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What to Expect During a Root Canal Treatment?

What to Expect During a Root Canal Treatment?

During a root canal treatment, the dentist or endodontist will use local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth and drill a small access hole in the tooth to reach the diseased area. After carefully removing the diseased pulp, the root canal area is cleansed, shaped, and disinfected. Root canal therapy relieves pain, eliminates infection, preserves natural tooth structure, and restores normal function. Our Endodontists Dr. Ali Manesh, DMD & Moein Darjani, DDS, and a team provide top-rated endodontics treatments. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Washington DC and Woodbridge VA to serve you.

What to Expect During a Root Canal Treatment? | Ideal Endodontics
What to Expect During a Root Canal Treatment? | Ideal Endodontics

Table of Contents:

What are some things you should avoid before a root canal?
How long does a root canal procedure usually take?
What are the 3 stages involved in root canal treatment?
Can a tooth be saved by a root canal?

What are some things you should avoid before a root canal?


To ensure a smooth root canal procedure, there are several things you should avoid doing beforehand. Refrain from consuming any food or beverages for at least an hour prior to the treatment.

This helps maintain a dry mouth and reduces the risk of saliva interfering with the procedure. Additionally, it’s best to avoid brushing your teeth or using mouthwash immediately before the root canal, as these activities can lead to bleeding or swelling that may disrupt the procedure.

Minimize alcohol consumption and refrain from smoking or using tobacco products before the procedure. These substances can interfere with the healing process and may increase the risk of complications.

It is crucial not to drive yourself home after the root canal procedure. The effects of the anesthetic may still be present, so it is recommended to arrange for someone else to drive you home safely.

How long does a root canal procedure usually take?


The duration of a root canal is impacted by a range of factors. For a tooth with a single canal, a simple root canal typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes. However, it is advisable to allocate approximately 90 minutes for a root canal appointment to allow for sufficient time.

The time required for a root canal is primarily due to the intricate process of removing, rinsing, and disinfecting the affected nerve. Some teeth have multiple pulp canals, while others have only one.

The administration of anesthesia, as well as the setup and preparation, also contribute to the overall duration of the procedure. Molars, which are the four-cusped teeth at the back of the mouth, tend to be the most time-consuming due to their potential for up to four canals. The removal, disinfection, and filling of molar roots alone may take an hour or more, extending the total time to 90 minutes or beyond.

Premolars, located between the anterior teeth and molars, generally have one or two roots. Root canals in premolars typically take around an hour, depending on the complexity of the tooth’s anatomy. Incisors and canine teeth, found in the front of the mouth, have only one root, making them quicker to treat.

Nonetheless, root canals involving these teeth may still require 45 minutes to an hour, excluding any additional steps such as the placement of a crown if necessary.

What are the 3 stages involved in root canal treatment?


Stage 1, of root canal treatment begins with an evaluation of the tooth to determine the need for a root canal. Following this, an initial cleaning is performed to control the bacterial infection within the tooth. Antibacterial solutions are used for rinsing, and medication may be applied. To protect the tooth during the treatment process, a temporary filling is placed before proceeding to stage two.

Stage 2, also known as the follow-up clean and medication stage, typically occurs either on the same day as stage one or 1-2 weeks later. This stage involves a more comprehensive cleaning of the root canal to remove any remaining bacteria. X-rays may be taken to ensure the complete cleaning of the entire canal and medication is applied to treat the infection.

Stage 3, focuses on filling the root canal once the infection has been eradicated, and symptoms have subsided. This stage generally takes place 4-6 weeks after stage two.

Specialized rubber points are placed into the root canals, and the canal is sealed.
Depending on the condition of the tooth, a temporary or permanent filling may be inserted to restore its integrity and function.

Can a tooth be saved by a root canal?


A root canal can save a tooth that is infected or damaged. Instead of extracting the tooth, a dentist can perform a root canal procedure to salvage it.

During the procedure, the infected or inflamed pulp material is carefully removed, and the pulp chamber and root canal are thoroughly cleaned. The area is then disinfected, and a filling material called gutta-percha is used to fill the gap.

To strengthen and protect the treated tooth, a crown is placed over it. With a root canal, the tooth will retain its natural appearance and functionality for many years.

Choosing root canal treatment prevents the infection from spreading, reducing the risk of swelling, jawbone infection, and other complications that may arise. Without timely intervention, tooth extraction may become the only option.

A root canal can save a tooth that is infected or damaged and is an excellent alternative to tooth extraction. Let our team of professionals save your teeth so that you can smile with confidence again! Root canal treatment is available at Ideal Endodontics. For more information, please contact us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Washington DC and Woodbridge VA to serve you. We serve patients from Washington DC, Woodbridge VA, Arlington VA, Lorton VA, Manassas VA, Springfield VA, Alexandria VA, and Silver Spring MD.

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