfected before being sealed to prevent reinfection.

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

A typical root canal will last from 90 minutes to over 2 hours from start to finish. Having said that, most root canal procedures will depend on a few factors, such as the tooth’s location, complexity of the infection, and the patient’s individual circumstance.

More complex cases where multiple canals need to be treated, will obviously take longer. The best way to know for your situation is to make an appointment with your doctor to find out.

In a typical root canal treatment, the dentist makes a small opening in the tooth. The opening helps them access the pulp chamber and root canals. They use specialized tools to remove the infected pulp and shape the canals.

After cleaning and disinfecting the canal, they use a filling material called gutta-percha to seal it. Sometimes, they may place a dental crown over the treated tooth. This helps provide extra strength and protection.

6 Tell-Tale Signs You Need a Root Canal

Root canals are an important dental procedure meant to save a decayed or infected tooth. Yet, recognizing the signs that you might need a root canal is not always straightforward.

Here are some common signs that a root canal might be necessary:

  1. Severe pain: One of the most obvious signs that you might need a root canal is severe tooth pain. You’ll clearly feel it when eating or putting pressure on the area. It might come and go, but its recurrence can be a strong sign of a serious underlying issue.
  2. Sensitivity to hot and cold: Sensitivity to hot or cold is another sign. Take note if it lasts even after removing the hot or cold source. This prolonged sensitivity can be a sign of damaged nerves or blood vessels.
  3. Discoloration of the tooth: Is one of your teeth grayish or darker than the others? If so, the nerves inside might be dead or dying. Severe decay or trauma often causes this.
  4. Swollen or tender gums: Swelling or tenderness in your gums is another symptom. If the gums around a tooth are affected, it may be due to an infection. A pimple-like abscess may appear. This shows that the infection has spread to the surrounding tissue.
  5. Deep decay: If you leave a cavity untreated, it can reach deep into the tooth. This may cause an infection in the pulp — the center of the tooth that houses nerves and blood vessels. In these cases, you’ll likely need a root canal to treat the infection and save the tooth.
  6. Cracked or chipped tooth: A tooth that’s cracked or chipped can allow bacteria to seep into the pulp. This leads to infection and may require a root canal to rectify the situation.

Remember, these are not definitive diagnoses. They serve as warning signs that you should consult with a dental professional. Call 818-839-7475 and speak with Dr. Hakopian today.

The Differences Between a Root Canal and a Dental Crown

Many people confuse root canals with dental crowns. But these are distinct procedures that may complement each other in some cases.

Here are some key differences between a root canal and a dental crown:

Purpose: A root canal is performed to remove the infected pulp and treat the inside of the tooth. A dental crown is used to restore and protect the external part of a damaged or weakened tooth.
Procedure: A root canal involves removing the infected pulp and cleaning the canals. A dental crown requires tooth preparation and the placement of a custom-made prosthetic cap.
Coverage: A root canal focuses on the inside of the tooth, while a dental crown covers the visible part of the tooth.
Goal: A root canal is typically performed before a dental crown to address the tooth’s internal health. The crown is placed over the treated tooth for extra strength and protection.
Benefits: A root canal saves a natural tooth from extraction. It also relieves pain and restores oral health. A dental crown improves the tooth’s aesthetics, function, and durability.

What Does a Root Canal Procedure Feel Like?

Root canals have a reputation for being painful, but modern dental techniques and anesthetics have significantly improved the procedure. They have made it far more comfortable and straightforward than it used to be.

Root Canal Treatment Process

Root Canal Examination and Diagnosis

The first step in a root canal procedure involves a thorough examination and diagnosis by your dentist. It’s important to carefully assess the affected tooth and take X-rays to see how bad the infection or inflammation is.

During a root canal procedure, your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth using local anesthesia, often lidocaine or articaine, ensuring that you don’t feel any pain. The goal of this anesthetic is to block the nerves in your tooth, effectively numbing the tooth and the surrounding area.

While you may feel a slight pinch from the injection, once the anesthetic takes effect, you won’t feel any significant discomfort.

Working on The Affected Tooth

With the tooth area numbed, your dentist will typically work to isolate the tooth using what’s called a dental dam. Dental dam is a thin, rubber sheet that’s placed around the tooth to keep it clean and dry during the procedure. This dam helps prevent saliva and other contaminants from interfering with the procedure.

Removal of Infected Pulp

Next phase of a root canal procedure is to remove the infected or inflamed pulp tissue from the inside of the tooth. You’ll likely feel some pressure and vibrations during the procedure but not pain. This pressure comes from your dentist cleaning the infected pulp inside your tooth and reshaping the root canal.

The meticulous cleaning and disinfection in this step are critical in preventing further infections and helping the tooth heal faster after the procedure.

