Toothaches are always a cause for concern and a reason to visit your dentist. But if you have prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to the touch or while chewing, discoloration of the tooth* or a persistent or recurring pimple on your gums,** you may have more than just a toothache. These are symptoms of a potentially infected root canal system, and they could be signs you need a root canal.
Your dentist may be able to provide root canal therapy themselves, or they’ll choose to refer you to a root canal specialist, or endodontist. These dental professionals are dentists who have specialized in root canal diagnosis and treatment. Their area of expertise focuses on the interior of the tooth, and root canal therapy makes up a large part of their practice. In fact, the American Association of Endodontists reports that endodontists perform an average of as 25 root canal procedures per week!***
Root Canal Therapy Options
If you have been diagnosed with an infected root canal system, you have a couple of options. You can choose root canal therapy, which removes the infected tissue inside the root canal system and cleans and disinfects the canals. Or you can opt for a dental implant, which involves extraction of the infected tooth and the insertion of a metal post in the jaw, topped by a porcelain crown. If you prefer to save your natural tooth, you have two main choices:
Standard Root Canal Treatment
During standard root canal treatment (RCT), files and treatment fluids are used to remove the infected tissue from the root canal system. The treated tooth remains in place and is filled with an endodontic filling material, then capped with a filling or crown. This is the most common form of root canal therapy and is likely to be provided by a root canal specialist in your area. However, it can be difficult for the instruments used in standard RCT to clean and disinfect the hard-to-reach areas within a complex root canal system.
The GentleWave® Procedure—Today’s Alternative to Standard RCT
With the GentleWave Procedure, you can keep your natural tooth and minimize your recovery time.
The GentleWave Procedure utilizes fluid dynamics and broad spectrum acoustic energy2 to remove tissue and debris from the root canal system. This means that during the GentleWave Procedure, fewer files may be used than with standard RCT, making it a minimally invasive alternative.1 And unlike standard RCT, the tooth can typically be cleaned and filled in just one session.4 After undergoing the GentleWave Procedure, a crown may be placed at a follow-up appointment.
How can You Find a GentleWave® Provider Near You?
If you are experiencing one of the many signs you need a root canal and are interested in the GentleWave Procedure as an alternative to standard root canal treatment, use our Provider Locator to find a root canal specialist in your area with the GentleWave System.