How Long Does A Root Canal Take To Heal And Can It Kill You?

When there are an inflammation and infection of a tooth, we recommend you to take a root canal treatment.  A root canal treatment is also helpful if the tooth pulp is dead. Speaking of the pulp, it is the soft substance in the middle of the tooth. It contains the connective tissue, the blood vessels, and the nerve. So, how long does a root canal take? Here you will get the deep explanation of root canal treatment, why you should remove the tooth pulp, the damage, and other important information.

During the procedure, the experts will remove the nerve, the pulp and other things inside the infected tooth. What they do is to clean and seal the area. This treatment is important. If your infected tooth is left untreated, it can make the infection worst and may form abscesses.

Even though the experts will remove the tooth’s nerve, it does not create a big negative impact in your life. The nerve does not determine the health and the function of your tooth. It only works with its sensory to provide the sensation of cold and hot. It means that the treatment does not bring any side effect to the function of your tooth.

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Why Is Root Canal Treatment Required?

Before going to talk about “how long does a root canal take”, it is very important to know why the root canal treatment is required. Here, we hope our explanation is clear for you.

The damage to the tooth’s nerve tissue or pulp can break it down. At that time, bacteria will multiply in the pulp chamber. What happens next is the abscessed tooth or infection because of the bacteria and the accumulation of debris inside. The abscess is a pocket filled with pus at the end of the roots of your tooth. Not only an abscess, but the damage also leads to other potential risks as below:

  1. Bone loss in the tip of the root
  2. Swelling that goes to other areas such as head, neck, or face
  3. Drainage problems go outward the root. There may be a hole through the side of the tooth with the drainage into the gums or through the cheek along with the drainage into your skin.

In fact, the nerve and pulp of the tooth can get some problems like irritation, inflammation, and infection because of deep decay, large fillings, repeated dental procedures on your tooth, a trauma to the face as well as a crack in the tooth.

How Do You Know If You Would Need A Root Canal?

Our body can give the signs when we need the root canal treatment. Here, what we need to do is to understand the signs as below:

  1. Serious teeth pain, especially when you are eating or pressing on the area
  2. Teeth pain with tenderness or swelling in the gums around the area
  3. Tooth becomes dark
  4. Teeth pain with a small and pimple-like bump on the gums around the area
  5. Teeth paint and the sensitivity to cold and hot that still stay even after removing the hot or cold stimuli

In conclusion, the sign of a root canal is when the there is severe teeth pain because of infection.

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How Long Does A Root Canal Take?

So, actually how long does a root canal take? When you consider having a root canal, it means that you have to understand that you need one or even more office visits. A dentist or an endodontist can perform the surgery. An endodontist is a dentist who is the experts in the cause, diagnosis, as well as treatment and injuries related to human dental pup or tooth nerves.

First, the procedure is to option of the dentist type to do the treatment. It depends on the difficulty of the root canal issue you have. Besides, it depends on the dentist’s comfort in performing his job on your tooth. The dentist may have his suggestion to solve the issue based on your condition.

Second, the dentist will take the X-ray. It is important to know the root canals shape. It is also the helpful method to determine and check the signs of infection, especially in the bone. Your dentist or endodontist may give local anesthesia. It works to numb the area around the tooth. Even though the nerve is dead so that anesthesia is not necessary, most dentists still use it to make you comfortable and more relaxed.

After that, the dentist will place a rubber dam. He will place it around your tooth. It is important to make sure the area dry and free of saliva to do the treatment. He will start drilling an access hole into the tooth. In addition, he will remove the pulp together with the bacteria, the debris and the decayed nerve tissue from the tooth. This is a cleaning process done by using root canal files. These files can scrape and scrub each side of the root canals. Therefore, the process about “how long does a root canal take” is quite long. Your dentist still needs sodium hypochlorite or water to flush away the debris periodically.

After the cleaning process, your dentist starts the next procedure, the sealing process. For some, they may wait for a week to seal the tooth. In case that there is an infection, it is possible for your dentist to put a medication inside your tooth to clean it up. Alternatively, others may seal the tooth after the cleaning process. If your dentist does not complete the root canal treatment on the same day, their solution is to place a temporary filling in the exterior hole in your tooth. This is the best way to sterilize the area from saliva and food.

At the next visit, the dentists will use a sealer paste as well as a rubber known as gutta-percha. He will place it into the tooth’s root canal to fill the interior of the tooth.  He will also fill the exterior access hole in the beginning of the treatment by placing a filling.

