If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or have recently given birth, you probably have asked medical professionals more than one time, “can I do that?” when informed of a recommended procedure. This holds true with the dental office as well. If you have visited the dentist in recent weeks and have been told that you need a root canal, you probably have asked them if you are able to undergo such a procedure or if it is better to put it off.
In an ideal world, you should never put off a root canal. It’s a domino effect when you fail to address the problem. So, can you get a root canal while pregnant? Here is what you need to know.
Can You Have A Root Canal?
Whenever it comes to medical procedures where some sort of anesthetic is administered, it is always a good idea to consult with the medical professional and even your own doctor about whether or not it is recommended to have the procedure performed.
In the case of a root canal, it is perfectly safe to have the procedure performed, regardless of what stage of your pregnancy you are or if you are currently breastfeeding or not. Unlike other medical procedures and surgeries, you are not put under, nor are you given an IV. With a root canal, local anesthesia is used directly around the tooth and the gums. Even so, there are a number of very specific anesthetics that have been approved by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Only those are used during a root canal, so there is no need to worry, as you will be in good hands.
Now, it is still important to talk with your dentist. Make sure to let them know you are pregnant and to go over your concerns. During the build-up to the procedure, you will have X-rays performed. X-rays are also safe, just as long as your thyroid and abdominal region receive proper shielding. So take special care with having the protective shielding in place. As long as you do, it is safe as well.
Can Being Pregnant Cause Other Dental Problems?
While we would love to tell you that becoming pregnant is nothing but sunshine, you already know that isn’t the case. As the hormone levels in your body change, there can be adverse effects on certain areas of your body in response. This includes your dental health.
Pregnant women may be at risk for cavities due to changes in behaviors, such as eating habits. It makes it that much more important to stay on top of your brushing and tooth-cleaning habits.
During this time, your gums may become more sensitive to brushing. In some instances, your gums might even hurt. That doesn’t mean you should put off brushing, though. A soft bristle brush can reduce the pressure applied to your gums. If the pain is overwhelming, talk with your dentist about the optimal toothbrush and cleaning methods you need to follow.
You will likely, at some point in time, experience morning sickness. The level of vomiting connected with this will vary from pregnancy to pregnancy, but whatever level it is, when you throw up, you expose your teeth to stomach acid. Stomach acid is used to break down foods, and in a similar way, when left on your teeth, the stomach acid may begin to break down the teeth as well. It is important to brush your teeth following any episodes of throwing up.
Because your gums and teeth are more sensitive at times during your pregnancy, it is recommended to put off elective dental procedures until after you have given birth. These are procedures that are not required for the health and well-being of your teeth. It might be the application of veneers or whitening sessions.
Your teeth are more sensitive and are even more likely to sustain damage during these routine procedures. You are better off postponing these for the remaining weeks or months of your pregnancy.
Now, a root canal is not an elective procedure. This is an important procedure designed to help ensure you’re able to keep the tooth.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
No matter if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or have recently given birth, if you have been told you need a root canal, now is the time to schedule your consultation.
Our friendly staff here at Southern Endodontic Specialists will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the best course of action. From there, we can plan your root canal or any other procedure necessary.