Smiling woman in dentist’s chair

If you found this blog post, that means you have questions about root canals. Perhaps a dentist told you that you need one, and you’re wondering how long a root canal actually takes.

Don’t stress. The procedure is relatively straightforward, and our dentist goes the distance to make your experience pleasant.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the root canal process and give you an idea of the time involved. Understanding the timeline may help alleviate some of your concerns to prepare you for a smooth, stress-free experience.

So, let’s dive in and explore the duration of a root canal procedure.

The root canal procedure

A root canal typically involves three main steps and can be completed in one to three visits, depending on the case’s complexity. The first step involves preparing the tooth and administering local anesthesia to ensure comfort throughout the procedure.

Create access hole

Our endodontist in Sioux Falls, SD, will create an access hole in the tooth to reach the infected or inflamed dental pulp.

Removes pulp and cleans canals

Next, our dentist removes the diseased pulp, cleans, shapes, and disinfects the inside of the root canal to eliminate bacteria and debris. This meticulous process ensures the longevity and success of the root canal treatment.

May place a temporary filling

In some cases, Dr. Lavin will place a temporary filling to allow the tooth to heal before the final restoration.

Fills root canals

During the subsequent visit(s), our endodontist will fill the root canals with a biocompatible material known as Gutta-percha, which seals the canals and prevents reinfection.

Depending on the situation, your dentist may also recommend placing a dental crown to protect and strengthen the treated tooth.

Duration of a root canal

The time required for a root canal depends on various factors, such as the location of the tooth, the complexity of the root canal system, and the patient’s circumstances.


On average, a root canal procedure takes about ninety minutes to two hours per visit. For straightforward cases, though, our endodontist can complete the entire process in ONE visit.

Complex cases

However, more complex situations may require multiple visits to ensure thorough cleaning and precise treatment. Our dentist will evaluate your specific case and provide a time estimate during your consultation.

Dental advancements

We’d like to note that the duration of a root canal doesn’t affect the procedure’s comfort level. While a root canal seems lengthy, modern techniques and advancements in dental technology have made root canal treatments more efficient and comfortable than ever before.

Our dentist’s difference

Our dentist prioritizes your comfort throughout the procedure and will administer local anesthesia to ensure a painless experience.

A root canal is a necessary dental procedure if you have an infected or damaged tooth root. It can save your natural tooth and alleviate pain caused by infection or damage.

By understanding the timeline of a root canal and knowing that modern techniques prioritize your comfort, you can confidently approach the procedure and achieve a healthy, pain-free smile! And our highly trained and friendly endodontist only makes it better!

So now that you know the answer to “How long does a root canal take,” contact us today for a consultation; it’s as easy as clicking, calling, or sending us a message!

Contact Our Office


We’re conveniently located in Sioux Falls and gladly accept patients from the local South Dakota areas of Brandon, Brookings, Madison, Vermillion, and Yankton. We also welcome patients from Le Mars, IA, and Worthington, MN.