Shaping and Irrigation

Next, the dentist will use specialized tools to carefully shape and enlarge the canals to prepare them for filling. Throughout the shaping process, your dentist may irrigate the canals with an antimicrobial solution to further clean and disinfect the area.

A lot of care and procedure is put in place to clean and prevent any infection of your tooth as well as making sure the sealing process is successful.

Filling and Sealing

A rubber-like material called gutta-percha is commonly used for filling the canals. Your dentist may also use dental cement or adhesive to secure the gutta-percha in place. This filling material ensures that the canals are completely sealed and will prevent any possibility of recontamination.

The last phase is to fill the access hole created at the beginning of the procedure with filling material. Some doctors will also put a dental crown for additional strength and protection for the treated tooth.

What to Expect After a Root Canal

After a root canal, you can expect a gradual improvement in oral health and relief from the initial discomfort. With proper care, the treated tooth can continue to function naturally for years.

Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to further eliminate any remaining infection, as well as setup a few follow-up appointments to keep checking on the treated tooth until full recovery.

What to Eat After Root Canal

If you’re wondering what you can eat and drink after a root canal procedure, here are some tips:

  • Stick to soft foods initially, gradually reintroducing firmer foods as you heal.
  • Yogurt, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and smoothies are excellent options.
  • Include vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet to support the healing process.

Another critical question most patients have is, how to go about brushing teeth after a root canal? Well, here are the basics for proper post-treatment care:

  • Brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristle toothbrush twice a day.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent cavities.
  • Be cautious around the treated area, avoiding excessive pressure or scrubbing.
  • Ask your dentist for a suitable antimicrobial mouthwash for your gums and overall oral health.

Root Canal Prevention and Cost

Knowing how much a root canal treatment may cost and taking steps to prevent dental issues can help you make better decisions about your oral health.

How Can You Prevent a Root Canal?

While not all root canals can be avoided, many can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Here are a few preventative measures:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily, and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride, which helps strengthen tooth enamel and resist decay.
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit sugary snacks and drinks, as they can contribute to tooth decay.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Dr. Vahag Hakopian is one of the best dentists in Montrose CA. He can identify potential problems early and treat them before they progress into more serious conditions.

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

A root canal in the USA typically costs between $200 and $1,500 per tooth.
However, the actual price may vary depending on factors such as the location, complexity of the procedure, and the experience level of the dentist. Dental insurance coverage can also impact the final cost.

What Insurance Covers Root Canals?

Root canal coverage varies between dental insurance plans in the USA. Many dental insurance plans provide partial coverage for root canal procedures, typically covering a percentage of the cost.

However, the exact coverage and out-of-pocket expenses depend on the specific insurance plan, so it’s important to review the policy details or consult with the insurance provider for specific information.

At Verdugo Hills Dental Group, we accept Aetna, Guardian, Blue Cross, Delta Dental, Blue Shielf, MetLife, and Humana Dental insurance plans. Reach out to us to know more and schedule a checkup.

The Consequences of Delaying or Not Getting a Root Canal

An unattended case of a root canal can have severe implications, including:

  • Worsening pain and discomfort.
  • Allowing the infection to spread, potentially affecting nearby teeth or the jawbone.
  • The tooth becoming irreparably damaged, requiring extraction instead of a root canal.
  • Needing more expensive and invasive dental procedures, such as dental implants or bridges.

Did you know?
A postponed root canal can lead to the spreading of bacterial infection into the gums? It can even result in tooth loss. This makes early intervention crucial.

Root canals are a common procedure that can relieve toothaches and preserve your natural teeth. But finding an affordable root canal service nearby can be challenging.

This is because dental procedures are often costly, despite oral health’s critical role in our well-being. Don’t worry, though. It’s possible to get high-quality dental care without breaking the bank.

At Verdugo Hills Dental Group, we provide effective and affordable dental treatments after a comprehensive consultation so that you can make informed decisions about your dental health.

Prioritize Your Oral Health Today to Avoid Complications in the Future

Oral health shouldn’t be taken lightly. Procedures such as root canals are vital in maintaining your overall well-being and quality of life. They relieve pain and prevent more serious complications.

While it’s true that dental treatments can sometimes seem costly, the investment is well worth the benefits of preserving your natural teeth and maintaining a healthy smile.

An unattended dental infection might lead to you losing a tooth or requiring a costlier procedure.

At Verdugo Hills Dental Group, we offer reliable and affordable dental care, ensuring that cost doesn’t prevent you from receiving the dental treatments you need. Stop by our location at 3600 N Verdugo Rd Montrose CA if you’re in our neck of the woods.

Schedule an appointment today and start your journey toward a pain-free, healthier smile.
If we didn’t answer any specific questions in this article, please Call 818-839-7475 and schedule your appointment with Dr. Vahag and his team.