Root canal treatment in Fort Myers: A guide for patients  

When decay or infection infects the pulp and blood vessels inside a tooth, dentists often need to rely on root canal treatment. The eventual goal is to avoid an extraction, which may sound like a simpler procedure but would also mean spending more on getting a replacement tooth. If your dentist in Fort Myers, FL, has recommended RCT for a decayed tooth, here are some facts to know.

Symptoms to watch for

If you have a minor cavity, your dentist can consider options like inlays, onlays, and fillings. In many cases, the dentist may place a crown to prevent further decay. However, when the infection reaches the pulp, there are only two options – tooth extraction and root canal therapy. If you have deep decay in a tooth, you may experience sensitivity to hot and cold foods, severe toothache, and swelling in the surrounding gums. Patients may also experience symptoms like an abscess on the gums. The dentist will usually take an X-ray to determine the extent of the infection/decay and determine whether root canal therapy would help the tooth.

Know the procedure

You will need to visit your dentist at least a few times to complete root canal therapy. During the first consultation, your dentist will explain the condition of your tooth and whether you need RCT. They will also suggest you return for a second appointment. In the next visit, the dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding gums, following which they will drill an access opening. The access opening will be made to use the dental files, which will help remove pulp, bacteria, and nerve tissues. The dentist will then clean the tooth from the inside and seal it with a permanent filling.

The entire procedure can be divided into two or more appointments, and temporary fillings can be used between the visits. Once the tooth is permanently sealed, the dentist will order a custom crown to encase it and restore its full function. You may need two more appointments to get a cap (crown), which is made in a dental lab.

How successful is root canal therapy?

Done by an experienced dentist or endodontist, root canal therapy has a high success rate. The results should last a lifetime, but in some cases, new infections may need further intervention.

The procedure of root canal therapy doesn’t have to hurt. If you still have dental anxiety, talk to your endodontist.