Being pregnant does not mean you have to stop dental care. In fact, dental care is even more important at this stage, as you have to keep your oral health in check. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing gum diseases, tooth decay, and other issues. This is why dental care is essential at this stage.
However, many people still believe that visiting a dentist when someone is pregnant is not good for the baby. Pregnant women are not exempted from dental care. However, there has been an increasing concern about the safety of root canal treatment during pregnancy. Is it safe for a pregnant woman to get a root canal treatment?
A root canal is a dental procedure carried out to save the teeth of an individual from severe abscesses or infections. This procedure is very safe, especially when carried out by a professional orthodontist. Nonetheless, it is quite normal for pregnant women to have a couple of concerns about this procedure.
Many pregnant women are troubled at the thought of getting a root canal treatment. The number one reason is the possible health risk associated with undergoing this procedure. For instance, the mother and her baby could experience some stress after undergoing this procedure, and excessive tension and stress can affect the fetus, which is not good.
While this treatment can create some issues when a woman is pregnant, it is still a safe procedure, and many expecting mothers do undergo it. Many pregnant women go through this process because they find it difficult to bear such extreme dental pain for nine months. There is no reason to suffer for such an extended period when you are expecting a baby. The procedure of having a root canal treatment when you are pregnant is very safe, and we will be explaining the steps involved in this treatment.
Getting x-rays during pregnancy
It is not possible for orthodontic specialists to determine if a patient needs a root canal treatment without carrying out an x-ray. The American Pregnancy Association advised that expecting mothers should stay away from every x-ray that is not essential. However, the Association agreed with the American College of Radiology that modern shielding means a vital dental x-ray should not cause any harm to the developing fetus.
If you are pregnant, it is crucial that you tell your doctor about it before he or she begins any procedure. The machine used for dental x-rays today emits a very little amount of radiation compared to the ones used in the past. When you tell your dentist about your condition, they will be more cautious during the x-ray. They will use a lead apron to cover your neck and protect your abdomen from radiation when doing the x-rays. Because of this, the American Dental Association agrees that dental x-rays are safe for pregnant women.
Anesthesia and pain medication during pregnancy
The safety of pain medication and anesthesia is another major concern for pregnant women. Fortunately, the American Dental Association said that local anesthesia is safe for the developing fetus. Anesthesia is the drug given to patients to make the tooth and the surrounding area insensitive. This treatment cannot be carried out without administrating local anesthesia.
The FDA has recommended and approved some specific anesthetics for expecting mothers, and they are administered in dental offices. The FDA recommends local anesthesia with epinephrine like Lidocaine, Mepivacaine, and Bupivacaine. Furthermore, a root canal procedure requires the use of antibiotics to treat or prevent any infection.
Depending on your condition and the case involved, your dentist will follow current standards about which antibiotics will work best for you. Some antibiotics such as Amoxicillin are safe for consumption by pregnant women. However, you should follow the instructions of your dentist and ask questions when necessary. If the pain is too much to bear, your dentist might recommend some pain management pills that you will need to take for a few days after the procedure.
Expecting mothers should avoid pain-relieving pills such as Advil and Ibuprofen. You should prefer medication with acetaminophen, such as Tylenol. However, you should discuss all this with a professional to know what is best for you and your baby.
Scheduling a root canal treatment during pregnancy
You can go for a root canal treatment at any point in your pregnancy. However, the best time for this procedure is the second trimester. In this stage, you might no longer be experiencing nausea, which is something you do not want to suffer from when you are pregnant. On getting to your third trimester, you might not be too comfortable being on the dentist’s chair for a long period.
However, emergency root canals can occur at any inconvenient time. This means you can undergo a root canal treatment at any time, whether you are in the ninth month of the pregnancy or you are still combating morning sickness. You might think you can hold on until you give birth. However, realistically, that may be difficult considering you might have so much at hand, and you will also be recovering from having given birth. Dental care is very important, and you should not put it off.
It is dangerous to wait for too long before embarking on the process, as the infection in the tooth can enter the bloodstream, which can make things more complicated for pregnant women. To prevent the issue from getting worse and causing more trouble for you and your unborn child, you should address it as soon as possible.
Tooth infection or decay is an extremely painful condition that no one wants to bear. As an expecting mother, you already have so much on your plate, and you do not want to leave this condition until it gets way out of hand before you treat it. With the modern technology and the professional dentists, we have today, root canal procedures are now much safer and less painful for pregnant women. If you have any questions regarding root canal treatment during pregnancy, or you want to begin the treatment process, you should consult a specialist that is experienced in this field and in treating pregnant women.