How Much Root Canal Cost and How Long Does it Take?

A root canal is a treatment method of inflamed (infected) or dead tooth pulp. The pulp is a soft tissue located centrally in the tooth. It contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The chamber that contains the pulp is the hollowed center of the tooth and continues as canals through the roots of the teeth and into the bone. There are roots with more than one canal, but All roots have a minimum of one canal.

To treat the root canal, the dentist has to remove the tooth's pulp and fill the pulp chamber and canals to seal them to prevent infection by bacteria.

To get a root canal, you do a google search of root canal near me, to the nearest dental clinics performing the procedure.

Root Canal Symptoms

Numerous things can cause damage to the pulp or the nerve supplying the tooth. The most common symptom is pain which is usually accompanied by other symptoms. Pain is usually the most common symptom that lets you know you need root canal treatment. However, there are no symptoms to serve as a warning in many cases.

Some of the symptoms that alert you that you need a root canal treatment Include


his is the first and most common symptom that you need a root canal treatment. The pain is usually specific, and in cases where the tooth is still alive, you will experience tooth sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks. The sensitivity will also persist even after the stimulus is no longer present.

The sensitivity to heat rather than cold is a classic sign that you need tooth canal treatments.

As time goes on, the tooth will begin to hurt on its own without any stimulus, like at night or even when you are not eating with the tooth in question. The pain can develop into a severe headache that can make you think it’s something else entirely causing the pain.

In cases where the tooth is dead and contains an abscess, you will feel pain whenever you chew or place pressure on the tooth. The abscess may sometimes lead to swelling or minor bleeding in the surrounding area of the tooth. It can also lead to noticeable swelling of the jaw, cheek, or around the throat. You need to seek urgent treatment even if you have to go to the emergency room when it gets to this stage.

Other issues that can cause pain

Many other issues in the mouth can produce the same symptoms as toothache. So not every toothache is a sign that you need a root canal. You need to visit a licensed dentist for tooth examination.

There are many cases where the toothache can be so intense that you may think the solution is a root canal treatment. However, it may only be a symptom of another issue that requires another treatment.

When the root surface becomes exposed because of gum recession, it can lead to cold sensitivity that makes you think you need the treatment. Another issue that can cause pain similar to the one caused by a root canal issue is sinus congestion. This condition causes pressure to build up in the areas surrounding the upper teeth roots.

Pain in the jaw can indicate an actual jaw pain, or it can result from a root canal issue. Gum diseases also cause similar pain as a root canal issue.

Root Canal - Issues


It is necessary to get a tooth canal treatment for an abscessed tooth. An abscess occurs due to an infection when a collection of pus builds in the tooth pulp and forms around the root. The collection of pus forms because a dead nerve becomes infected. In some cases, the abscess forms a small bump similar to a pimple on the outer surface of the gum. Sometimes, you might even see pus coming out of the bump, which can cause a bad taste in your mouth.

When the abscess is left unattended, it will keep growing and cause the surrounding bone of the root to become infected. As the surrounding bone becomes more infected, it can affect nearby tissues. There are rare situations of tooth abscess causing the death of people. Although you can deal with the spread of the infection with antibiotics, the only solution to deal with the infection completely is a root canal. This treatment will clean out the bacteria and dead tissue within the pulp and root canals. Apart from an endodontic abscess, certain other abscesses can also cause tooth problems. For instance, a periodontal abscess can be especially painful and cannot be treated with a root canal.

Deep cavity

The pulp can also become infected when tooth decay progresses into the pulp. In this case, the pulp can either become infected or die and change into dead tissue. In certain cases, you may feel no pain at all, but a root canal is the only way your dentist can remove all the dead tissue and decay from the tooth.

Trauma: Trauma from a hard force can also disrupt the nerve supply leading to its death. This can either happen immediately following the trauma or gradually over many years.


A fractured tooth can also cause root canal issues if the fracture reaches into the pulp. In cases where the fractured tooth has little structure remaining for a crown above the gum or other restoration methods, you may need a root canal treatment to place a post at the canal that will hold the restoration.


In this condition, the structure of the tooth disintegrates, which can be due to any of the following: replantation of the tooth, trauma, response to an injury, or aggressive or sudden movement during orthodontics. Despite all these causes, no one truly understands how some of these issues cause root resorption.

When the resorption begins externally and progresses inwardly, it is known as external root resorption. Internal root resorption happens if it is begins internally and progresses outside. The resorption can affect the pulp cavity, including the nerve supply and blood vessels in both cases. When this happens, the first treatment plan is to do a root canal and then go through special treatments to repair the defect as soon as possible. This is to prevent healthier tooth structures from becoming infected. Mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) is usually used to treat thepo defect. There is no pain to alert you during teeth resorption, and X-rays are the only method of diagnosis.

