How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

Jan 31, 2023 | Uncategorized

When infection or inflammation develops in the soft tissue inside of your tooth, a root canal becomes necessary. This is a dental procedure in which damaged tissue is removed from the tooth and the structure of the tooth is saved. Once the damaged tissue is removed, the tooth is sealed to prevent new bacteria from entering. Every year, dental professionals perform more than 15 million root canals.

Root canal therapy is just one of the many dental services offered by Dr. Baptista Kwok at Covington Complete Dental Care. Typically, a root canal can be done in one appointment but may take two, and usually takes 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending on several factors including the location of the tooth and the severity of the infection.

How Many Visits Does a Root Canal Take?

Typically, root canal therapy takes at least two visits.

The focus of the first visit is to remove the damaged/infected tissue from the tooth, which requires a lot of time, care, and concentration. Dr. Kwok will then apply an antibacterial medication to the tooth. This should relieve any pain you’ve been feeling.

The focus of the second visit is to clean and disinfect the tooth more and to permanently seal the canal with a rubber-like material. At this time, a filling or temporary crown will be placed. If you are getting a crown, an impression will be taken and sent to the lab for the fabrication of your permanent crown.

How Long Does It Take?

A very simple root canal can be completed within 30 to 60 minutes- if the tooth has one canal. However, when you have a root canal, you should expect to spend approximately 90 minutes in the dentist’s chair.

The reason that this procedure takes so long is because the tooth pulp will need to be carved out and the canal must be rinsed and disinfected. Some of your teeth only have one canal, while others have several. In addition, it takes some time to administer anesthesia and to get everything set up and prepared for the procedure.

Below, we’ll look at the different types of teeth and explain how long it takes to do a root canal on each.


The teeth in the front of your mouth help you tear/cut food and are called the incisors and canine teeth. These teeth only have one root, so they are much easier to treat with a root canal. However, they can still take up to an hour or more, without factoring in the time it takes to place a crown.

Of course, you’ll need to schedule another appointment to have the crown placed after the tooth has healed and there are no additional complications. A temporary crown will be placed to prevent food and additional bacteria from getting into the tooth.


Your premolars are located between your anterior teeth and your molars. These typically only have one or two roots. On average, root canal therapy takes about an hour or so- depending on the anatomy of the tooth.


Molars are the four-cusped teeth at the back of your mouth. Since these teeth can have up to 4 roots, this procedure may take 90 minutes or longer to complete a root canal.

Schedule Your Root Canal at Covington Complete Dental Care Today

If you are in need of root canal therapy, contact Covington Complete Dental Care right away. Dr. Kwok and the team have the experience and expertise necessary to complete root canals, along with an array of other dental services. We are conveniently located on Southeast Wax Road in Covington. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM. We are open by appointment only on Fridays. We look forward to helping you with all of your dental needs.