In the end of the process, your dentist will involve the tooth restoration step. A Root canal is required for a tooth that has a large filling, weakness, a crown, extensive decay as well as crown and post. It is possible for your dentist to place other restoration on the tooth to protect and to prevent the tooth from breaking. The restoration is also applied to keep its function. When your dentist found any additional dental treatment, surely he will discuss it with you.

In this point, you already have known how long does a root canal take including the procedure. The most important thing to highlight is you need more than one office visit.

Does A Root Canal Hurt?

After understanding on how long does a root canal take, perhaps you are thinking about the pain of the surgery at this time. The procedures above are painful. According to the reports from most patients, the pain is just like having a filling to place on the teeth.

After the treatment, how long does a root canal take to deal is based on your way to treat it. Probably, you have an experience with tooth pain as well as sensitivity. Actually, you can handle it if you follow the regular oral care routine. It is important to maintain the crown and to prevent the future tooth paint. When you think that the tooth sensitivity is increasing after the treatment, it is better to use soft-bristled toothbrushes as well as oral care products for sensitive teeth.

Another thing that you can do to deal with the sensitiveness because of the natural tissue inflammation, you can remove the discomfort by using some pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen. The pain will not stay for a quite long. You can get your normal activities in the next day.

It is also good to reduce chewing on the repaired tooth. This is important to prevent the recontamination of the tooth interior. In addition, it is a good way to do to prevent the fragile tooth so it does not break before it is fully restored.

Last but not the least; make sure that you have a big concern on your oral health, brush, floss, as well as antiseptic mouthwash. Do not forget to see your dentists based on the schedule!

Can Root Canal Treatment Fail?

In fact, the root canal treatment has up to 95% of success rate. It means that the treatment is very successful. Even the teeth solved with the root canal treatment can last a lifetime.

In addition, the final step of the procedure is the restoration step such as a filling or a crown.

When Root Canal Goes Wrong

Perhaps, you have been struggling to handle your feeling as to how long does a root canal take to heal. Nevertheless, the fact you have other problems that make you think the treatment gone wrong.

It is true that your dentist had his best effort to make sure that all the area is very clean and he sealed the tooth completely. However, you cannot prevent the new infection after the treatment. This condition is possible to happen because there are some reasons behind it, as below:

  1. There is more than one root canal in a tooth and your dentist left one unclean
  2. Your dentist did not detect crack in the root of a tooth
  3. The dental restoration is still not enough so that the bacteria can past the restoration into the inner aspects of your tooth and then re-contaminate
  4. A breakdown of the inner sealing material that makes bacteria re-contaminate in the inner tooth

That is why the re-treatment can be successful sometimes. Other times, the surgery is important to save the tooth. The most common surgical procedure is root-end resection, known as an apicoectomy. The procedure is done to relieve the infection or inflammation in the bony area, especially around the end of the tooth after the endodontic treatment.

The surgery procedure means that your dentist will open the gum tissue to remove the infected tissue. After that, the dentist will seal the root canal by placing a small filling.

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What To Eat After A Root Canal?

After completing the root canal surgery, your biggest question can be what you can eat. Well, the answer is easy. What you need is a soft and cold food. Since a root canal surgery is the thorough cleaning process, there are some dos and don’ts you must know. After the surgery, here are some things you can do when you want to eat something immediately after the treatment:

  1. Eat on the opposite side of the treatment. Eat with the side that is not numb. This is good to prevent a bite or even burn to yourself.
  2. Eat soft foods only so you do not have a lot of chewing.
  3. Avoid very hot drinks and foods such as hot tea, coffee, or hot soup.
  4. Eat slowly.

Seattle Endodontic Arts recommend you to eat the following foods after the surgery:

  1. Soft cereals
  2. Fruits (Bananas, applesauce, peaches, pears, mangos, and fruit smoothies)
  3. Pudding
  4. Yogurt, ice cream, milkshakes and others without nuts and chunks
  5. Eggs
  6. Soup
  7. Tofu
  8. Tuna Salad
  9. Pancakes
  10. Sushi
  11. Humus
  12. Oatmeal and wheat cream
  13. Mashed vegetables (cauliflower and potatoes)
  14. Pasta and noodles

These foods, for example, fruit smoothies, soft cereal and yogurt are the best foods that you can eat immediately right after the surgery even though there is still swelling. It is true that these foods can satisfy you. At the same time, these foods can soothe the mouth area, especially around the surgical area.

What Not To Eat After The Root Canal Surgery?

On the contrary, you should not take some foods and drinks below after the root canal surgery:

  1. Crunchy foods (carrot, apples, corn on the cob), these foods will only damage the tooth and bring undue pain
  2. Chewy foods (gums, candy, most pieces of bread, taffy), these foods can pull out the filling.
  3. Hard foods (nuts or ice), these foods can damage the tooth, bring unnecessary pain, and damage the surgical area.
  4. Alcohol, this will only increase bleeding.
  5. Foods that are very hot, these will only increase tooth sensitivity.
  6. Spicy foods, these will ring discomfort and sensitivity.

