If you have questions about root canals, you’ve come to the right place. Find out the answers you need to make informed decisions about your care.
What is a Root Canal?
While people commonly use the term root canal to refer to a dental treatment, it’s technically what the natural cavity within the center of the tooth is called.* The correct terms for treating the root canal are, simply, root canal treatment, root canal procedure or root canal therapy.
What is Root Canal Therapy?
Root canal therapy (RCT) is necessitated by inflammation or infection of the tissue within the roots of the tooth**—otherwise known as pulp—which contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue.*** During the root canal process, a dentist or endodontist carefully removes the pulp and then cleans, disinfects and shapes the root canals, lastly placing a filling to seal the space.** Typically, your practitioner will finish the treatment a few weeks later by placing a permanent crown or a similar type of restoration on the top of the tooth.†
Does Root Canal Therapy Hurt?
Most people can expect some discomfort during a root canal procedure, but excessive pain is not normal.†† In fact, RCT should relieve the pain from the inflammation and infection.** After RCT, most people report feeling a little sensitive or tender for a few days,†† but severe pain should be reported to your practitioner immediately as it could be indicative of other issues, such as tooth fracture or reinfection.†††
Do I Have Root Canal Treatment Options?
If you need RCT, you do have treatment options! While extraction is one option, we highly recommend saving your tooth whenever possible. The purpose of RCT is to preserve the natural tooth so it maintains the same functionality and appearance, and that is always the best-case scenario.ß And, if opting for RCT, we recommend you choose the GentleWave® Procedure—the minimally invasive1 alternative to standard root canal treatment. While most innovations in RCT are incremental,‡ the GentleWave Procedure is a disruptive advancement in endodontic technology that is creating a higher standard for clean. GentleWave Procedure fluids reach through the entire root canal system,1,2 cleaning the deepest, most complex portions of the root canal system1,2—even in the microscopic spaces1,2 that standard root canal treatments often cannot.3
How Long Does a Root Canal Procedure Take?
The standard root canal process is usually performed in two or more appointments, while the GentleWave Procedure is typically performed in just one4 and in less than ten minutes.‡‡‡
If you’re intrigued about the minimally invasive1alternative to standard root canal treatment and want to learn more, find a GentleWave Provider today.