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Is Root Canal Treatment Safe During Pregnancy?



Due to hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy, the need for dental work in response to swollen and bleeding gums is often expected. These procedures are performed to reduce the risk of gum disease and oral infections. However, pregnancy-induced dental infections aren’t generally transferrable to the fetus, or are grave enough to necessitate immediate medical attention, such as cosmetic surgery.

Root Canal Is Perceived As A Risk During Pregnancy

Badly decayed or infected teeth are among the dental situations that call for immediate medical attention. Good oral health will benefit both the mother and the unborn baby, and having the necessary procedures to eliminate tooth decay or infection is an important part of a breezy pregnancy.

One of the most common remedies to the aforementioned conditions — whether or not the patient is pregnant — is root canal treatment. This is a treatment to repair a badly decayed or infected tooth by removing the pulp beneath it before the infection spreads to the periapical region. Any dentist can perform the treatment but often patients with rather complex cases are referred to endodontists, who specialize in root canal treatment.

Is Root Canal Treatment Safe for Pregnant Women?

This is a common question for many pregnant women who require this necessary treatment, and Centenary Dental wants to clear these concerns. Studies have shown pregnant women to be more prone to dental infections — dental pulp disorders included — than anyone. Additionally, medics perceive that there is a possibility that poor oral health has some effect on the fetus, making root canal treatment a mandatory course of action.

Often, a root canal is a necessary treatment and the best decision for both you and your baby. Like any procedure, there are risks, however root canals pose a very minimal risk to you and your baby. As well, many pregnant women raise concerns over the use of X-rays used by dentists to assess the tooth’s internal structure and the various chemicals administered throughout surgery. An X-ray poses little to no risk of exposing the fetus to harmful radiation, and in many cases pregnant women are put under a ‘double-covering’ to further prevent effects of radiation.

It’s often recommended to wait until you’re out of the first trimester of pregnancy to undergo a root canal. However, if you’re unsure about when to undergo this procedure, speaking with your dentist or endodontist can help you to make the best decision for your oral health.

For more information, contact Centenary Dental today.

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Dr. Stacey Stein
A graduate from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Stacy Stein provides personalized care to each patient by explaining the risks and benefits of different treatment options in an honest way, and involves patients in their own care. With a focus on preventative, paediatrics, restorative, prosthodontics, and endodontics, she loves working with patients of all ages.