Does a Root Canal Really Hurt?

Posted by Southeast Family Dental Jan 02,2021

This is a thumbnail image of blog Does a Root Canal Really Hurt?

Root canals have a bad reputation. Just the mere mention of the treatment can produce a cringing expression to the listener as if he or she is on the dentist chair, mouth wide open and getting the 21st century version torture method of the Spanish inquisition.

Well, the notion of root canal as a tormenting procedure is over. In the past 10 years, technologies and innovations, as well as anesthetics in dental care, have allowed for the procedure to evolve to be a more tolerable, relieving experience.

Why the Bad Reputation?

Root canals are often associated with a lot of pain. Unfortunately, it is not the root canal itself that causes the pain. It is the inflammation and/or infection in and around the tooth that requires the tooth to need the root canal in the first place. Dental pain should not be minimized. We describe it to patients comparing a jammed finger. If you shut your finger in a door, the pain will be there, but thankfully the tissues around your finger allow it to swell. Unfortunately with a tooth rooted in bone, there is nowhere for the swelling to go so the pain is much worse.

Why choose a root canal over removal?

The reason for getting a root canal treatment is removing infection and preserving the tooth. What your body has made is better than any man made device we can place. The longer we can maintain a natural tooth, the better. And while this cannot be done in every case, it is up to you and discussion with your dentist to decide.

So this root canal…

The good news is, because of advancement in dental and oral care technology including anesthetics applied in root canal, pain during a root canal can be kept to a minimum. Here is why:

  • A more complete set of anesthetics provides better pain management and localized numbing. They also provide longer periods of numbness to alleviate the feeling of pain.
  • The emergence of digital X-rays and 3D imaging enable more precise diagnosis of root canal cases. This lessens situations of mistreatment and reduces probability of making mistakes in the procedure.
  • The use of a microscopic camera allows better visual of the inside of the tooth. Thus, the dentist has better visibility while doing the procedure. And as a treat, the patient can watch the root canal procedure as well, minus the popcorn, of course!
  • The best news about today’s root canal treatment is that it requires less time than the procedures of the past. Because of all the technologies and innovations invested in making the treatment easier – both to the dentist and patient – it cuts down the procedure to only one to two hours, tops. All this makes it more pleasant and relieving than before.

Debunking the urban legend of the root canal

Now that we have the technologies and modern medicine to make a root canal more efficient and less painful, let’s take a step back to debunking certain notions or folktale about the treatment that places it in the house of horrors:

  • The pain: As mentioned earlier, most of the pain experienced during the treatment comes from the infection, inflammation and abscess present as well as the damaged tissues. The pain will be alleviated after the procedure as the dentist removes the damaged cells. And most dentists are experts in pain management, so pain is resolved as quickly as you can say ahhh.
  • Root canal can cause other health issues: There are proliferating claims on the Internet or in other media outlets that the treatment can cause health problems or illness. Unfortunately, this is based on a century-old study that’s been debunked for poor research back when many diseases were still misunderstood and causes were not yet explored. There’s no validity or scientific evidence proving this claim as a fact.
  • Tooth extraction is a better option: Dentists all over the globe will agree that saving the natural teeth is always the best option. Nothing can replace the functionality and the look of the natural teeth. And, with the help of modern dental care, root canal treatment helps the natural tooth or teeth last longer, if not a lifetime.

Tell Tale Signs That You Need A Root Canal

Your dentist may tell you that you need to have a root canal treatment, even when you don’t feel any pain or experience any kind of toothache. The symptoms of a decaying root or tissue isn’t always tooth pain. Listen and understand carefully why your dentist recommends the procedure to save your tooth. You may not have an earth-shattering toothache but rather slight sensitivity, discoloration or an irritating sensation when chewing.

For more information on root canal and other dental care procedures, contact your dental care specialists at Southeast Family Dental.

