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Is a root canal safe during pregnancy?

Q: I am 8 months pregnant and I had some dental work done two weeks ago. They had to replace a cracked filling between two teeth and drilled a little deeper to get the decayed one out. My tooth was extremely sensitive to the drilling, more than usual. I put up with the tenderness for the first week, but this past week it has been very painful. My tooth is throbbing and all my gums now are in pain. Regular strength tylenol does nothing for me. I have a follow up visit next week with the dentist. How long is it safe to take the tylenol for? Does this sound like a concern for a root canal to be done? Is that safe during pregnancy?

A:It looks as if a root canal is required in that tooth. A root canal is as such safe except that to properly finish a root canal we need to take x-rays which are contraindicated during pregnancy. The best course is to just have the root canal opened so that the infection inside drains out and you get relief from pain. The root canal can then be completed after your delivery.

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