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What Should You Consider When Choosing a Root Canal Treatment?

What is a Root Canal?

While the term root canal is commonly used to refer to the dental treatment that is root canal therapy, it is technically the natural cavity within the center of the tooth.* If inflammation or infection develop in this area of the tooth, endodontic treatment may be needed.**

How Do I Know if I Need Root Canal Therapy?

Symptoms of root canal system infectionNoticing any of the below symptoms? They could be a sign that you’re suffering from a root canal system infection—and should seek treatment immediately.

  • Severe toothache pain upon chewing or application of pressure;
  • Prolonged sensitivity (pain) to hot or cold temperatures (after the heat or cold has been removed);
  • Discoloration (darkening) of the tooth;
  • Swelling and tenderness in nearby gums, or;
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums***


What Are My Treatment Options?

To address a root canal system infection, you have a variety of treatment options to choose from, including:

  • Dental implant
  • Standard root canal treatment
  • The GentleWave® Procedure
Root canal treatment options

Reviewing all of the necessary considerations can help you decide which treatment option is best for you; however, it’s imperative the inflammation or infection aren’t ignored, as not treating the issue can cause pain or lead to an abscess.**

Should You See an Endodontist or Dentist?

When choosing your provider, it’s important to first determine which treatment you want to complete. Both dentists and endodontists can perform root canal therapy,*** but depending on your exact situation, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist to complete the treatment. Dental implant surgery may involve a variety of specialists,so you’ll need to work with your dentist to decide the best course of action and who should assist with the procedure.

If you’re looking into the innovative GentleWave Procedure, though, you’ll want to find a GentleWave Provider near you. Fortunately, we make it easy for patients to locate a nearby provider with our Provider Locator!

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

There isn’t one straightforward answer to “How much does a root canal cost?” Cost for any endodontic treatment will depend on your insurance coverage, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider to determine how much of your treatment costs will be covered. But, beyond just actual cost, it’s necessary to consider all of the treatment factors, as saving some money upfront could cost you more later on—including your natural tooth.

How Many Appointments Will I Need?

The amount of appointments you’ll need will depend on the treatment you select. You don’t want to have to take a lot of time off work—or be kept from your everyday activities—so understanding the treatment details can help you better plan.

The dental implant process involves a number of steps, which can mean committing to a lot of appointments over the course of multiple months.And, with standard root canal therapy, it can take one or more office visits*—plus, the treatment can leave behind infected tissue,2 which can put your treatment at risk of failing, meaning more appointments later on. Comparatively, you may be able to clean and fill your tooth in just one session with the GentleWave Procedure.4

Can I Save My Natural Tooth?

Being able to save your natural tooth is a necessary consideration for treatment, as your natural tooth offers many advantages, including:

  1. Efficient chewing;
  2. Normal biting force and sensation;
  3. Natural appearance, and;
  4. Protects other teeth from excessive wear†††

Both standard root canal treatment and the GentleWave Procedure offer the chance to maintain your natural tooth, but the GentleWave Procedure is proven to help preserve the dentin structure of the tooth.4

What is the Recovery Period?

With standard root canal treatment, patients typically can return to their normal activities the next day but may notice tooth sensitivity from the natural tissue inflammation for a few days.* For a dental implant, the healing process can take 6 to 12 weeks.††

Many patients who have had the GentleWave Procedure, though, say they were able to go back to their everyday activities—almost immediately.

“After two painful standard root canal treatments, the GentleWave® Procedure was a comfortable and surprisingly relaxing experience! I was in and out in an hour and back to work…”

E. Simon, San Marcos, CA

Is There a Risk of Retreatment?

Risk of retreatment with standard RCTOne of the root canal risks to consider is the chance of retreatment. If all of the infected tissues and debris are not removed from the canal system during standard root canal treatment, the infection may return, which will most likely require retreatment or extraction. 

With dental implants, most are successful; however, sometimes the bone fails to fuse sufficiently to the metal implant, which can cause an implant failure or complications. Taking precautions, like practicing excellent oral hygiene, can help decrease this risk.

Fortunately, the GentleWave Procedure is so effective at cleaning and disinfecting the root canal system, there’s less chance of failure over time.4

What is a Root Canal Therapy Option That Can Save Time, Cost and Your Natural Tooth?The GentleWave® Procedure

The GentleWave Procedure is a minimally invasive1 root canal alternative treatment option that cleans the deepest, most complex portions of the root canal system1,2 and reaches into microscopic spaces1,2 that standard root canal treatments often cannot.3 Better yet? The tooth can typically be cleaned and filled in just one session4—allowing you to spend less time in the chair and more time living your life.

Choose a treatment option that will offer you a chance for fewer appointments,4 fast healing4 and the chance to save your natural tooth!4 With the GentleWave Procedure, you’re making a long-term investment for your well-being.


“After undergoing two standard root canals, I was afraid to go back to the dentist when I started to feel pain again. I feared that an implant would be my only option. I was thrilled when Dr. Jonsson suggested the GentleWave® Procedure as an alternative, and I was able to keep my existing crown!”

S. Seaberg, Laguna Woods, CA

Does the GentleWave Procedure sound like the right treatment for you? Find a nearby provider today!

* WebMD

** AAE


Mayo Clinic

†† WebMD

††† AAE