Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about root canal therapy, and because of this, people experience panic or anxiety when they hear the term. We compiled a list of the most common misconceptions so patients are able to understand what a root canal infection is and the therapy options that they have.
6 Things to Know About Root Canal Infections
Odds are that there are several things you don’t know about root canals—from the history of root canal therapy to the dental professionals providing the treatment!
1) The Technical Term is ‘Endodontic Therapy’
Endodontics means ‘inside the tooth,’ and is the area of dentistry that specializes in the treatment of the dental pulp, which is the tissue within the root canal system of the tooth.
2) Both Endodontists and Dentists Perform Root Canal Therapy
Your dentist is typically the one who will diagnose your tooth pain and recommend root canal therapy. Following the diagnosis of an infected root canal, your dentist may perform the root canal therapy or refer you to an endodontist.
3) There are Several Signs of a Root Canal Infection
There are various symptoms associated with a root canal infection, including toothaches, swollen gums and sensitivity. If you find that you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
4) Standard Root Canal Treatment Has a Long History
Standard root canal treatment (RCT) has been around for a long time—since 1838* to be exact, when the first root canal instrument was constructed from a watch spring!
5) Standard Root Canal Treatment Often Requires Two Appointments
Following the disinfection of the root canal system during standard RCT, the roots of the tooth are filled to prevent reinfection, usually with a substance called gutta-percha. A second visit is often required to complete the treatment.
Fortunately, today’s alternative to standard root canal treatment, the GentleWave® Procedure, can typically be completed in one visit!4
6) You Have Multiple Root Canal Therapy Options
The most well-known root canal therapy is standard root canal treatment, in which files and treatment fluids are used to remove the infected pulp tissue, and the interior of the tooth is cleaned, filled and sealed.†
Patients suffering from a root canal infection may also choose to remove the infected tooth and replace it with a dental implant. This process includes the insertion of a metal post in the jaw with an affixed porcelain crown.†
A newly sought-after root canal therapy option is the GentleWave Procedure. During the GentleWave Procedure, fluid dynamics and broad spectrum acoustic energy are used to clean and disinfect the root canal system.
GentleWave procedure fluids reach into the microscopic crevices that standard root canal treatment cannot,3 And since it’s so effective at cleaning the root canal system,1,2 here’s less chance of failure over time,4 helping patients save their natural tooth.
Choosing Your Type of Root Canal Therapy
If you’ve been diagnosed with a root canal infection and are seeking a more comfortable option4 that helps you save your natural tooth, the GentleWave Procedure is the alternative you’ve been looking for. To find a dentist or endodontist in your area with the GentleWave System, use our Provider Locator.
*Castellucci, A. A Brief History of Endodontics. Endodontics, Volume 1, Pg. 2