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Will I Feel Pain During my Root Canal?

Chances are when you hear the phrase ‘root canal,’ the first thoughts running through your mind might include discomfort or pain. And it’s likely that your symptoms of the infected root canal system are causing just that. Fortunately, we have good news!

The symptoms of your root canal system infection may be more painful than root canal therapy itself. However, it’s important to remember that every root canal system infection is unique, which means your individual experience will be as well.

One of the major factors that affects your individual experience with root canal therapy is your tooth’s specific prognosis. There are multiple causes of a root canal system infection, including deep decay, dental procedures, trauma and a chipped or cracked tooth.* The cause of your root canal system infection may determine the plan of care that your dentist or endodontist recommends.

Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?

The symptoms of an infected root canal system can be painful or cause discomfort. Following your diagnosis, your dentist or endodontist will likely recommend root canal therapy—and while you may dread the idea, the reputation of root canal therapy may not align with the experience that’s ahead of you!

History of Treatment

The history of the tooth’s treatment may also contribute to the root canal therapy experience you have. If a tooth has undergone root canal therapy in the past and requires retreatment, this can often affect the next step that your dentist or endodontist will recommend.    

Type of Root Canal Therapy

GentleWave ProcedureAnother factor that will greatly affect your root canal therapy experience is the type of therapy that your dentist or endodontist performs. Patients with an infected root canal system typically have two options—standard root canal treatment (RCT) or tooth extraction followed by dental implant.

Standard root canal treatment is an option for patients who wish to save their natural tooth. This therapy option relies on files and treatment fluids to clean and disinfect the root canal system. Two visits are often required to complete standard RCT.

For patients who are not concerned with saving their natural tooth, or may be unable to due to their prognosis, tooth extraction and dental implant may be the selected plan of care. This root canal therapy option includes the removal of the infected tooth and the insertion of a dental implant—a metal post in the jaw with a porcelain crown affixed to the post. This process requires multiple surgeries and may be time intensive and costly.**

Fortunately, another root canal therapy option is now available that helps patients save their natural tooth without undergoing standard root canal treatment. The GentleWave® Procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to standard root canal treatment.1 While standard RCT relies on files and treatment fluids to clean and disinfect the root canal system, the GentleWave Procedure uses minimal filing with fluid dynamics and broad spectrum acoustic energy,2 reaching into the microscopic spaces that standard RCT frequently cannot.2,3

“It put my mind at ease knowing the GentleWave® Procedure was going to be comfortable, quick, and not impact my life very much at all.” – GentleWave Patient

Described as more comfortable than standard root canal treatment,4 the GentleWave Procedure is so effective at cleaning and disinfecting the root canal system, there’s less chance of failure over time.4

Post-Operative Experience

The pain that may be present following root canal therapy also depends on several factors, from the therapy option selected to the dentist or endodontist’s technique, as no one patient’s experience is identical to another. To address these individual concerns, patients are typically prescribed post-operative pain medication by their dentist or endodontist.

And while everyone’s post-operative experience is unique, several GentleWave patients have shared positive remarks regarding theirs, which may help to ease some of your root canal therapy-related fears!

After previously undergoing two standard root canal treatments, one GentleWave patient shared that he felt great after the GentleWave Procedure, even stating that he returned to work the following day feeling no side effects from the procedure!

“If you’re in need of a root canal, don’t be worried…I had no discomfort during the procedure or afterwards.” – GentleWave Patient

Another GentleWave patient shared how her experience began with fear but ended free of discomfort, explaining that following the procedure, she was able to get back to life again.

Preparing for Root Canal Therapy

While your individual root canal therapy will be unique, we hope we’ve eased your fears regarding the overall experience—and helped you realize your options!

If you’re interested in a minimally invasive1 root canal therapy option that helps you save your natural tooth, the GentleWave Procedure may be the answer. To find a dentist or endodontist who offers the GentleWave Procedure in your area, use our Provider Locator tool.