Special Considerations For Root Canals During Pregnancy

If you have a painful, infected tooth, then you will likely need to have a root canal. It is safe to have a root canal during your pregnancy. In fact, if you have a dental infection during pregnancy, then it is vital that you seek the help of a dentist. 

Dangers of Dental Infections During Pregnancy

Dental infections can cause you a lot of pain. They also have the ability to move to your bloodstream. When this happens, you can get an infection in your heart that can be fatal. For this reason, as soon as you feel dental pain is the time to seek professional help. Early intervention can help you avoid lengthy, and costly, procedures later down the road.

Dental Procedure Timing During Pregnancy

If you are in your first trimester of pregnancy, then your endodontist may choose to wait until your second trimester before performing your root canal. The second semester is considered to be the safest time for medical procedures during pregnancy. Additionally, if you are at the end of your pregnancy, then your dentist may decide to treat you with antibiotics and wait until you have delivered for your root canal.

Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy

It is a requirement that your endodontist take dental x-rays during your root canal procedure. The x-rays are necessary for the dentist to be able to clearly see the area of infection. While dental x-rays are very low radiation, they do give off some radiation.

The dental assistant taking your x-rays will place a lead apron over your body. This apron is designed to repel any x-ray radiation away from your body. This will keep your baby safe.

Antibiotic Use During Pregnancy

If you have an infected tooth, then your endodontist will need to prescribe an oral antibiotic for you to take to prevent the spread of the infection. You need to know that the antibiotic tetracycline is never safe for use during pregnancy.

Tetracycline causes the dentin in the baby's forming teeth to turn brown. This irreversible damage will result in both the baby and adult teeth turning brown. The coloration damage cannot be whitened with today's current technology. The only solution for this damage is to have veneers applied to adult teeth.

The good news is that your endodontist has a wide variety of other antibiotics they can use to treat your dental infection.


No one ever wants to have a root canal. However, if you have an infected tooth, then you need to have the procedure performed as soon as possible. By working with your obstetrician and endodontist you can have a root canal that is safe for your unborn baby. Contact your doctors if you have any more questions about root canals during pregnancy.