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What You Can Expect from Your Root Canal Treatment

A root canal system infection can be disruptive to your daily life. Not being able to eat normally and dealing with persistent pain can be more than just a little distracting, yet many still put off treatment due to unrealistic concerns about discomfort and downtime. If you’re unsure about scheduling your root canal therapy, these facts about what you can actually expect should help put you at ease.

WHAT IS THE ROOT CANAL PROCESS?What You Can Expect from Your Root Canal Treatment

There are different types of root canal therapies with differing protocols, varying in regards to the instruments used and the invasiveness of the procedure. Regardless of the type of root canal therapy, your endodontist or dentist will start by creating an access cavity* in order to reach the inflammation and infection inside the tooth.The next steps are for cleaning and disinfection, and is where the processes start to vary depending on the root canal therapy.

Steps 1 and 2Standard Root Canal Treatment  

During standard root canal treatments, several files are used to reach into the root canals and manually clear the canals of infected pulp, bacteria and debris.** The goal is to clean and shape the root canal system while removing the least amount of tooth structure possible.*** However, using multiple files for cleaning and shaping the canals is an invasive process that often files away more of the precious tooth structure than necessary, which may weaken the tooth and leave it susceptible to fracture. Additionally, standard root canal treatment can leave behind infected tissue2 that is inaccessible by manual instrumentation, which can cause the treatment to fail—thereby requiring more appointments, additional costs and maybe even the extraction of the tooth.Step 3

The GentleWave® Procedure

The GentleWave® Procedure is a minimally invasive1 alternative to standard root canal treatment that relies less on the file,1,2 instead using a combination of disinfecting procedure fluids and broad spectrum acoustic energy to effectively clean the root canal system.2 Requiring the use of fewer files,1,2 the less invasive protocol of the GentleWave Procedure helps to preserve more of the dentin structure of the tooth,4 to keep it strong and maintain its natural function.

To clean and disinfect the root canal system, the GentleWave Procedure flushes the root canal system of bacteria, infected tissue and debris,2 simultaneously cleaning and disinfecting the microscopic spaces1,2 that standard root canal treatments have difficulty reaching.3 The GentleWave Procedure is so effective at cleaning the root canal system, there’s less chance of failure—now and later.4


Once the root canal system is cleaned, the tooth is filled with a biocompatible material (usually a rubber-like material called gutta-percha),†† to protect the treated tooth from bacteria. If needed, the tooth may be restored further with a crown, which also helps restore the natural appearance of the tooth.

Steps 4 and 5


While experiences can vary depending on the complexities of the infection, you’ll typically experience more pain from the infection than root canal therapy itself, which should relieve the pain you’re having.

The modern technology of the GentleWave® Procedure has made the root canal procedure a quick and safe practice for saving the natural tooth, with many patients reporting their GentleWave Procedure as being pain-free! Listen to what GentleWave Procedure patients have to say about their experience.


Getting treatment while working within time constraints can be a hassle. If you are worried about how long your procedure will take, you’ll want to consider how many appointments it takes to complete the root canal therapy process. For standard root canal treatment you can expect at least two appointments at about 90 minutes each.††† You can significantly cut down your treatment time with the GentleWave Procedure, which is typically completed in one appointment,4 with a protocol that takes less than ten minutes—from start to finish.


If you’re interested in the minimally invasive1 alternative to standard root canal treatment that can save you time and your tooth, check out our GentleWave® Provider Locator or visit

* Animated Teeth


***Dentistry IQ




Endodontic Practice US

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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