Embracing technology is an essential part of practice growth
Ever have an odd ache or pain that you just couldn’t figure out? It almost always gets you thinking about what it could be. Maybe it was something you ate — or maybe it’s appendicitis. If you’re like most people these days, the first place you go to research your mystery ailment is the Internet. For better or worse, more people are doing medical research online, “Googling” their problems well before they consult a physician. People looking for information about endodontic issues are no different.
Endodontists continue to rely on referrals from general practitioners for a significant portion of their practice’s traffic. Between the time that the GP makes the referral and the patient gets in to see the endodontist, he/she is likely to take some time to search the internet for more information about root canal therapies. The patient’s access to word-of-mouth input and recommendations is now greater than ever as email and social media connects us all in new ways. Simply put, technology has changed the relationship between patient and provider forever.
It may seem as though technological advancements are a double-edged sword for endodontists. For all of the incremental advancements that have occurred in this discipline over the years, patients are now more informed — and possibly more skeptical — than ever before. Patients may be coming to an endodontic practice more aware of the significant amount of bacteria that can be left behind after a conventional root canal therapy, as well as the potentially detrimental effect that bacteria can have on both their long-term tooth care and their bodies’ immune systems. Patients are beginning to challenge the conventional wisdom behind current root canal therapy methods, which is something that is occurring even as more general practitioners are changing their stance on referring patients to endodontists. All of this suggests that the time is ripe for reconsidering how we bring new technologies into our discipline.
At the most recent annual meeting of the American Association of Endodontists, keynote speaker Dr. Michio Kaku issued forth a battle cry that should resonate with just about everyone: “Technology: Embrace it or be lost!” Endodontists need to set the specialty apart and more effectively demonstrate that the services provided simply cannot be offered anywhere else — and that they offer the highest level of care. Many general practitioners believe that their endodontic skills are at the same level as a specialist, which makes them more likely to attempt to keep their cases in-practice. And given that 40% of bacteria and biofilm can be left behind in conventional root canal therapies,1,2 many general practitioners believe that dental implants are a safer, more effective way to go.
With all of these factors in play, it is in every endodontist’s best interest to embrace new technologies that empower him/her to do more than general practitioners can realistically provide. The successful endodontist will be the one who can demonstrate the ability to actually save more teeth, and superior technology will ultimately be the key differentiator. Multisonic Ultracleaning™ technology from Sonendo® is exactly the sort of technology that truly sets the forward-thinking endodontist apart.
Available only with the GentleWave™ System, Multisonic Ultracleaning represents a radical rethinking of root canal therapies. By replacing conventional levels of endo-dontic instrumentation with broad spectrum acoustic energy and a powerful vortex of cleaning solutions, Multisonic Ultracleaning is able to clean and disinfect in an entirely new way. Cleaning solutions are delivered throughout the entire root canal system, from the crown to the apex, eliminating up to 97% of biofilm, bacteria, and smear layer3 — even in complex anatomies where conventional methods are unable to reach, such as isthmi, lateral canals, and dentin tubules. Fluids and energy reach into the apical third, eliminating the biofilm that is a primary cause of re-infection and failure in root canal therapy. The result is a level of disinfection that goes a long way toward preventing the need for retreatments over time. In essence, endodontists have the power to save even more teeth for their patients. According to Tyler F. Baker, DDS, MS, “These days, the dental profession should be saving more teeth than ever — not fewer. The GentleWave System’s ability to predictably clean complex canal anatomies while significantly preserving more dentin makes saving teeth a no-brainer. Add in greatly improved techniques for restoring and bonding, and you see a true paradigm shift, as the clinician’s treatment of choice returns to preservation of the natural dentition.” (See images on page 42.)
In addition, the Multisonic Ultracleaning procedure requires only one treatment session, enabling endodontists who adhere to the more traditional two-treatment method to suddenly find the time in their schedule to see more patients. This means that when it comes to competing for increasingly rare referrals from general practitioners, the technical advantage can translate into a real financial advantage. With extra time added to the schedule, it becomes possible to increase the number of billable visits each month while still decreasing the number of working hours put in each day.
We live in an age of incredible technological advancement, where innovations are poised to make life easier for everyone. The key is to leverage the breakthroughs that can be of the greatest benefit to the endodontic practice and patients. The GentleWave System, with its Multisonic Ultracleaning technology, provides the power to save patients’ time, save their teeth — and help ensure a more secure future for endodontic practices as they help transform endodontics.
Sonendo has grown from a concept in 2006 to its selective commercial release today. The device is FDA-cleared. For more information, visit www.sonendo.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information was provided by Sonendo®.
- Siqueira JF Jr, Machado AG, Silveira RM, Lopes HP, de Uzeda M. Evaluation of the effectiveness of sodium hypochlorite used with three irrigation methods in the elimination of Enterococcus faecalis from the root canal, in vitro. Int Endod J. 1997;30(4):279-82.
- Sjögren U, Figdor D, Persson S, Sundqvist G. Influence of infection at the time of root filling on the outcome of endodontic treatment of teeth with apical periodontitis. Int Endod J. 1997;30(5):297-306.
- Vandrangi P, Basrani B. Multisonic ultracleaning in molars with the GentleWave System. Oral Health. May 2015;105(5):72-86.