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The Difference Between a Dentist and Endodontist

The odds are that your dentist performs root canal therapy—and they do it well! However, root canal therapy is one of the only things that an endodontist does. This means that while your dentist may perform a handful of root canals during any given month, an endodontist performs them day in and day out.*

Endodontist vs. Dentist

GentleWave ProcedureWhile all endodontists are dentists, only three percent of dentists are endodontists!*

Both dental professionals go to dental school, but endodontists attend an additional two or more years for specialized training. As a result, endodontists have completed more supervised training related to their specialty of diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal therapy.

Choosing Your Root Canal Provider

If your dentist is comfortable performing root canals, you may receive root canal therapy in their office. However, many dentists refer their patients to an endodontist—and while choosing the provider who will be performing therapy is important, endodontist vs. dentist shouldn’t be your only consideration. The type of root canal therapy you receive is another important decision!

Types of Root Canal Therapy

The most common form of root canal therapy is standard root canal treatment (RCT). During standard RCT, both files and treatment fluids are used to clean and disinfect the root canal system. This method of root canal therapy often requires two appointments.

An alternative to standard root canal treatment that many patients are taking advantage of is the GentleWave® Procedure. This root canal alternative utilizes fluid dynamics and broad spectrum acoustic energy to clean and disinfect the root canal system, which can result in fewer files being required. The GentleWave Procedure has been described as more comfortable than standard RCT,4 and can be completed in just one session.4 In addition, this alternative method of root canal therapy is so effective at cleaning and disinfecting the root canal system,2 there’s less chance of failure over time.4

Locating a Root Canal Provider

If you’ve been diagnosed with an infected root canal system and are looking for an alternative to standard RCT, use our Provider Locator to find a dentist or endodontist in your area with the GentleWave System.


The GentleWave® Procedure is a medical procedure that is designed to prepare, clean and preserve the structure of teeth1,2,4 indicated for root canal therapy. Similar to other root canal treatment procedures, there is a potential risk of adverse effects. If you are considering the GentleWave Procedure, ask your clinician if you are a proper candidate. For additional information, visit

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