State-of-the-Art Oral Surgery Including Root Canals and Wisdom Teeth Removal

How Many Visits Needed For Root Canal?

How Many Visits Needed For Root Canal

How Many Visits Needed For Root Canal: The root canal refers to the innermost hollow region of the tooth which houses the tooth nerves, connective tissues, and blood vessels-together known as the tooth pulp. If the adult natural tooth gets cracked/chipped or badly decayed, the only sure option that can help preserve the tooth for a lifetime is root canal therapy. This treatment involves removal of the entire infected/damaged tooth pulp, filling of the empty canal, and then sealing to prevent further infection.

Today, many people are looking at root canals as their treatment of choice for saving their damaged teeth. Most of them still seek correct information and even answers to all of their questions regarding the procedure.

One of the commonly asked questions to general dentists or endodontists is- Can a root canal be completed in one visit? Well, it is not necessary, most patients require two visits. The exact number of dental visits required to complete the root canal therapy and ensure its success depends upon the situation of the patient and associated complications. Continue reading to discover why many root canal specialists prefer to do the treatment over the course of two separate appointments.  

Is it possible to have a root canal done in one visit? Standard root canal procedure takes more than a single visit. In the first session, the root canal is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The second phase of the treatment involves filling and sealing the empty root canal. In between the two dental appointments, the dentist or endodontist puts some medication like calcium hydroxide paste on the tooth to continue its disinfection of the root canal. The time required between two visits usually varies among the patients. Typically, it is between 1 to 3 weeks. An additional visit is needed by the patient to undergo necessary tooth restoration. Tooth restoration is mainly done by the placement of a dental crown. But, some patients may opt for other tooth restoration options like dental inlays and Onlays.

First Dental Visit

During the first dental appointment, patients undergo a complete oral examination. The dentist takes dental X-rays to spot the exact condition of the tooth that is required to be treated. Before starting with the actual root canal process, the area around the tooth to be treated is numbed with a local anesthetic. A rubber dental dam is then placed to avoid the contact of saliva with the tooth and keep it dry.

The procedure commences with the drilling of an access hole in the biting surface of the tooth to reach the tooth pulp. The dentist thoroughly cleans the pulp chamber with special tools. These dental tools help scrape the infected tooth pulp from the canal walls. The damaged or infected tooth nerves are also removed. Periodically, the canal is flushed or irrigated with a cleansing solution to get rid of any debris.

Many endodontists wait up to a week to complete the root canal process. To treat infection, antibiotics are provided. Before the patient leaves the dental office, a temporary dental filling is put inside the tooth to avoid any contaminants.          

Second Dental Visit

During the second dental appointment, the temporary dental filling is removed and replaced by biocompatible material called gutta-percha. The access hole which is created is sealed by a permanent filling. Next, the focus is on the restoration of the treated tooth by placing of dental crown or inlays/Onlays in order to protect it. The overall aim of capping the tooth is to ensure that there is no scope for re-infection and to restore the natural tooth functioning.

For some patients, additional visits may be needed if the tooth needing treatment has an active infection at the time of their first dental visit or if the patient suffers from a condition known as Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder.

Multiple-visit Approach Vs One-visit Approach: Which Is Better?

A multiple visit root canal therapy is usually best for patients having endodontic flare-ups. This is because the treated root remains medicated with disinfectants or antibiotics in between the sessions. Dentists may also choose this approach if they need to monitor their patient’s healing process before finishing their treatment.

With the latest dental tools and enhanced dental technology available at The Dental Specialist (TDS), the best root canal clinic in Chicago, root canal procedures can be done in a single dental visit. If the root canal is sealed on the same day of its being treated, there is no chance of further infections. Hence, there will be a reduced endodontic flare-up rate. Another benefit of completing a root canal in one sitting is that it saves time and money.

However, some factors disqualify the patient from a one-visit root canal therapy. These includes:

  • Infection of the molars that are multi-rooted teeth.
  • If the tooth requires extensive cleaning or is being re-treated.
  • In emergency cases where the dentist will try to first relieve the pain or discomfort of the patient before coming up with a suitable treatment plan. 

Want to know more does a root canal take more than one visit, schedule a consultation now with an expert endodontist at TDS for more information.