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Inside Dentistry
July 2024
Volume 20, Issue 7

Eliminating Pain and Follow-up Appointments

The GentleWave G4 System by Sonendo accomplishes superior debridement and disinfection of the root canal system, regardless of canal complexity

Peter Chen, DMD, MMSc

Peter Chen, DMD, MMSc, knows that being referred for root canal treatment is not something that patients usually celebrate. As an endodontist, he is all too familiar with patients' negative feelings about the procedure. Chen maintains an endodontics practice that specializes in root canal treatments and emergency dentistry with six locations throughout central Florida. "The unfortunate thing about root canal treatment is that when patients hear those words, they cringe," he says. "But for me, that is also the best thing. The patients who we see in our offices are usually in pain, especially because we offer emergency dentistry. But engaging in the process of diagnosing patients who are in the most discomfort and anguish and knowing that, within an hour, I can treat them and alleviate their pain, is the most satisfying thing for me."

Chen's practice started as a single office that he slowly built in order to be able to add a second location, and it has continued growing ever since. His practice offers everything related to endodontics, including root canal retreatment, endodontic surgery, pulpal regeneration, and red light therapy. One of the factors that he credits for his steady growth into the six-location practice that he has now is being open and flexible with scheduling in order to treat as many patients as possible. "When I first started in Florida, no one was really open on Friday afternoons," he says, "so that was the first thing that we implemented to create more availability for patients. Now, our practice remains very nimble in terms of making scheduling changes with the goal of making the referral process as easy as possible for general dentists. We also focus on our workplace culture to support our team members in being able to maintain that flexibility, and we do a lot of volunteer and charitable work, which helps to further build the culture in the office."

Another factor that has contributed to the success of Chen's practice is his ability to confidently treat complex root canal cases in a single visit with reduced postoperative issues, an ability that has greatly increased since he adopted the GentleWave® G4 System from Sonendo. One of Chen's associates owned a third-generation GentleWave System that she really liked, so when the G4 was announced, he decided to try it himself. The GentleWave System excels at the debridement and disinfection of hard-to-reach canals through controlled cavitation, multisonic activation, and chemical disinfection-all while producing a negative pressure environment to guard against apical extrusion. In addition, the vortical flow creates a tornado-like spiral, which lifts debris up and out of the canal and allows the irrigant to be continuously refreshed.

"With this fourth generation of the GentleWave System, Sonendo really took the recommendations of endodontists into consideration, so there is now an internal battery that allows the machine to be unplugged and moved from one room to another without having to be shut down, and there is also a new procedure instrument called the CleanFlow® Procedure Instrument. This new design uses the same proven GentleWave mechanism of action for cleaning and disinfection without entering the pulp chamber," says Chen. The new streamlined design also simplifies treatment by requiring only one matrix and one instrument for all teeth, enhancing treatment efficiency.

Although the GentleWave System can be used for almost any case, in Chen's experience, it really shines in cases with very curvy roots or divergent canals and isthmuses where traditional mechanical files cannot reach everything. "Not only does the GentleWave help make these complex root canal cases go faster, but it also helps me sleep a little better at night knowing that the device was able to clean out the entire canal," he says. "With easier, more routine cases, there is less of a benefit in terms of time savings, but having the GentleWave really pays off in scenarios where I previously would have had to have the patient return for a second visit in order to get everything. Now, I can make sure that the treatment is completed in one visit and with improved healing."

According to Chen, the key to using the GentleWave System to its maximum potential is learning to correctly prepare your canals, making sure your settings are all correct, and making sure that you have a closed system. "I think many clinicians assume that the GentleWave is only used at the end of the procedure for final irrigation, but once I realized that I could use it at the beginning and throughout the entire procedure, it really started to cut down on my treatment times," he says. "Now, whenever I get stuck during a procedure, such as when a canal space is really calcified or hard to reach or if there's a piece of a broken instrument that gets in there, we just try running the GentleWave and are often able to flush things out. That has been very exciting."

Chen also notes that before he implemented the GentleWave System, it was fairly routine for him to receive postoperative calls from patients complaining about swelling or pain during healing. But with the GentleWave G4, he has seen a significant drop in these instances and hardly ever encounters postoperative flare ups. "The reduction in postoperative pain and the elimination of follow-up appointments has really been the greatest advantage for my patients," he says. "It used to be that the primary thing patients complained about was pain and having to come back to the office for a second visit. Now, they don't have to request another day off of work, we don't have to numb them all over again for additional treatment, and I have more time available to treat even more patients."

The GentleWave G4 System with CleanFlow Technology improves clinicians' ability to meet the challenges of uninstrumented spaces, undetected canals, multispecies biofilms, and more.

The improved CleanFlow Procedure Instrument is now the only instrument that you need to treat premolars, molars, and anterior teeth with the GentleWave Procedure.

Multi-sonic sound waves clean all canals simultaneously with a constant refreshing of procedure fluids, controlled cavitation, and a closed loop (apical negative pressure) system.

Sonendo, Inc. • •  844-766-3636

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