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.
More Blog Posts
5 High-tech Ways Your Kids Can Improve Their Brushing Habits
5 High-tech Ways Your Kids Can Improve Their Brushing Habits

If you’re like most parents, you probably have a hard time getting your kids to brush their teeth. For whatever reason, just like taking baths, cleaning their room or eating their veggies, kids aren’t very enthusiastic when it comes to tooth brushing. Nevertheless, your youngsters need to establish a solid brushing regimen to help them fight tooth decay and develop life-long good oral hygiene habits. But how can you turn tooth brushing from a boring chore into an entertaining activity for your kids? Smart technology can help. Several product manufacturers have developed high-tech devices to make tooth brushing more fun for your kids. Here are five products that can help get your child excited about brushing their teeth: Grush, The Gaming Toothbrush. This Bluetooth motion-sensing toothbrush turns brushing into a fun, interactive game that enables parents to reward their children for consistency and using proper technique. Your kids can see the proper brush angle they should use when brushing each area of their mouth. Grush, The Gaming Toothbrush Kolibree, Intelligent Sonic Toothbrush. This connected toothbrush uses 3D motion sensors to track the brushing areas in your child’s mouth, so they can learn how to brush their teeth more effectively while making it fun. Kolibree, Intelligent Sonic Toothbrush Philips Sonicare for Kids. The app turns this Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush into a game controller. With the help of fuzzy creatures called Sparklys and a built-in timer, your child learns how to brush their teeth better and for two full minutes. After all, most kids have no idea how long two minutes really is. Philips Sonicare for Kids Playbrush. This smart device turns your child’s manual toothbrush into a game controller, so you don’t have to invest in a more expensive Sonicare electric toothbrush for them. And one Playbrush device can easily be shared among your children, saving you money. With real-time feedback, your kids learn to brush longer, more regularly and more accurately. Playbrush Foreo Issa Mini. This electric toothbrush for kids doesn’t require an app or mobile phone, and it comes with a built-in timer to ensure your child brushes their teeth for two full minutes. Foreo Issa Mini What’s great about some of these kid-friendly toothbrushes is, they’re easier for small hands to hold since some youngsters struggle as they develop greater dexterity. However, while these smart devices can make tooth brushing fun for your kids, they don’t brush your child’s teeth for them. Your youngster still needs to learn how to brush their teeth correctly—no matter what technology they use. If you need help with proper tooth brushing instruction, contact the staff at Southeast Family Dental. We’ll be happy to teach you and your kids the skills they need to correctly brush their teeth for better dental hygiene.

