Some people don’t really get excited about dental appointments. But going to the dentist is essential, especially if you have a serious tooth problem you want to get fixed. However, despite understanding the importance of a trip to the dentist, some people can still feel nervous about it. And that’s understandable. 

But one way to alleviate the nervousness of an approaching dental procedure is to read more about it. When you know what to expect, you may realize that it’s not that scary after all. If you’re feeling a bit nervous about your first root canal, understanding the procedure more may help you feel less anxious about the whole situation.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a common dental procedure that is meant to repair or save an infected tooth. During the procedure, the dentist will remove infected or inflamed soft tissue from within the affected tooth. 

This soft tissue is called the dental pulp, and it often contains connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. If the dental pulp has been infected, it will cause severe pain in the tooth. The root canal procedure is done to remove the infected dental pulp so that the tooth can be saved and reinfection will be prevented. 

What to Expect During a Root Canal Procedure?

While this may seem quite painful, you actually won’t be feeling a thing throughout the procedure. The dentist will first apply a numbing medication in the affected areas and then inject a local anesthetic.

You may hear scary drilling noises during the procedure since a small hole will be drilled into the tooth to expose the pulp. But again, do not be disheartened by this, as the local anesthetic will make sure that you won’t feel any pain throughout all this. 

Once the dentist has access to the infected pulp, they will remove it and clean out the inside of the affected tooth as well. To prevent reinfection, the dentist will also be coating the tooth with an antibiotic. Once this is done, the dentist will fill the tooth and seal it using a paste or some kind of synthetic material. They will then cover the tooth with a temporary filling and sealant to further protect it.

Again, since you will be under local anesthesia, it will feel as painless as any other routine procedure. However, numbness, soreness, and mild discomfort may be experienced during the first 24 to 48 hours. But in this case, over-the-counter pain medications will do the trick.

How Long Will a Root Canal Procedure Take?

If it’s a simple root canal procedure, it will likely take around 30 minutes to an hour. However, for more severe cases, at least 90 minutes should be expected. Some severe cases may even require a second appointment if a permanent filling or crown is recommended by the dentist. 

The duration of the procedure also depends on the type of tooth being treated. If the root canal involves the canines or incisors, it will probably be a standard half-hour procedure. That’s because they are faster and easier to treat. 

For the premolars, you’ll probably be dealing with one or two roots. So, the whole procedure will likely take one hour or more. And the worst case is if you have four root canals in the molars. This will take at least 90 minutes to treat.

Final Thoughts

Root canals are a common dental procedure that often takes 30 to 90 minutes to treat. While extracting the infected pulp may seem painful, numbing medication and a local anesthetic will be applied to ensure a painless procedure. And if you do feel some soreness or mild discomfort after the procedure, you can take some over-the-counter pain medications to help alleviate the pain.

Get a painless root canal procedure at Shallowford Family Dental Group. We are a dentist in Chattanooga committed to providing the best care possible to our patients. Our multi-doctor team creates a healthy environment of experience and expertise that benefits every patient. Schedule an appointment now!

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