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How long does a root canal take?

The first question that most patients who need root canal treatment is, “how long does a root canal take?”  

Root canal treatment, also called endodontic treatment, aims to remove bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth. The root canal is the hollow part of the root of a tooth that contains the nerve and blood vessels. It is the extension of the pulp, the soft part located under the enamel.

When a person has a root canal treatment, the infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and then filled and sealed.

How long does a root canal take?

Most root canals can be done in one to three appointments. The first is the actual procedure, during which the infected pulp is removed. The second (and possibly third) appointment is when the root canal is cleaned and filled with a filling. Sometimes a crown is necessary to prevent infection.

Root canal treatment can be often completed in one or two visits and involves following steps:

  1. The endodontist examines and takes an x-ray of the tooth using x-rays, then administers a local anesthetic. Once the tooth is numb, the endodontists place a small protective sheet called a dental dam over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and saliva free during the procedure.
  2. The endodontist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very sharp instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
  3. Once the space is cleaned and shaped, the endodontist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material which is placed using an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. A temporary filling is placed to close the opening. It will be replaced by the definitive one during the last session.
  4. Sometimes, the endodontist recommends that you place a crown on the tooth in question to protect it well and restore its full function.

If the tooth structure is not sufficient to hold the crown in place, your endodontist may place a post inside the tooth.

Why does a root canal take so long?

A root canal takes several hours to complete. This is because a dentist has to perform many steps because a root canal has a long procedure.

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

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

If the root canal needs to be completed in two appointments, the dentist will place medication such as calcium hydroxide in the canal to help kill germs at the root end and may prescribe an antibiotic to help treat the infection. 

A temporary filling will be inserted to close the space in the tooth, and a follow-up visit will be scheduled a week or so later. In case the dentist treats you in one go, he will probably skip that and move on to the filling process.

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

How many visits does a root canal treatment require?

Most root canals can be done in one to three appointments. The first is the actual procedure, during which the infected pulp is removed. The second (and possibly third) appointment is when the root canal is cleaned and filled with a filling. Sometimes a crown is necessary to prevent infection.

Each appointment lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Can you eat after root canal treatment?

In general, you can eat food after root canal treatment. However, you might have some lingering sensitivity when eating, so it’s a good idea to choose soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. Soups and smoothies are great options.

Most people will also be able to eat soft foods that need some chewing, such as bread and pasta. However, depending on other procedures performed, you may have to wait to eat. If you cannot eat after your specific dental treatment, we will let you know.

How much does a root canal cost in Turkey?

Root canal prices in Turkey start from $150 and it varies from hospital to hospital.

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