How Long Does A Root Canal Take (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1.5 Hours To 3 Hours

A root canal is a dental operation that removes decay from the base of your tooth while keeping the natural tooth. When an infection gets developed in the soft tissue, that is called the pulp, around any of your teeth, it needs a root canal to get treated.

Pulp is the live tissue inside the root of every tooth that connects it to your bone and gums. Blood veins, nerves, and connective tissues abound in the pulp.

The damaged tissue is removed with care, and your tooth is sealed to prevent new bacteria from entering. Root canals are quite prevalent in the United States, with over 15 million performed each year.

How Long Does A Root Canal Take


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How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

Root Canal ProcedureTime Taken
Short90 Minutes
Long3 Hours

A root canal procedure might take anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours to complete. It may be possible to complete it in one appointment, but it may be necessary to schedule two.

Your dentist or an endodontist can perform a root canal. For root canal treatment, endodontists have more specific training.

The length of time you spend in the dentist chair for a root canal depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your illness and the tooth in question. 

A root canal is a common dental procedure that saves your natural tooth by removing damaged or diseased tissue and cleaning it out. The root “canal” refers to the tissue canal that runs from the top of your tooth to the root. It’s a common misconception that a root canal operation entails drilling a canal into your gums or establishing one where one doesn’t already exist.

Root Canal

A severe tooth infection can spread along the gum line to your neighboring teeth if you don’t get a root canal. So, it is really significant, or else you will have to face consequences later on.

Dental infections can turn your teeth yellow or black, and they can spread to other parts of your body through your bloodstream.

In the vast majority of situations, the grounds for your root canal result in pain. While a root canal can be painful at times, it is far preferable to the long-term consequences of a severe infection.

Why Does A Root Canal Take That Long?

A root canal takes many hours to get completed. This is because a dentist has to perform many steps as a root canal has a long procedure.

The pulp is taken from the chamber and canals through a hole formed in the top of the tooth. After that, the canals are disinfected using sodium hypochlorite or another disinfectant. 

The canals are then shaped with various files of increasing radius to remove all damaged tooth structures and make way for a root canal filling. After this, they make sure that everything is in good shape.

If the root canal is to be finished in two appointments, the dentist will place a drug such as calcium hydroxide down the canal to help kill the germs at the root’s end and may prescribe an antibiotic to assist treat the infection. 

A temporary filling will be inserted to close the gap in the tooth, and a follow-up visit will be scheduled a week or more later. In case the dentist is treating you at one go, he’ll probably skip this and move towards the filling process.

Root Canal

Most of the people who go through the root canal say that it doesn’t hurt much. Moreover, they are able to be normal in no time. Because a person who has a root canal is in a lot of pain, the root canal treatment actually relieves the discomfort and the recovery time is relatively short.


Though a root canal takes 60 to 90 minutes, sometimes it can take 3 hours as well. A root canal procedure is accompanied by considerable discomfort. 

However, it is unlikely to be as unpleasant as you may believe. It’s also less painful than the alternative, which is a fractured or infected tooth. Because everyone’s pain threshold is different, it’s difficult to say how painful a root canal will be for you.

Because root canals are performed using an injected kind of local anesthetic to numb your tooth, you should not experience much discomfort throughout the procedure. If you still have pain, your dentist should be able to give you an extra local anesthetic.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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25 thoughts on “How Long Does A Root Canal Take (And Why)?”

  1. Most of this info is quite beneficial to anyone who is facing or expecting to go through a root canal procedure

  2. Avatar of Robinson Melissa
    Robinson Melissa

    A well-laid out article that explains the root canal procedure in an easy-to-understand way

  3. The information about the duration, reasons, and procedure for a root canal is indeed very enlightening

  4. This is an exceptionally useful article. I now have a better understanding of root canal procedures

  5. The length of time required for a root canal procedure is a critical point to make – it’s good that this has been properly explained

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