Repeated dental procedures

The tooth usually goes through a lot of stress during dental procedures. The pulp cavity can become inflamed because of repeated drilling. You need to visit your dentist to know if the inflammation can be reversed.

How does an endodontist perform a root canal?

Your endodontist will begin the treatment by making an opening at the top of the tooth. He or she will then remove the pulp from the central opening of the tooth. He/she will use sodium hypochlorite to clean and disinfect the tooth and canals. In the next step, he/she will shape of the canals to increase it by using a series of file. This ensures that all the infected tooth tissue is removed and makes enough room for filling the canal. Several X-ray images will be taken periodically to ensure the files are getting to the root’s end and that the canal is cleaned and shaped well.

In cases where the treatment requires more than one appointment, the dentist will put calcium hydroxide or other medication into the canal to eliminate any bacteria in the root. You may also have to take a prescribed antibiotic to deal with the infection. The endodontist will also put a temporary seal in the tooth opening until the next appointment. He/she will take it off to complete the treatment. If the dentist can completed the treatment in one appointment, then this part won't be part of the treatment. Instead, the dentist will just go straight to filling the canal.

The root canal procedure

The endodontist will apply anesthesia again to numb the surrounding area and the tooth; then, they will apply a rubber dam and open the canal again by removing the temporary filling.

Gutta-percha is the material use to fill the canal and it comes with a sealing paste. The gutta-percha is a rubber-like material. The dentist might place a crown on the tooth when the root canal after filling it  completely. The dentist may place a post in any of the canals to serve as an anchor that will hold the filling. The tooth can be constructed up using a permanent filling.

After filling the canal, the dentist will place the crown. The dentist can finish both the canal and crown procedure at one go. You may Also have to wait for a while until the tooth is pain-free before adding the crown.

Do root canals hurt?

Many people ask the first question when considering this treatment is, do root canals hurt? According to many people, root canal treatment isn't painful, and it’s just the same as that of a simple filling, so they were able to continue their daily activity as soon as possible. This can be true when you consider that most people who get a root canal are already in a lot of considerable pain, so the treatment is more of a relief, and there is very little recovery time.

During the treatment the doctor will use Anesthesia, and as it wears off, you will feel a little sour around the tooth and gum. The rubber clamp is mostly responsible for the sourness. You may also feel sour when  eating, especially in cases where the tooth previously had an abscess. Although the tooth no longer has any nerve, some nerve endings in the surrounding areas outside the tooth may have become irritated. This can happen due to an abscess or even the treatment. You may have to eat with the opposite side of the mouth for the next few days after the treatment until the tooth and surrounding area heal completely.

If you can't deal with the pain, you can ask your dentist to prescribe over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or any suitable pain meds. Drugs like ibuprofen are not suitable for you if you are on certain blood thinners. You also have to discuss with your doctors if you have stomach ulcers and kidney disease issues. If you are still in extreme pain and it isn't coming down, return to your dentist.

Complications of a root canal?

Performing a root canal on a tooth increases the chances of a fracture. The fracture is because the teeth are more a less a hallow. A root canal and crown placement treatment reduces the chances of a fracture happening, but there is always the possibility. Sometimes the fracture can occur along undetected cracks formed during the root canal and crown procedure. The best course of action may be to extract the tooth.

Roots that curve excessively can cause a file to break. Sometimes, your dentist can retrieve the file, but it is not always so. In this case, your dentist will fill the tooth up to the file level and watch closely. If the tooth was cleaned well before the breakage, it might not become infected. However, if it eventually becomes infected, you may end up needing a surgical procedure to complete the treatment.

Sometimes it can be difficult locating the pulp canal due to calcification. The tooth may end up perforated due to attempts to find the canal. If the tooth becomes severely perforated, the best course of treatment may be to extract it.

Reinfection, discoloration

Reinfection of the root canal can occur when the restoration leaks out or if the patient lacks good oral hygiene. Finally it can happen because of degradation of the sealing materials. Root canal failure can also happen when the dentist that performed the procedure misses an extra canal in a tooth. This missed canal can serve as a reservoir of the infection and cause reinfection of the other cleaned canal. You can save the issue with another root canal. Sometimes, the tooth will need a surgical procedure to be saved. The roots of the upper molars lie really near the sinus cavities. And in certain cases, they even pierce the cavities. Performing a root canal on these roots can cause sinus congestion due to infection and inflammation. A sinus issue can result when the sealing material being used penetrates the sinus cavity.

Root discoloration is another complication of root canal treatment. In certain cases, tooth discoloration is the first sign of nerve death, and that your tooth needs a root canal. The usual color changes range from dark yellow, brown to gray. If you are worried about the esthetic of the tooth, then you can treat the discoloration by bleaching or covering the tooth with a crown.

