Facing a new diagnosis—big or small—can be overwhelming, which can make determining what questions to ask your provider that much more difficult. If you’ve been told you have a root canal system infection, asking your dentist the right questions can give you a better understanding of what to expect before, during and after treatment. We compiled the following questions to help prepare you for your discussion with your provider.
Question 1: Will I be able to keep my tooth?
Dental practitioners know that patients prefer keeping their teeth5 over extraction. It is the principal mission of every endodontist to preserve the natural tooth, earning them the unofficial designation of specialists in saving teeth*—and the somewhat-official title, root canal specialists. Unfortunately, saving the tooth isn’t always an option and can depend on a number of factors, including extensive tooth decay, severe infection, dental trauma and peridontal disease.**
Question 2: What are the treatment options available to me?
If a tooth has been diagnosed as untreatable, the only option is to have it extracted and replaced with a dental implant or bridge. If you are a candidate for a root canal treatment, there are some cases, like fractured teeth or those needing retreatment, that can require more complex procedures to treat their root canal system infection.
Endodontic surgery is sometimes required to locate small fractures or hidden canals, or to treat damaged root surfaces or bone surrounding the tooth.*** In instances of root canal failure, clinicians may be able to retreat the tooth by removing the infection, replacing the filling materials from the previous treatment and placing a new crown.*** If retreatment isn’t an option, the tooth will have to be extracted. Teeth deemed salvageable can either be treated with standard root canal treatment (RCT) or the GentleWave® Procedure.
Question 3: What is the difference between standard RCT and the GentleWave® Procedure?
Standard RCT can be traced back to 1838, when the first root canal instrument was constructed from a watch spring.† While advancements in endodontics have since been made, most have been incremental.†† The GentleWave Procedure is a disruptive innovation that is challenging the benchmarks set by standard root canal protocols.
During standard root canal treatment, files are used to remove bacteria and infected tissue from the root canal system.††† The GentleWave Procedure is less invasive1 and typically requires the use of fewer files.2 To clean and disinfect the root canal system, the GentleWave Procedure uses a combination of broad spectrum acoustic energy and fluid dynamics to flush the root canal system of bacteria, infected tissue and debris.2 Whereas standard root canal treatment can leave behind infected tissue2 that can cause the treatment to fail, the GentleWave Procedure’s disinfecting fluids travel throughout the entire root canal system,1 reaching into the microscopic spaces1,2 that standard root canal treatments often cannot.3 In fact, the GentleWave Procedure is so effective at cleaning the root canal system, there’s less chance of failure—now and later.4
Question 4: How can I find an endodontist near me that offers the GentleWave® Procedure?
If your dentist performs root canal therapy, they just might offer the GentleWave Procedure. If not, and you’re interested in this one-visit4 alternative to standard root canal treatment, find an endodontist near you with our GentleWave Provider locator.