 How Much Roots Canal Treatment Cost?

Move to the cost, to have a root canal treatment, the cost depends on the severity of the problem and the affected tooth. If you have a dental insurance, many of them have the policies to cover the endodontic treatment partially. The estimated cost of the root canal treatment without the dental restoration done by a general dentist may be from $500 to $1,000 for incisor. It can be from $800 to $1,500 for a molar. However, if you go with an endodontist, the charge can reach more than 50% higher.

What Are The Root Canal Alternatives?

Perhaps the long procedures with more than one official visits, make you think about the root canal alternatives. It is also a nice way to try when you cannot deal with the question of how long does a root canal take to heal.

If possible, the best way you can do is to save your natural teeth. If you can save them, it means you can enjoy eating various foods to give proper nutrition.

In case that you want to take other ways instead of root canal treatment, we have no much choice available. The only way to take is to have the tooth extracted and then replaced with an implant or a bridge as well as other removable partial denture. This option is great to restore the chewing function. Besides, this is to prevent the adjacent teeth, especially from shifting. On the contrary, this option is more expensive compared to a root canal procedure. It is also important to note that extractions need more treatment time as well as more procedures to handle the adjacent teeth and the tissues.

What Is The Natural Alternative For Root Canal?

If you think that tooth extraction and root canal treatment is impossible for you because the expensive cost to afford, there is a natural alternative you can do so you do not have to take both extraction and root canal.

In fact, our body is able to protect itself from any infection. The key is to understand that our body needs the right foods to keep everything in balance. Therefore, if you are going to use a natural alternative, make sure that you have a commitment to change your lifestyle. You are considering having stitch principles with your new diet. The excellent diet can be the helpful way to deal with tooth infections. Not only that, but it also can be the solution to offer better health.

If you want to avoid the root canals, there are some useful ways on how to heal the tooth infection naturally. Here are the temporary suggestions to go with:

  1. Stop consuming drinks and foods that contain all processed sugar. Do not consume foods with white sugar and limit natural sugars
  2. Do not consume pasteurized milk. It is good to have certified raw milk to drink. The milk should be from pasture-raised animals.
  3. Consume high-quality protein. It is good to take raw or rare than well done to deal with a tooth infection. Some raw proteins that are good: sashimi, raw fish, raw beef, and does not consume white rice.
  4. Eat very yellow butter or raw butter. It is not the time to worry about cholesterol, limit fat, but take anything your body needs.
  5. Do not consume flour products and grains. It is good to avoid white bread or whole wheat bread as well as other white flour products. In fact, white flour is the culprit of tooth infections. Therefore, you must limit grains until you have handled the tooth infection or tooth pain.

How To Prevent Root Canal?

We understand that the tooth pain can drive you crazy to spend your day and your activity. It sounds a nightmare when your dentist tells you that you must do a root canal treatment. Not only painful, but you should also spend some dollars to cover the treatment, especially if you have no dental insurance.

How long does a root canal take to heal is also not easy to hear. The deep decay with the inflammation and infection on the nerve of your tooth and the pulp surely can take your happiness.

Therefore, if you want to do some prevention, there are some things you can do as below:

  1. Have repeated dental procedures on a tooth such as large fillings
  2. Participate in good oral hygiene practices such as brushing your teeth once a day and visit your dentist regularly

These things are helpful to reduce the need for the root canal procedure. In addition, you can reduce the trauma from a sports-related injury by wearing a mouth guard.

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Some Facts About Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is safe for all people who have severe tooth pain. If you read on the Internet, perhaps the treatment procedures are frightening you. However, it is important to highlight that the procedures are to save the tooth. Here, we provide you the facts of the treatment:

  1. If your tooth died, you can receive a root canal

It is important to know that the root canal treatment is not only for the tooth pain. When your tooth has died and it did not bring any pain, you can apply for a root canal treatment to prevent the serious infection. There are several tests available such as percussion testing and temperature testing to let your dentists know when the tooth has died to get a root canal treatment.

  1. Root canal treatment is not painful

The root canal treatment is available to relieve the tooth pain because of the progressive and the destructive decay that goes to the root of the tooth. This condition can bring a serious infection. In fact, we are living in the modern era where we can find cutting-edge technology, sedation dentistry, and anesthetics. For this reasons, have a root canal treatment is similar to get a filling, it is painless.

