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When Do You Need a Root Canal?

That toothache—you’ve had it for a couple of days, and it hasn’t gone away. In fact, it seems to be getting worse. It’s keeping you from enjoying your favorite foods, it’s hard to concentrate and it’s making you feel miserable.

In other words, it’s a real pain in the mouth.

But what’s causing it? Toothaches can be caused by a number of factors: infection, gum disease, grinding teeth, tooth trauma, an abnormal bite*—even sinus infections.** But if you have ongoing pain, discharge from around the tooth or tooth discoloration,*** you could potentially be experiencing infected root canal symptoms. And that means you should schedule an appointment with your dentist ASAP.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

GentleWave ProcedureAlong with the symptoms mentioned above, the following are also root canal symptoms:

  • Toothache while chewing***
  • Lingering sensitivity to heat, cold or pressure***
  • A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums***

However, the only person who can answer the question: “How do I know if I need a root canal?” is your dentist. Through an exam and x-rays, they’ll determine if you have an infected root canal system and guide you through your best course of action.

What’s involved in root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. It is performed when the pulp inside the tooth, which is composed of nerves and blood vessels, becomes infected or damaged. During root canal therapy, the pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.***

During the procedure, you can expect the dentist or endodontist to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic, then place a sheet of rubber (called a dam) around the tooth. They’ll drill an access opening in the tooth and then begin the process of removing the pulp and the infected tissue.

If you undergo standard root canal treatment, your dentist or endodontist will use a series of files to scrape the pulp and debris from inside the canal, then flush it away with treatment fluids. But there is an alternative to standard root canal treatment—the GentleWave® Procedure. The GentleWave Procedure uses fluid dynamics and broad spectrum acoustic energy to clean and disinfect the root canal system and require fewer files.2 Even though it’s minimally invasive,1 it effectively removes bacteria, debris and tissue2 from the deepest, most complex portions of the root canal system1,2 including microscopic spaces1,2 that standard root canal treatments frequently cannot.3

Plus, with the GentleWave Procedure, the tooth can typically be cleaned and filled in just one session,4 making it easier than ever for patients to fit root canal therapy into their busy schedule. After undergoing the procedure, a crown may be placed at a follow-up appointment.

How Can You Find a GentleWave® Provider?

If you’re experiencing root canal symptoms, and you’re interested in this minimally invasive1 alternative to standard root canal treatment, we can help! Use our Provider Locator to find a dentist or endodontist in your area with the GentleWave System.