The medical equipment manufacturer SONENDO of California awarded Dr. Fabricio Teixeira, professor and head of the Department of Endodontics, and his team a $189K grant and specialized equipment and training worth almost $350K, bringing the total value of the award to $539K for their 1-year clinical project, “Effectiveness of GentleWave on the Healing of Apical Periodontitis: a prospective cohort study.”
Apical periodontitis is caused by a polymicrobial infection of the root canal system. Microorganisms present in the necrotic pulp can lead to periradicular diseases (periapical lesion). In endodontic treatment of these circumstances, the primary purpose is to reduce the number of microbial cells, tissue, biofilms, and infected dentine. In the majority of cases, apical periodontitis will heal if the root canal system is adequately disinfected.
Currently, various irrigation and mechanical instrumentation techniques have been used. A combination of several procedures can predictably eliminate these microorganisms. Sonendo has developed an alternative treatment using sound waves and advanced fluid dynamics, called the Gentlewave System. The concept is based on minimally invasive endodontics; it was designed to reduce patient inconvenience, operatory turnover, and risk of viral exposure. It has the potential to eliminate these microorganisms and etiological factors, preserving the tooth structure. Dr. Teixeira and his team will evaluate whether this new invention can clinically reduce operating time, document the incidence of post-operatory pain, and, more importantly, confirm if it enhances root canal disinfection, thereby increasing the healing rate for apical periodontitis.
Dr. Teixeira’s team includes statisticians Dr. Xian Jin Xie and Carissa Comnick, Sara Miller as clinic coordinator, and endodontics residents and faculty who will use the new technology.
Dr. Teixeira said, “I am fortunate to have worked with such wonderful people on this project, notably Sara Miller, Ann Lawler, Sharon Seydel and Carissa Comnick. We are very enthusiastic about this translational research opportunity.”
The results will be evaluated by board-certified endodontic faculty using limited Cone Beam Computed Tomography examinations (CBCT).