Restorative Dentistry and How Long It Takes for a Root Canal Procedure

A root canal shouldn't take too long, but it does require a lot of care.

In the vast realm of restorative dentistry, few procedures are as notorious and simultaneously misunderstood as Root Canal Therapy. People often cringe at the mere mention of it, conjuring up images of prolonged discomfort and endless hours in the dental chair. As experts in the field of endodontics, we’re here to shed light on this important dental procedure, addressing common concerns and dispelling myths. One of the questions that frequently arises is, “How long does a root canal take when performed by an endodontist?” This article will delve into the intricacies of root canal treatment, providing insights into its duration, preparation, signs indicating the need for such treatment, post-procedure expectations, and the relationship between root canals and dental implants. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of this vital dental procedure and what to expect when undergoing it.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal, technically known as endodontic therapy, is a dental procedure designed to save a tooth that has become severely infected or damaged. Each tooth in your mouth has a soft inner core called the dental pulp, which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. When this pulp becomes infected due to deep cavities, fractures, or trauma, it can lead to excruciating pain and the potential loss of the tooth.

The primary goal of a root canal is to remove the infected or damaged pulp, clean and disinfect the interior of the tooth’s root canals, and then seal them to prevent further infection. This process relieves the patient’s pain and allows them to keep their natural tooth, preserving the integrity of their dental arch. But first, from the specialist perspective, it is paramount to perform an evaluation that details, like a map, the problem by using state-of-the-art technology.

Understanding CBCTs and Their Role in Enhancing Root Canal Therapy

Untreated tooth decay can delve deep into the tooth’s pulp, causing excruciating pain and disrupting your daily life. At Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, our endodontist is ready to relieve your suffering through prompt root canal therapy, restoring your comfort and smile.

If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain, hot and cold sensitivity, gum bumps, swollen or tender gums, darkened gums, chipped or cracked teeth, or a growing abscess, schedule an appointment with us. We employ advanced CBCT 3D imaging, offering a comprehensive view of your tooth’s anatomy for precise diagnosis and treatment planning.

CBCTs provide anatomically correct, three-dimensional images with minimal scatter radiation, surpassing traditional X-rays in clarity. This technology ensures accurate evaluation and a tailored treatment plan, delivering the radiant, healthy smile you deserve.

How Long Does Root Canal Therapy Take?

Now, let’s address the pressing question: How long does a root canal take when performed by an endodontist? The duration of a root canal procedure can vary depending on several factors, including the tooth’s location, the case’s complexity, and the patient’s circumstances. A straightforward single-rooted tooth may take about 60 to 90 minutes to complete. However, more complex cases, such as molars with multiple roots or those with intricate anatomy, may take longer, often extending to two hours or more.

It’s important to note that modern advancements in endodontics, including technology such as operating microscopes and digital imaging, have greatly enhanced the efficiency and precision of root canal procedures. These tools enable endodontists to work more effectively, which can lead to shorter treatment times.

Your Buckhead Atlanta dentist can typically complete a root canal in just one or two visits, depending on infection severity. Initial treatment might include antibiotics to reduce infection. During your first visit at Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, the endodontist applies a topical anesthetic to numb the area and places a protective barrier to isolate the tooth.

With advanced tools, including a precise microscope with 16-fold magnification and guided by X-rays, the tooth is meticulously cleaned to remove all decay. Afterward, a filling is applied to prevent further decay. In some cases, a post supports a dental crown mimicking a natural tooth for eating and smiling confidently.

How Should I Prepare for Root Canal Treatment?

Preparing for a root canal is relatively straightforward, and your endodontist will guide you through the process. Here are some essential steps to ensure a smooth and successful procedure:


The process typically begins when your endodontist assesses your dental health, takes X-rays, and discusses the treatment plan with you.

Medical History

Be prepared to provide your complete medical history, including any allergies, medications you are currently taking, and past dental procedures.

Discussion and Questions

Feel free to ask your endodontist any questions or concerns about the procedure. Understanding what to expect can help ease any anxiety.

Anesthesia and Sedation

Your endodontist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth, ensuring that you are comfortable throughout the procedure. In some cases, sedation options may be available for anxious patients.


It’s essential to stay relaxed during the procedure. Bring headphones and your favorite music or an audiobook to help pass the time and take your mind off the treatment.

Post-Treatment Plans

Discuss post-treatment plans with your endodontist. They will provide instructions on caring for your tooth after the root canal and may schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress.

Signs You Need a Root Canal Treatment

Understanding the signs that indicate the need for a root canal can help you seek timely treatment. Here are some common symptoms and situations that may signal the necessity of a root canal:

Severe Toothache

Intense, persistent pain when chewing or applying pressure to a tooth can be a sign of an infected or damaged pulp.

Prolonged Sensitivity

If a tooth becomes highly sensitive to hot or cold temperatures and the sensitivity lingers even after the stimulus is removed, it may be an indication of pulp inflammation.

Swelling or Abscess

Swelling in the gums, a pimple-like bump on the gum, or the presence of pus around a tooth can be signs of infection.

