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Deep Dive: The Benefits of Embracing Innovative Technology in Endodontics

Publication
Article
Dental Products ReportDental Products Report March 2023
Volume 57
Issue 3

The GentleWave System from Sonendo, Inc, cleans and disinfects the microscopic spaces of a root canal that standard treatment cannot reach.

Deep Dive: The Benefits of Embracing Innovative Technology in Endodontics

During my career as an endodontist, I’ve come to realize that teeth are often undervalued, despite the fact that they serve us in many ways. Without them, we can’t chew and it can be difficult to nourish ourselves. They’re also important for hydration, for our airways, self-esteem, and so much more. As a gateway to the body, teeth deserve to be appreciated.

But perhaps because we have more than 30 of them, some of us believe that it’s easier to have an infected one removed than preserve it with a root canal, something we would never opt for in most other circumstances. If a finger becomes infected, for instance, patients and doctors try to save it, not chop it off.

As a passionate endodontist, I value my patients’ health and encourage the preservation of their natural teeth. And today, this task is simpler and more attainable than ever before.

My Current Standard of Care
In my practice, the current standard of care for root canal therapy—the “modern-day root canal,” as I call it—combines 3 pieces of technology to elevate the experience for everyone involved.

First and foremost, I use a microscope to see the tiny canals in patients’ teeth. I also use a cone beam computed tomography unit, equipment that provides more information than regular dental or facial imaging. It allows me to see the tooth before I begin working so that I can better assess risk factors, restorability, and safety ahead of time. When I first implemented this technology, it became a key part of my patient education and case acceptance.

Then I adopted the innovative GentleWave® System from Sonendo, Inc, which has since become an essential tool at my practice. This revolutionary platform can clean and disinfect the microscopic spaces of the root canal system that standard treatment cannot reach. It thus has the ability to elevate root canal treatment for patients and doctors alike.

Traditional Therapy
Before introducing the GentleWave System, I regularly experienced avoidable complications and setbacks with root canals. Some patients were reporting symptoms even after treatment, owing to bacteria being left behind in canals that were out of my reach. Once or twice a month at least, I had to retreat patients I had treated years before.

Although this was not a reflection of my skill, it began to have a negative impact on my practice. As a health care professional, having to redo past work and see my patients experiencing persistent symptoms was difficult. At the same time, retreatments cost money, require extra manpower, and leave less room for new patients—all factors that clinicians want to avoid.

However, when I started using the GentleWave System, the problem resolved almost instantly. I was able to clean spaces that had previously been inaccessible, and my patients felt the difference. The reduction in retreatments served as a major return on investment. Today, I can ensure a deeper clean in every canal, every time. As a result, I redo only 1 or 2 retreatments of my own cases per year. This is unavoidable because, as a biological process, root canal treatments will never be 100% foolproof.

With this technology, I feel confident that my patients are receiving the care they need.

GentleWave endo system

GentleWave G4 System

The GentleWave G4 System is designed for an optimized doctor and patient experience with a refined, simplified workflow. With broad-spectrum acoustic energy and advanced fluid dynamics, the system delivers advanced disinfection to penetrate complex anatomies, resulting in predictable and superior cleaning and improved healing time. It was created with future software applications and evolving features in mind.

Sonendo, Inc

844-468-5928

The Benefits for Practice Growth
To put it simply, embracing new and innovative technology has been a lifesaver. My patients have very little postoperative pain and require only basic Advil and Tylenol. Because I don’t need to overprescribe heavy pain medication or antibiotics that might subject patients to risks or other health issues, I am doing my part to reduce the nation’s opioid epidemic.

There are also other numerous, though seemingly minor, benefits. For instance, when patients call less frequently after procedures to discuss lingering pain and schedule follow-ups, it frees up my phone lines for new patients. The stress my staff experiences has also decreased because they are not exhausting themselves running the front desk and answering back-to-back phone calls.

Last but certainly not least, my patients are more likely to refer my practice to family and friends in need of root canals because they admire how technology-driven we are and feel confident that they’ll receive best-in-class care.

Barriers to Entry
It’s frequently thought that cost is the primary barrier for endodontists considering whether to implement new technology. This is not necessarily the case. In reality, endodontists are often hesitant to disrupt their existing workflow and, for that reason, avoid taking risks.

Every time a doctor implements a new tool, it comes with its own set of challenges, from having to rework an existing process to troubleshooting the issues that inevitably arise. However, that doesn’t mean the implementation is not worth it.

In addition, many endodontists work solo and are loath to adopt new technology without the support of a close colleague. When they have access to the support systems offered by technology companies such as Sonendo, Inc., like dedicated area practice consultants, introducing new processes can be less daunting.

Finally, some practitioners view the adoption of new technology as an unnecessary risk and refuse to do it if their success rate won’t increase by more than a certain percentage. However, it’s important not to underestimate the power of improving patient success at any level—even if only by 1%.

The Road Ahead
Because no 2 teeth are exactly the same, root canal treatment is highly complex. But when we combine technology like the GentleWave System with the microscope and cone beam, we are equipped with the resources needed to clean gently and remain hyperaware of the anatomy of our patients’ mouths and teeth. We can boost safety and comfort, successfully treating the unique needs of every tooth.

Letting go of outdated methods and embracing technology makes all the difference. Our main goal should be to put the right tools into the hands of more practitioners. As an industry, we can band together and elevate root canal therapy to save more teeth.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Sonendo, Inc., or its subsidiary, TDO Software, Inc, but are solely those of the author and based on her experiences. This article is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific medical advice. It should not replace independent judgment. Readers should note that the writer is a consultant for Sonendo, Inc, [TDO Software, Inc], and/or is receiving compensation for this article.

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