False Claim Root Canal

There are several claims saying that root canal treatments can lead to several other health problems such as cancer. Such claims have no basics and only assume that a root canal is not enough to clear out the infected tissues, leading to subsequent infections in the mouth that can cause other health issues. There is no scientific basis for these claims, and they are relying on coincidence to drive home their point. These claims are usually used to encourage people to try out other expensive alternatives to increase profit. To be sure of the treatment you need, you need to seek the advice of an experienced licensed dentist you can trust. You can get the evidence for receiving any treatment by doing so.

How long does a root canal take?

Before doing anything, your dentist has to make sure that the tooth really does need the treatment by doing a pulp vitality test. This is done by taking an X-ray of the tooth. The pulp test often simply involves placing a cold stimulus on the teeth to check for healthy responses. This means that the test will involve many teeth, and your dentist will compare their responses.

You can do the treatment in one or two visits if the test confirms that a tooth needs the treatment. Your dentist will make the final decision on the number of times you need to visit for the treatment depending on the nature of the abscess.  It may take more than two appointments if you are treating the tooth for the second time. You may be wondering how long it will take to finish a root canal treatment? The total amount of time you can expect  total of 90-160 minutes in one to two appointments.

The dentist will test many teeth to compare the responses. If the test confirms the need for root canal therapy, it will be completed in one or two days. The procedure is done by either an endodontist or a general dentist who will use a microscope attached to a wall and hanging over your mouth to perform the treatment. The purpose of the microscope is to increase the magnification to enable your dentist or endodontist to perform the treatment more effectively.

How much is a root canal?

Before beginning the treatment, the dentist will apply local anesthesia to the area to numb the area. After confirming the tooth and surrounding area is adequately numb, your dentist will use a rubber dam to separate the tooth from contaminants like saliva that can dirty the tooth again. A rubber dam comprises a metal clamp holding a latex sheet that surrounds the tooth.

As you consider this treatment, the question that you may ask yourself is, how much is a root canal? The amount of money you will spend on getting a root canal depends on the tooth, and if the person doing the procedure is a general dentist: An endodontist can also carry out the procedure. If the tooth is a molar, then the dentist will have to fill the canals, which can increase the cost of the treatment.

Generally, it is more expensive if the person performing the procedure is an endodontist because they receive special training to perform the procedure. If the procedure is on a single root like the canine or incisor, you can spend between $400 and $1,000. The cost of the procedure on a tooth like a molar and a premolar that can have more than one root is between $500-$1,400. If you have dental insurance, it should cover the cost of the treatment.

Root canal vs extraction, when to know which one you need?

Your dentist will examine each tooth to know the advantages and disadvantages of root canal treatment in extraction. One benefit of a root canal is that it can save your teeth, but the best cause of treatment in certain cases may not be a root canal.

The following reasons below should help you determine which course of treatment is the best when it comes to extraction vs. root canal:

Root Fracture

In cases where a tooth fracture extends into the root or affects a significant part of the crown, a root canal may not be enough to stop the pain of the infection.

Absence of tooth structure: sometimes, a tooth can be so damaged that the structure left above the bone isn't enough for attaching a crown, so a root canal treatment is useless. The dentist might need to perform a procedure to increase the length of the crown. This is so he/she can  first to expose more areas of the tooth. If this is the case, the decision on which procedure to do will be determined by your dentist after careful evaluation.

Third Molars

If you have a third molar, then it might be best to extract it since it is often not in the best position to function effectively.

Significant resorption

It might not be enough to perform a root canal if a significant portion of the tooth has dissolved. Tooth extraction may be the best cause of action in such cases.

Multiple root canals

The chances of a successful root canal reduce each time the procedure is done on a tooth. If you have already had a root canal done on a tooth, the chances of the same treatment being successful on the same tooth become even less. Your dentist will compare the chances of success of other treatment options against a root canal. Most times, the tooth will have to be extracted. It is left for you to decide which treatment option you want.


How long do root canals last?

The success rate of root canal treatment is 95%, and it can last as long as you are alive. To make your tooth canal last for a long time, you need to do a permanent restoration by getting a root canal and crowns quickly after the treatment. You also need to maintain the restoration by maintaining good oral hygiene. There is always the possibility that the tooth treated with the root canal will develop a cavity. For this reason, you must maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing frequently. When the tooth develops a cavity, you won't feel any symptoms because there is no nerve present in the tooth. You will only feel pain when it fractures or when it gets abscessed again. Your dentist will recommend periodic X-rays to help monitor the tooth for any treatment failure and reinfection.

Are there any alternatives to a root canal?

Naturally, the best option would be to save the tooth, so the most appropriate treatment is usually a root canal. The other alternative solution is tooth extraction and replacing it with a denture and implant or bridge. Campred to a tooth canal these are more expensive treatment options, and they need more treatment and recovery times. If the tooth is not replaced after extraction, chewing will be difficult, resulting in teeth shifting