Darkening or Discoloration

Discoloration of a tooth, often appearing as a gray or dark spot, can indicate pulp damage.

Painful Chewing

Pain or discomfort while biting down or chewing can suggest an issue with the dental pulp.

Injury or Trauma

Teeth that have sustained trauma or injury, even if the damage isn’t immediately visible, may develop pulp problems over time.

Spontaneous Pain

Pain that occurs without any apparent cause or triggers may also be a sign of pulp inflammation or infection.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced dentist or an endodontic specialist promptly. Early intervention can prevent the infection from spreading and increase the chances of saving the affected tooth.

What Should I Expect After a Root Canal?

The period following a root canal is a crucial part of the process, and understanding what to expect can help ensure a successful outcome. Here’s a general overview of what you might experience after a root canal:

Immediate Relief

In most cases, patients experience immediate relief from the severe pain and discomfort that led them to seek a root canal.


It’s normal to experience some sensitivity in the treated tooth for a few days following the procedure. This sensitivity typically subsides gradually.


Your endodontist may prescribe antibiotics or pain medications to manage any post-procedure discomfort or prevent infection.

Rest and Healing

Give your tooth time to heal. Avoid chewing hard or crunchy foods on the treated tooth until your endodontist gives you the green light.

Follow-Up Appointments

Follow any post-treatment instructions provided by your endodontist, including attending any scheduled follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process.

Long-Term Care

After the root canal, your tooth will need a permanent filling or a permanent crown to protect and strengthen it. Your endodontist will discuss this with you during your treatment plan.

Oral Hygiene

Maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, to ensure the long-term health of your treated tooth and the surrounding teeth.

Remember that every patient’s experience may vary slightly, so it’s essential to communicate with your dental professional if you have any concerns or unusual symptoms after the procedure.

Root Canal Therapy and Dental Implants

A common question that arises in the context of root canals is the relationship between root canal therapy and dental implants. Both procedures aim to address damaged or infected teeth that have infected or severely damaged tissue but differ in their approaches and outcomes.

The Advantages of Root Canal Treatment

One of the primary benefits of opting for a root canal is its ability to provide essential care while preserving your natural tooth. Alternative treatments often necessitate tooth extraction and replacement, which can be both expensive and less preferable in the short term.

Understanding Dental Implants

Dental implants serve as a solution for decayed teeth by replacing them with a titanium screw securely fused to the jawbone. In single-tooth implant procedures, an abutment is affixed to the implant, serving as the anchor for a customized crown. This results in a harmonious appearance that seamlessly blends with your natural teeth, enhancing your smile’s aesthetics.

The Advantages of Dental Implants in Atlanta

Opting for dental implants in Atlanta offers significant advantages, notably a reduced risk of future infections due to their artificial construction, which is impervious to decay. They are engineered for durability, potentially lasting up to two decades with proper care and regular maintenance.

Choosing the Right Treatment

Several factors should influence your choice of treatment. While root canals effectively address decay-related issues, recurrence is possible, potentially necessitating future surgery. A root canal may not suffice in certain advanced decay scenarios requiring a dental implant. While dental implants may involve higher initial costs, their long-lasting results can save you money in the long run. Ultimately, the decision should align with your specific dental needs and long-term goals.

Who Should Perform a Root Canal?

Performing a root canal requires specialized training and expertise, which is why these procedures are typically carried out by root canal specialists or endodontists. An endodontist is a dentist who has completed additional years of education and training in diagnosing and treating dental pulp and root canal-related issues.

Choosing a skilled and experienced endodontist is paramount to the success of your root canal therapy. When seeking a provider, consider the following factors:


Verify that the endodontist is board-certified and licensed to practice in your state or country.


Inquire about the endodontist’s experience with similar cases and the number of root canal procedures they have performed.


Ensure that the practice is equipped with modern technology and tools to enhance the precision and efficiency of the procedure.

Patient Reviews

Reviewing previous patient testimonials can provide insights into the endodontist’s competence and patient satisfaction.


Choose an endodontist who communicates clearly, answers your questions, and makes you feel comfortable throughout the process.

Once viewed as a daunting procedure, root canal therapy has evolved into an efficient and routine dental treatment. The right dental professional at your Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry and proper dental care successfully preserves healthy tooth structure and prevents tooth loss. Whether you require a simple root canal procedure or more complex endodontic treatment, seeking timely care can save your tooth and alleviate severe pain, allowing you to enjoy a healthy smile once again.

Transform Your Smile with Confidence!

Are you ready to experience top-notch dental care and regain your smile’s brilliance? At Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, our skilled team of dentists and endodontists is here to serve you. Whether you need a routine check-up, a root canal procedure, or dental implants, we’ve got you covered. With cutting-edge technology and a commitment to your comfort, we ensure your dental journey is seamless and pain-free. Don’t wait to achieve the smile you deserve – schedule your appointment today! Take the first step towards a healthier, more radiant you. Your dream smile is just a click or call away!