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When Should You Seek a Root Canal Specialist?

Are you concerned that you may have a root canal system infection? It’s important to understand what can cause an infection, as well as the typical symptoms you should be aware of.

Read on to learn more—and to discover how a root canal specialist can help treat the issue!

Root Canal

What Causes a Root Canal System Infection?

The pulp or pulp chamber is the center area of the tooth, and it contains the nerve, blood vessels and connective tissue.* Your tooth’s pulp can become irritated or infected for a number of reasons, including:

  • Large fillings;
  • Deep decay;
  • Trauma to the face;
  • A crack or chip in the tooth, or;
  • Repeated dental procedures*

Recognizing what can cause a root canal system infection is a strong first step in preventing or diagnosing an issue. But do you know which symptoms to look for?

Root Canal Therapy

Signs You May Need Root Canal Therapy

There are a number of signs that you may have a root canal system infection—and if you’re noticing any of the below, you could be in need of root canal therapy:

  • Severe toothache pain when chewing or applying 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*

It’s important to not ignore these symptoms, as neglecting a root canal system infection can lead to further issues, including additional infection or an abscessed tooth.*

Root Canal Specialist

Who Can Perform Root Canal Therapy?

Root canal therapy typically involves one or more office visits, and it can be performed by either your dentist or an endodontist.* While your dentist may handle your treatment, if the case is more complex, he or she might refer you to an endodontist.* An endodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases or injuries to the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.** These root canal specialists are skilled in endodontic procedures, like root canal therapy.***

Ultimately, though, you and your dentist will discuss who is best suited to handle your root canal therapy to ensure you have the best outcomes possible.

Root Canal Options

Your Root Canal Therapy Options

If you’ve been diagnosed with an infected root canal system, you have a few different therapy options. You can opt for a dental implant, which involves replacing the tooth roots with metal posts and replacing any damaged or artificial teeth with artificial ones; however, some patients may want to preserve their natural tooth.

If you do prefer to save your natural tooth, you have two main choices: standard root canal treatment or the GentleWave® Procedure.

During standard root canal treatment, the nerve and pulp are removed, and the inside of the tooth is then cleaned with root canal files and then sealed.* Afterwards, a crown, crown and post or other restoration method is typically completed to help protect the tooth.*

If you’re looking for a minimally invasive1 option, though, the GentleWave® Procedure utilizes broad-spectrum acoustic energy2 to remove tissue and debris from the root canal system. With the GentleWave Procedure, patients have the opportunity for fast healing4 and improved outcomes.4

“After the GentleWave® Procedure, I did not experience any soreness immediately, days later—or even now!”

-L. Pruitt, GentleWave Procedure Patient

Discover the GentleWave® Procedure Today

If you think you’re suffering from a root canal system infection, find a nearby GentleWave Doctor today!




Mayo Clinic

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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