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Sonendo GentleWave
Mindy Van, DDS, MSD - Chicago, IL



Dr. Van is proud to offer her patients the option to have root canal procedures using the state-of-the-art Sonendo GentleWave system. The GentleWave process uses a combination of fluid dynamics and soundwave technology to clean the root canal site more effectively than traditional methods, making root canal procedures even more successful. Because the GentleWave system is less invasive than traditional techniques, it can preserve more of the natural tooth and reduce the amount of pain a patient feels afterward. It can also reduce the number of appointments needed to complete the root canal.

A root canal using GentleWave is not an entirely new procedure. Rather, GentleWave is a technology Dr. Van incorporates into one critical part of the root canal process, improving the cleaning method to make the overall root canal procedure more effective and less invasive.

Dr. Van’s office is one of only two in Chicago to offer this procedure and is one of just eight providers to offer it in a 50-mile radius.

Common Questions about Sonendo GentleWave

What is the Sonendo GentleWave treatment?

GentleWave is a brand-new technology that allows for a better cleaning during a root canal. The treatment uses broad-spectrum acoustic energy and creates a powerful vortex of fluid to flush away bacteria and microscopic debris from the canal—even in the harder-to-access microcanals1,2.

Traditionally, a dentist would drill into the tooth and flush out the area using a syringe and suction. However, using that technique, there is still a possibility that some debris will be left behind, which can lead to the tooth becoming reinfected and ultimately needing to be treated again.

Is the GentleWave method better than a traditional root canal?

There are several benefits to using the GentleWave treatment. First is that it increases the likelihood of success. The success rate of root canals is already very high, but once in a while, a root canal will fail due to reinfection of the tooth. Because the GentleWave technique is so effective at ridding the area of bacteria, tissue, and debris, it will make that success rate even higher.

The GentleWave system is also less invasive3, requiring a smaller hole to be drilled. This preserves more of the natural tooth. And it causes less irritation to the gums and the affected tooth, which reduces the level of pain and discomfort experienced by patients after the procedure is over.

It can also make the overall root canal process quicker. Typically, patients need to come in for two appointments to have the affected tooth cleaned and filled. In many cases, using the GentleWave system will limit the procedure to one appointment instead of two.

Who is a good candidate for using the GentleWave technology?

Most people will be able to benefit from this procedure. In some cases, such as when a tooth has a particularly severe infection, or when it is too close to the sinus, it might not be the best option. Dr. Van evaluates each patient individually to see if they are a good candidate for the procedure.

Does this treatment hurt less than a traditional root canal process?

Because the GentleWave technology requires a smaller hole and more-effectively cleans the area, most patients will experience less pain after their root canals.

Does GentleWave make the root canal process faster or slower?

Due to setup time, the GentleWave system will make the time spent in the dentist chair for the root canal session slightly longer. However, in many cases, it will cut the number of required appointments from two to one. And since it reduces the likelihood of reinfection, fewer people will need to be retreated after their root canals.

How does the GentleWave process work?

For the most part, the process will be the same whether or not a patient opts to use the GentleWave technology. During an initial consultation, Dr. Van will check the tooth and determine whether using GentleWave makes sense for that person’s unique situation. Once Dr. Van has created a treatment plan, the root canal will be scheduled.

The root canal itself doesn’t feel much different from getting a cavity filled. Dr. Van will first numb the area, then work on the tooth. Some people may request nitrous or sedation, but these aren’t necessary for most people.

While traditional root canals typically require two appointments, using the GentleWave technology will often mean only one appointment is necessary to complete the procedure.

What is the recovery like after a root canal using GentleWave?

Most people are able to drive and return to work that same day. Patients will likely experience less pain and discomfort after a root canal using the GentleWave technology. And there is a lower likelihood of needing a second appointment to complete the procedure, or needing to return to be treated for reinfection.

Is the GentleWave therapy covered by insurance?

The treatment is not covered by insurance at this time, so there is a modest out-of-pocket expense associated with it. Since every patient’s situation and needs are different, Dr. Van will explain the cost difference and the potential benefits of the GentleWave treatment ahead of time so you can decide if it’s right for you.

Citations

1 Molina B et al. (2015) J Endod. 41:1701-5

2 Vandrangi P et al. (2015) Oral Health 72-86

3 Sigurdsson A et al. (2016) J Endod. 42:1040-48

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