The only way to treat an infected tooth effectively is with root canal treatment. A root canal removes the damaged and infected tissue, cleans the canals, and then seals the tooth. This prevents further infection from occurring. In most cases, root canals take one to three appointments. But there are several factors that affect the duration of root canal therapy.
Front Teeth Are Easier to Treat and Can Be Done in One Appointment
Front teeth only have one canal, whereas back teeth have multiple canals. This means that front teeth such as the central incisors are easier to treat. But if the infection is extensive, then more than one appointment may be necessary.
Infection Has to Be Completely Removed First
Before a dentist can seal a tooth after root canal treatment, they must first remove all of the infected material. If any infected material remains inside the tooth when a dentist seals it, the infection will return.
If your tooth is badly infected, then your dentist may need at least two appointments, with several weeks between them, to ensure that the infection has cleared up.
The Tooth Is Sealed Once the Infection Has Been Removed
In general, a dentist will seal a tooth once the infection has dissipated. This will usually take place in the second appointment. And if the tooth is mostly intact, then a filling will be enough to provide structural support to the tooth.
A Dental Crown Could Add on an Additional Two Appointments
Sometimes, patients need a dental crown to cover a tooth that has had a root canal. This is because teeth are no longer vital once the pulp is dead. Gradually, a tooth without a pulp will become more brittle over time. You could then choose to have a crown placed on the tooth rather than a filling. The crown will strengthen the tooth and prevent it from breaking in the future.
However, since crowns take two weeks to create, you'll need at least one more appointment to place your dental crown after your root canal treatment is over.
If you are about to have a root canal on one of your teeth, then expect to need one to four appointments to complete the treatment. If your root canal is a simple one that only requires a filling, then one appointment will be sufficient. Only your dentist can decide how many appointments you will need to finish root canal treatment.