With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, you may worry about going into the endodontist office for a root canal procedure. Besides being nervous about having a “root canal” done, you might be concerned about leaving your home, or fear the potential for viral exposure from other patients, endodontists, or their staff.
Even prior to the pandemic, dentists had a good track record on infection control. We have used many safeguards to protect our patients, such as rubber dams that limit aerosol emission during treatment and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Healthcare agencies such as the American Association of Endodontists, American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control have called for additional measures in light of the virus, which our practice has adopted, such as extra PPE, more frequent cleaning of treatment rooms, new air filtration and social distancing.
One of the technologies our practice has integrated is the GentleWave procedure for cleaning and disinfection of root canals, which offers several benefits during this time of COVID-19:
- The GentleWave procedure is generally performed in our office in one visit,1 minimizing the inconvenience of a two-visit procedure, and thereby reducing a patient’s potential exposure to COVID-19.
- The GentleWave Procedure helps preserve more of the tooth structure2,5, giving patients the opportunity to save their natural tooth3
- There is virtually no aerosol released during the GentleWave procedure. 4According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), some endodontic instruments create a visible spray that can contain particle droplets of water, saliva, blood, microorganisms, and other debris. Because the GentleWave system is a “closed-loop” system, this means it is designed to release virtually no aerosolized material into the air.
- Instruments used during the GentleWave procedure are pre-sterilized and used only on an individual patient, eliminating any potential for cross-contamination between patients.
“GentleWave is the latest advance in root canals. It provides efficient cleaning and disinfection of the smallest spaces in the teeth, which allows us to deliver an optimal root canal experience for a patient,” said Dr. Smith. “During this time while patients may be concerned about COVID-19, it also minimizes both their time in our office and aerosol emissions, and therefore, the potential for viral exposure.”
The minimally-invasive GentleWave procedure uses acoustic energy to activate cleaning solutions deep into the microscopic anatomy of the tooth, effectively removing tissue and debris that cause infection.2,5 Many patients – especially those who have undergone standard root canal treatments in the past – describe the GentleWave experience as comfortable and report minimal to no post procedure pain.3
1Sigurdsson et al. J Endod 2018; 44(3):510-517 2Molina B et al. (2015) J Endod. 41:1701 3Sigurdsson et al. J Endod 2016;42:1040-1048 4Data on file at Sonendo; internal testing report# TR20-002 5Vandrangi P et al. (2015) Oral Health 72-86