Root Canal During Pregnancy

Getting a root canal surgery can save you a lot of pain and save your tooth from falling out.  But what about a root canal during pregnancy?  One common concern of women with root canal infections and who are pregnant is the side effects of the consultation and the drugs used during the procedure.

Part of the original consultation procedure requires a series of x-rays to assess the internal structure of the tooth.  An x-ray can give you dentist a better idea of where he or she will need to drill, along with the extent of the infection.  It’s a critical part of the consultation process that should not be skipped.  Women tend to worry that clinical x-rays will damage their fetus.  Most of these fears are unfounded though.  First of all, the x-rays are aimed locally at the mouth, not the abdomen.  Second, most dentists will provide pregnant women with an additional lead vest for their peace of mind.  In reality, a single lead vest is enough to stop a high percentage of x-rays.  Doubling your coverage will only provide comfort but no real additional protection because you’re already protected.

Another worry associated with pregnancy is related to the chemicals used during the actual surgery.

The first class of chemicals is the local anesthetic.  Women fear that the anesthetic will adversely affect the growth of their child.  In truth, most shots are local and your dentist can reduce the amount used at the cost of more pain during the procedure.  Anesthetics shouldn’t harm your child.

The irrigation fluid for the surgery is usually a low percentage sodium hydrochloride, or bleach.  Even if you swallow small amounts, the other 95% of that solution is just water.  The trace amount of sodium hydrochloride you may swallow is neither significantly dangerous nor potent enough to harm your baby.

The last chemical used in the procedure is the filling material.  Most have a strange smell when applied.  They can also have really bad tastes.  However, most are just resins that cure with the treatment of a laser.  They pose no danger to an unborn fetus.

Of course, the added stress of undergoing a dental surgery can have some effect on your child.  Most patients are advised that if they can withstand the pain until after the pregnancy, it’s safer.

Consult your dentist about how long you can wait for a root canal surgery.  Root canal and pregnancy can mix successfully under the right conditions.  Though if you can wait till the end you should, having the surgery during pregnancy brings few risks to the table.

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