  1. Root canal treatment does not bring any illness

It is totally a myth that extractions are better than root canal treatment. Extractions are the method to remove the tooth permanently and that can be the traumatic treatment. Root canal treatment is the safe and effective treatment because it is able to remove the bacteria from the infected root of the tooth. Therefore, it can improve the oral health as well as overall health.

  1. Root canal treatment brings long-lasting result

The treatment is helpful to relieve toothaches and to preserve the affected tooth. Crown or the final restoration is the key to its success. With the well-fit and well-made crown together with the proper oral health practices at home and the routine visits to your dentists, the root canal treatment brings long-lasting result.

What Are The Risks Of Not Getting A Root Canal?

Even though how long does a root canal take to heal can be a big dilemma for you, but root canal treatment is the essential therapy to do because it removes the diseased tooth and removes the nerve from the broken tooth to save it. If you have seen the sign that your tooth needs a root canal and you delay it for some time, of course, there are some potential risks happen to you as below:

  1. Serious Infection

The serious infection can be the first potential risk if you delay the root canal treatment. In this condition, the filling cannot resolve the problem and the use of antibiotics cannot help to resolve the infection permanently.

The infection can spread to other teeth, sinuses, brain, jawbone and even your head. No one wants to have any infection around his or her head. When the infection reaches the brain, it can bring the patient to death.

  1. You Must Remove Your Teeth

F you do not have a root canal immediately, in the future, you must remove your teeth.  A root canal can remove the infected pulp, but when you delay the treatment, you give the chance for the infection to grow and infect other areas.

Root canal treatment is essential when there is an inflammation of the pulp. The diseased pulp chamber and root canals of the tooth must get some treatments such as cleaning and sealing process. These treatments are helpful to save your tooth.

  1. Died From Complications From The Untreated Dental Infections

The therapy is crucial to prevent serious dental infection, as well as life-threatening sepsis, bacterial endocarditis, cellulitis, heart attack, stroke, and the last serious impact is death. There are some individuals have died from the complications because of the untreated dental infections such as Jim Hensen, the founder of the Muppets and Queen Elizabeth I in 1603.

Root Canal And Post

The root canal treatment is done under the use of local anesthetic and therefore, it is painless. If there is a pre-existing infection, it can take time to subside. Mostly, patients feel a little or even no discomfort after the treatment.

In this point, we are going to tell you on how to take care of your tooth during the root canal treatment:

  1. Do not bite on the tooth – A tooth that is under the root canal treatment has a temporary dressing and medication inside. The dressing is temporary and it is not as strong as a permanent option.
  2. Have Good Oral Hygiene – Brushing and flossing are the most important thing to do. It can be difficult to start flossing especially if the cavity in the tooth. That is why it is important to maintain oral hygiene.

Next, after having a complete root canal treatment, you must do some good things to take care of the tooth as below:

  1. Restore the tooth with a crown

In case that the condition damaged the tooth structure, you should restore it by using a crown. The crown is helpful to reduce the risk of leakage or cracking. It is the rule for those who go with all molar and premolar teeth under the root canal treatment.

  1. Do not bite any hard objects or foods with your tooth

A root canal treatment makes your tooth is not as strong as the intact tooth. Therefore, by avoiding biting any hard objects or foods, it can save your tooth from any damage.

  1. Check the tooth regularly

It is very important to know that after doing the root canal treatment, the tooth does not have a nerve. That is why your tooth cannot give any warning signs if there is something wrong with the teeth. We suggest you check the tooth regularly with your dentist. It can help you to reduce the potential issue of undetected tooth decay.

Furthermore, if the tooth does not get crown and then starts to discolor, it is possible to crown the tooth immediately and do an internal whitening treatment. Keep in mind that the root canal treated tooth needs a careful treatment as the same as other tooth or restoration to care for.

how long does a root canal take dental care

Pain After Root Canal Treatment Visits

Rarely, patients still experience the pain, especially after the root canal treatment visits. This is an uncommon situation but it is possible to happen. It can occur because of some reasons as below:

  1. The pressure buildup in the tooth
  2. Presence of residual inflammation around the tooth
  3. The disturbance to the linkage between the nerve and the connecting nerve of the tooth in the gum
  4. The reaction to the medication from the body

If you experience the tooth pain with the infection and inflammation before the root canal treatment, here are some things to do:

  1. Get immediate medication as prescribed
  2. Inform your dentist about your condition

If possible, provide your dentist the complete information such as the location of the pain, the duration and the frequency of the pain, anything that makes the pain comes and worse or better, the pain severity, and others.

In conclusion, ‘how long does a root canal take’ can take your happiness if you do not handle it immediately. You are dealing with the infection, which can grow and turn very bad. It can spread to other areas when you ignore it.


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