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“One suggestion I might make is to wear comfortable clothes since they’ll be in the chair an hour or two,” she says. “Also, be prepared with some sort of pain control. I usually recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen and very rarely prescribe any controlled substances.”
Alan S. Law, president of the American Association of Endodontists, a board-certified endodontist, and president of The Dental Specialists in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, says most root canal treatments are similar to other dental procedures.
That is, there is no special preparation required, and you don’t need to avoid eating before the procedure.
How long does a root canal take?
Root canals are usually completed in one or two visits, either by a general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in root canals), Dr. Martinez-Barron says.
“Typical appointments include time for diagnostic tests, a review of the procedure, time to get numb, the root canal procedure, and post-treatment instructions,” Dr. Law says.
The length of the procedure varies based on the number of roots, the location of the tooth in the mouth, and the length and curvature of the roots.
“The length of the procedure depends on several factors, such as whether it’s a molar, premolar, or anterior tooth,” says Dr. Martinez-Barron. “Molars can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, and a premolar or anterior tooth can take 30 minutes to an hour. It all depends on the complexity of the root anatomy and patient cooperation.”