An infected tooth needs to be treated as soon as possible in order to avoid serious health and wellness problems. To avoid extraction, dentists typically perform root canal therapy (endodontic treatment). This saves the tooth and prevents you from needing a dental bridge or other appliance. Gulch Dental Studio has helped countless patients in the greater Nashville, TN area thanks to root canal therapy.
Many patients ask Dr. Clint Newman and Dr. Scott Harris how long a root canal takes to complete. Let’s answer that question and then break down the root canal therapy process.
How Many Visits are Needed?
To complete a root canal, there are two visits, spaced about a week to two weeks apart. Each visits is about 90 minutes long, allowing our dentists to perform the necessary restorative work that’s part of endodontic treatment.
While that may seem a tad inconvenient, you’ll understand why there are two separate visits in a moment. Keep in mind that the first visit is where the majority of the difficult work is done.
What Happens at the First Root Canal Visit?
During your first root canal visit to our Nashville practice, we will remove the infected dental pulp from inside your tooth. Patients will be sedated and have local anesthetic administered to help reduce any pain or discomfort from treatment.
This process involves drilling into the tooth structure and carefully clearing away the pulp chamber. When all of the infected tissue is removed from the pulp chamber, it is then sterilized to kill off any of the remaining oral bacteria.
With the pulp chamber completely cleared out, the next step is to fill the tooth with an inert material. We use a rubbery substance called gutta percha. The treated tooth is then capped with a temporary dental crown.
What Happens at the Second Root Canal Visit?
At the second root canal visit, the temporary dental crown is removed and a custom dental crown is put in place. The crown is checked for proper fit one last time before it is adhered in place.
This custom crown is created at an off-site dental lab. All efforts are made to ensure that the crown properly complements your bite. The goal is to restore your ability to bite and chew as if you never had to undergo a root canal in the first place.
Since an off-site dental lab needs to fashion the crown, the second visit reflects the wait time for the creation of the crown. We assure you the the crown you receive will be worth the wait.
The Period in Between Both Visits
In between visits, patients will notice some pain and discomfort as they recover from the root canal. This is normal given the nature of the treatment and what is involved. We recommend that patients take pain medication as recommended and eat a predominantly soft diet in order to reduce discomfort. When possible, it’s best to chew on the side opposite the treated tooth.
If there is some swelling around your face, consider using a cold compress. Keep the cold compress in place for about 15 minutes and then leave it off for about 15 minutes. Repeat the process as needed.
Speak with a Skilled Dentist
If you live in the Nashville area and would like to learn more about root canal therapy, be sure to contact Gulch Dental Studio. Our team is here to help. You can reach us by phone at (615) 913-5889.