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Pulp Fiction: Myths About Root Canal Infections

GentleWave ProcedureYou’ve heard the sarcasm-laden saying before: “That sounds about as fun as a root canal!” Root canal therapy (RCT) has been getting a bad rap ever since root canals became a thing. But are they really as problematic as the reputation that precedes them?

Myth 1: Root Canals are Scary

While most patients experience some level of distress prior to undergoing any dental procedure, nothing instills fear like that of a root canal treatment. However, many would be surprised to find that the symptoms of root canal infections can often be more alarming than the treatment itself. Treatment of an infected root canal is relatively minor when paralleled to its reputation. In fact, the procedure has been compared to having a cavity filled.* Advances in technology like the GentleWave® Procedure have made RCT even less intimidating, by offering a minimally invasive1, fast healing4 option.

Myth 2: Root Canals Lead to Bigger Problems

The bad news? As any procedure can be unsuccessful, a failed root canal is possible. In most cases, failure of endodontic treatment is a result of microorganisms persisting in the apical portion of the root canal system.** To simplify, if bacteria is left in the tooth, it can lead to root canal failure and may require a repeat procedure or worse — an extraction. The good news? The GentleWave Procedure’s powerful combination of fluid dynamics and broad spectrum acoustic energy cleans and disinfects the root canal system2 so effectively that it reaches into the microscopic spaces1,2 standard root canal treatments frequently cannot.3­­ A better clean means there’s less chance of failure over time.4

Myth 3: Root Canals Kill Teeth

Treating a root canal infection involves removing infected or damaged tissue from the inside of the tooth.*** This tissue—the pulp—is composed of living elements such as nerves and blood vessels,* which support the tissue inside the tooth. When the nerves die because of infection, the nerves and tissue are no longer needed and can be removed. This is why a root canal is considered to be a restorative procedure; removing the unhealthy tissue allows you to preserve the tooth. Providers of the GentleWave Procedure can preserve more of the dentin structure of the tooth4 as well, thereby helping to maintain the tooth’s integrity.                                                                                                                                          

How to find a GentleWave Provider Near You

Now that we have helped to dispel some popular myths about root canal infection treatments, we hope to have alleviated your concerns and better prepared you to choose which option is best for you. Would you like to learn more about the minimally invasive1 GentleWave Procedure? Use our GentleWave Provider Locator to find a participating dentist or endodontist near you.