7 Signs You Are Dealing With a Dental Emergency
7 Signs You Are Dealing With a Dental Emergency

In any given year, there are around two million dental-related visits to the emergency department in the United States. It’s easy to let a problem build up over time and then realize it needs to be dealt with right away (though where possible, a dentist is always a better choice than the emergency room). However, you may not know when you’re dealing with a dental emergency and be unsure of whether it needs immediate attention. Since emergencies can cost more, people often try and wait for a more routine visit. If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it’s likely an emergency and you need to get it taken care of right away. 1. Extreme Mouth Pain There’s no more obvious sign that you’re dealing with severe dental issues than extreme pain. Tooth pain can be absolutely debilitating and if it’s gotten to the point where it’s affecting your day-to-day life, then it’s most likely an emergency. Many people still hold off on going to the dentist, hoping the pain will subside on its own, but this is not often the case. If you’re dealing with that level of pain, there are dental problems going on that demand a professional’s attention and help. If the pain isn’t too bad but persists for days on end, it’s still important to see a professional. 2. Pain Elsewhere If you leave the pain in your mouth untreated (or it hasn’t been bad enough to notice), the pain can actually spread elsewhere. It’s not uncommon for people to get headaches due to tooth issues or feel that their jaw is sore. This is more common when there’s something wrong with the back teeth, like an impacted wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, so keep a particular eye out for them (although they can be earlier or later in some people). 3. Stiff Jaw If your jaw is stiff — even if you don’t feel pain — it could be a sign that you need dental care. Sometimes when there’s a problem with the back teeth it makes the jaw stiff and it can be hard to open your mouth to chew and eat. This often affects what you can swallow and means you may only be able to tolerate soft foods and liquids. This is another symptom that’s very common with wisdom teeth coming in, but it doesn’t often resolve itself. Your wisdom teeth are likely impacted if your jaw is stiff, meaning they need to be removed by a dentist. 4. Cracked or Broken Teeth If you notice that you have a cracked or broken tooth — whether visually or because you’re alerted to it through the pain — it’s time to get it looked at as soon as possible. Many people crack a tooth and don’t feel any discomfort, so they think it’s not an emergency — but a lot of bacteria can then get into the tooth, meaning it’ll rot faster. It also puts the tooth in a vulnerable position where it may be prone to more cracking and you could lose it altogether if you don’t get it seen as soon as possible. Missing teeth come with their own problems, so don’t let it get to that stage if you can avoid it. 5. You Have Bad Breath Many people assume bad breath is a sign of poor tooth care or the wrong food choice, but that’s not always the case. If you have chronic bad breath that you can’t seem to get rid of, it could be a sign of a dental emergency. The smell may be coming from decay. It’s always a good idea to visit your dentist if you struggle with halitosis, but if it’s in combination with any of the other signs, it’s a big sign of a dental emergency. 6. Your Gums Are Bleeding Gum disease is pretty common in the US but as long as you visit a dentist every six months, you should be able to keep it under control. However, if your gums are red, swollen, and bleeding every time you use your toothbrush, it’s a big sign your gum disease has progressed. Late-stage gum disease can cause a whole host of problems, not just in the mouth, but even elsewhere in the body. That’s why it’s considered a dental emergency if it’s getting to a serious stage because you need a good clean before it gets to that point. 7. You Have an Abscess or Ulcer Sometimes mouth ulcers are normal and will go away after a few days. However, if you have a sore in your mouth that’s persisting or is extremely painful, it might be time to go and see a dentist and check that there’s no other underlying cause. Abscesses can form after injury to the mouth or oral surgery, so it’s important to make sure that nothing is infected or worse than you realized. It’s better to get something checked out as soon as possible than leave it until it develops into a worse problem. Don’t Hesitate if You Have a Dental Emergency If you have a dental emergency on your hands, don’t hesitate to see a professional. Even if you’re unsure, they’ll be able to take a look at the problem and get it sorted out quickly — which is much better than the alternative of leaving the issue to become increasingly worse. If you’re looking for a reliable and trustworthy dentist in Indianapolis, contact us today, and let’s see what we can do for you.

“When I Brush My Teeth…” Dentists Answer Google’s Most Common Questions
“When I Brush My Teeth…” Dentists Answer Google’s Most Common Questions

When I brush my teeth It’s common knowledge that dentists recommend you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. And each time, you should brush for at least 2 minutes for the best results. But some things might happen when you brush your teeth, which has you Googling “when I brush my teeth…” Do you have some unanswered questions? Our dentists are here to answer them! Read on to find out more about why certain things might occur when you brush your teeth. When I Brush My Teeth, I Spit Blood If you spit out blood when you brush your teeth, you might be pushing too hard with your toothbrush. Try easing up on the pressure to see if that helps. If it doesn’t, then you might have gingivitis, which inflammation of your gums. Healthy gums won’t feel tender and they won’t bleed either, so if either of these things happens, it can be a warning sign. When I Brush My Teeth, I Spit Out Black (or Brown) Spitting out black or brown can be scary when it happens. But often, it’s something benign! First, think about it: what have you recently eaten or drank? For example, if you’ve just eaten chocolate or drank wine in the last hour, that can cause the discoloration in your spit. But if you haven’t consumed anything recently, then take a look at your tongue. Do you notice anything odd? Then you might need a doctor or dentist to take a look at it. When I Brush My Teeth, I Throw Up All of us have something called the gag reflex. Basically, if anything touches the back of your throat, it causes you to throw up. This is something intended for survival so we don’t choke or swallow anything that’s harmful. You might throw up when you brush your teeth because you’re pushing your toothbrush too far into the back of your mouth, which triggers your gag reflex. Try using a smaller toothbrush, brushing slower, and taking breaks while brushing to prevent this from happening. When I Brush My Teeth, My Breath Still Stinks Many people don’t know this, but you should brush your tongue in addition to your teeth. So if you’re not already doing this, start brushing your tongue to see if it helps with your breath. Start using mouth rinse as well if you don’t already. If these things don’t help, then it could be something more severe. In this case, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your “When I Brush My Teeth” Questions Answered We hope that this article has provided you with some insight into some of your “when I brush my teeth” questions. Of course, the best thing you can do for your oral health is to see a dentist regularly. Not only can they answer any questions you may have, but they can also ensure that your teeth and gums are in the best shape possible. So take good care of your oral health. Schedule an appointment with us today. Our friendly dental team will make you feel right at home!

