How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

August 23, 2023

In this blog, we’ll delve into the timelines, stages, and factors influencing the duration of a root canal, aiming to provide clarity for our readers and potential patients. If you’ve ever found yourself pondering this question or are on the verge of undergoing the treatment, you’re in the right place to find the answers.

 At Avery Dental Center in Dublin, Ohio, we prioritize your comfort, and in this blog, we’ll provide a detailed breakdown of what you can expect timewise during a root canal treatment.

What is a Root Canal?

Before we dive into the timing, let’s quickly recap what a root canal is. A root canal, technically called endodontic therapy, is a procedure to save a tooth that has infected or damaged the pulp. By removing this pulp, cleaning, and sealing the inside of the tooth, we can keep the tooth from extraction and relieve pain.

Treatment Length


As short as 6 months, with an average of 12 to 18


Average of 12 to 24 or more, depending on the type and severity of malocclusion

Can treatment be expedited?


Wear aligners for 20+hours a day, keep teeth and aligners clean, visit the dentist regularly to monitor progress


Visit the clinic as directed for adjustments, keep teeth and brackets/wires clean and free of plaque, avoid habits that could increase treatment time



Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to gently scrub aligners


Use an interdental toothbrush and water flosser to remove plaque and bacteria from around brackets and wires



Keep teeth and aligners clean for best results


Keep teeth and brackets/wires clean for best results



Yes, aligners are designed to be removed while eating/drinking and while brushing/flossing teeth


No, traditional braces cannot be removed until treatment is complete, and the dentist is the only one that should remove them

Visits to dental clinic


Periodically, you need to visit the dental clinic to monitor your progress


Yes, you will need to visit the clinic every few weeks as teeth shift for adjustments

How much does it cost?


Starts at approximately $1,500 for up to 5 aligners and goes up to around $8,000 for unlimited aligners


Costs an average of $3,000 to $5,000+, depending on several factors



Virtually invisible




Does not require compliance- once braces are attached, they are not removable except by the dentist upon completion of treatment

Ideal for


Mild to moderate malocclusions, can be used for more severe along with attachments, depending on the type of malocclusion


Mild to severe malocclusions

Factors Determining the Duration of a Root Canal

A root canal is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. Several factors can affect the duration:

Unhealthy Chewing Gum

A root canal is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. Several factors can affect the duration:

Complexity of the Tooth

 Molars, with their multiple roots, generally take longer than front teeth.

The Extent of the Infection

 A severe infection may require more time to clean and shape the canals.

Previous Root Canal Treatments

A retreatment may involve removing previous fillings or posts, which can extend the procedure.

General Timeframes

For many patients, understanding a general timeframe can help set expectations. Typically:

Front teeth

 45 minutes to 1 hour


1 hour to 1.5 hours


 1.5 hours to 2 hours

Remember, these are average durations. Some cases may be quicker, while others may take longer.

The Stages of a Root Canal

To give you a clearer picture, here’s a breakdown of the stages involved and the time each might take:

X-ray and Diagnosis (pre-appointment)

 During your previous visit or at the start of your appointment, we’ll take an X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and assess the extent of the damage. This might take about 15-20 minutes.


 Before starting, we’ll numb the area to ensure you’re comfortable. This takes around 10 minutes, with an additional 10-15 minutes waiting time for the anesthesia to take effect.

Access Opening

A small opening is made in the crown of the tooth to access the pulp chamber. This step can take between 10-20 minutes.

Cleaning and Shaping

 The infected or damaged pulp is removed, and the canals are cleaned and shaped. This is the lengthiest stage, taking anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour, depending on the tooth’s complexity.

Filling the Tooth

Once cleaned, the empty canals are filled with a biocompatible material called gutta-percha to prevent future infections. This step might take 20-30 minutes.


 In many cases, after a root canal, the tooth will need a crown to restore its strength and appearance. Impressions might be taken during this visit or a subsequent one. If done in the same visit, add another 30 minutes to an hour.

After the Procedure

After the root canal, you might experience some discomfort or mild pain, but this usually subsides within a few days. Over-the-counter painkillers can often alleviate this discomfort. However, if pain persists, always consult with us at Avery Dental Center.

Why to choose Dr. Safavian at Avery Dental Center In Dublin, Ohio

Are you experiencing tooth pain or believe you might need a root canal? Don’t wait! Schedule an appointment with us at Avery Dental Center in Dublin, Ohio. Our dedicated team is here to guide you through every step, ensuring your comfort and the best possible outcomes for your oral health. Schedule your appointment today or call us at (614) 683 9557 to book your consultation today!

FAQs about Root Canal Treatment at Avery Dental Center

A root canal is primarily needed when the pulp, the innermost part of the tooth, becomes infected or damaged. This can be due to deep decay, cracks, trauma, or repeated dental treatments on the same tooth.

At Avery Dental Center, we prioritize your comfort. With the help of local anesthesia, most patients find that a root canal is no more painful than getting a filling. Any discomfort after the procedure is typically mild and can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers.

Root canal treatments have a very high success rate. When performed by professionals like at our center, and when followed up with proper care like placing a crown, they can last a lifetime.

While extraction is an option, saving your natural teeth is always the preferred choice. A root canal allows you to keep your natural tooth. Extraction, on the other hand, would mean replacing the lost tooth with a dental implant or bridge, which can be more time-consuming and expensive in the long run.

With proper care, a tooth that has had a root canal can last a lifetime. It’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene practices and attend regular dental check-ups to ensure the health of the treated tooth and surrounding teeth.

Many patients feel well enough to return to work or their daily routine after the procedure. However, it’s essential to avoid chewing or biting with the treated tooth until it’s fully restored to avoid any discomfort or damage.

The cost of a root canal varies depending on the complexity of the treatment and the tooth involved. It’s best to consult with our team at Avery Dental Center for a detailed estimate tailored to your needs.

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