5 Most Common Cosmetic Dentistry Services
5 Most Common Cosmetic Dentistry Services

Are you looking to enhance your smile and boost your confidence? Well, you've come to the right place. Cosmetic dentistry offers a range of incredible treatments that can transform your teeth into a dazzling masterpiece. TEETH WHITENING Teeth whitening treatments use bleaching agents to remove stains and discoloration from the surface of your teeth. This can be done either in the office or with at-home kits provided by your dentist. In-office teeth whitening procedures are typically quicker and more effective than at-home options. Your dentist will apply a professional-grade bleaching agent directly to your teeth, using special tools to protect your gums. At-home teeth whitening kits usually involve wearing custom-made trays filled with a milder bleaching gel for several hours each day. While these kits may take longer to achieve noticeable results, they are often more affordable and convenient for many people. No matter which method you choose, regular dental hygiene practices like brushing and flossing remain essential for maintaining a bright smile after treatment. VENEERS Veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry service that can transform your smile in just a few visits to the dentist. These thin shells, typically made of porcelain or composite resin, are custom-made to fit over the front surface of your teeth. One of the main benefits of veneers is their ability to correct various dental imperfections. Whether you have chipped, cracked, stained, or misaligned teeth, veneers can help conceal these issues and give you a beautifully restored smile. The process of getting veneers involves removing a small amount of enamel from the tooth surface to ensure a proper fit. The dentist will then take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental laboratory for fabrication. Once ready, the veneers will be bonded securely onto your teeth using strong adhesive material. BONDING Bonding is a popular cosmetic dentistry service that can help improve the appearance of your teeth. It is a process in which a tooth-colored resin material is applied to the surface of the tooth and then shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. One of the main benefits of bonding is its versatility. It can be used to repair chipped or cracked teeth, close gaps between teeth, reshape misaligned or unevenly sized teeth, and even cover up stains or discoloration. Bonding is also a relatively quick and painless procedure compared to other dental treatments. The process starts with preparing the tooth by roughening its surface and applying a conditioning liquid. Then, the resin material is carefully applied and molded into shape before being hardened with an ultraviolet light. Once it's set, your dentist will further trim and polish it until it blends seamlessly with your natural teeth.  DENTAL IMPLANTS Are you tired of hiding your smile because of missing teeth? Dental implants might just be the solution you've been looking for. This modern cosmetic dentistry procedure provides a permanent and natural-looking replacement for missing teeth. Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as artificial tooth roots. Once the implant is securely in place, a crown or bridge can be attached to restore your smile's functionality and appearance. One of the major benefits of dental implants is their durability. Unlike dentures or bridges, which may need to be replaced over time, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime with proper care. They also help prevent further bone loss in the jaw, maintaining overall oral health. The process of getting dental implants requires careful planning and multiple visits to the dentist. After an initial consultation and evaluation, the dentist will create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. During surgery, the implant will be placed into your jawbone under local anesthesia. Following surgery, it takes several months for the implant to fully integrate with the surrounding bone tissue—a process called osseointegration—before final restoration can take place. Once healed, a custom-made crown or bridge will be attached to complete your new smile. INVISALIGN Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign uses a series of custom-made aligners to gradually shift your teeth into their ideal positions. These aligners are virtually invisible and removable, making them an incredibly popular choice among adults and teenagers alike. One of the greatest advantages of Invisalign is its convenience. You can easily remove the aligners when eating or brushing your teeth, eliminating any dietary restrictions or difficulties with oral hygiene that come with metal braces. Another benefit is the comfort factor. Unlike traditional braces, which may cause discomfort or irritation in the mouth, Invisalign aligners are made from smooth plastic material designed to fit snugly over your teeth without causing any pain or discomfort. Furthermore, because Invisalign is practically invisible when worn, it allows you to confidently go about your daily activities without worrying about unsightly metal brackets and wires drawing attention to your smile. If you have questions about the best ways to care for your smile at home, call our friendly staff at (317) 359-8000 today. We would be happy to schedule you for an appointment at our family dental practice in Indianapolis, IN. We look forward to working with you soon!

Will the Brush DJ App Make You a Better Brusher?
Will the Brush DJ App Make You a Better Brusher?

For children, there are so many rules of tooth brushing that need to be followed, specifically, the fact that you need to brush for a specific amount of time. Two minutes, to be precise. But what is the answer to make sure that everybody brushes for this vital amount of time? The answer might very well be the Brush DJ app! What Is Brush DJ? The app acts as a toothbrush timer and plays 2 minutes of music from your device, streaming service, or cloud. The goal is to make sure that everyone is brushing their teeth for the optimum amount of time while also making it a less boring activity. As there are children or teenagers, or people even older, that don’t have good oral hygiene habits, being able to stay in one place to brush their teeth for 2 minutes can be quite a task. It aims to make you have better oral hygiene, while also making the experience fun by playing your favorite music. Brush DJ app What Are the Features? As with any good app, Brush DJ allows you to make a few significant changes to your life without needing to remember. It allows you to set reminders to brush at least twice a day, to floss every day, change your toothbrush or brush heads every few months, to use mouthwash, but also, it can remind you to book an appointment with a dentist or hygienist. The features also give you the opportunity to choose the color of the screen and the timer so it matches the bathroom or the toothbrush which makes it more interesting, especially for children. In addition to this, there are little quaint animated videos. These highlight the best way to floss, use a toothbrush, and other essential hygiene practices. And, as part of the app, to make it a bit more engaging, there is a weekly Brush DJ top 5 chart, which you can vote for your favorite song and see if it makes the list. Clearly, by the diverse range of music in the charts, it isn’t just for children, but anybody can use this app to improve their brushing habits and make brushing a more enjoyable activity. []  Does It Work? The great thing about this app is that it provides a useful reminder for anyone that gets bored by brushing their teeth. What’s great for children who find standing at the basin for 2 minutes very boring, the app gives them the opportunity to put their favorite songs on, and the app will remind them when it’s time to stop. The fact is, by brushing to your favorite song makes it less of a chore, and more fun. The positive reviews found on the app store highlights just how good it is, not just for children, but those that have oral hygiene habits that are below par. It Comes Highly Recommended! While many parents and children have given many positive reviews of the app, it’s actually an award winner, winning the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) healthcare award in February 2019. It’s also had honorable mentions from diverse sources as the British Dental Journal (BDJ), The Telegraph newspaper, and even on If there are any parents out there that are struggling to get their children to brush their teeth, this app is free, easy to use, and doesn’t have any in-app purchases. The great thing about this app is that, unlike many other apps, it doesn’t stop you enjoying what it can do by asking you to update it by making purchase after purchase! Will the Brush DJ App Make You a Better Brusher? If you don’t have the habits in place and find standing around brushing your teeth for 2 minutes very frustrating or boring, the Brush DJ app needs to have a prominent place on your smartphone. By giving 2 minutes of your time morning and night to a healthy oral hygiene habit, you will find that the Brush DJ app can become an indispensable part of your routine. For those that have children who struggle with brushing their teeth, the Brush DJ app makes it a far more pleasurable activity. And, you never know, they may not want to stop brushing their teeth! But the whole idea is to ensure that you are brushing for 2 minutes. And as soon as those 2 minutes are up tonight, you don’t need to brush your teeth again! Well, at least until tomorrow.


6020 Southeastern Ave,
Indianapolis, IN 46203

Office Hours

MON - THU8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI8:00 am - 2:00 pm

SAT - SUNClosed