Are dental X-rays safe during pregnancy?

I am four weeks pregnant. I am having tooth pain and my dentist says that I need a root canal, but my doctor said no X-rays. How can I have a root canal without X-rays?

Question:

I would never advise routine X-rays during pregnancy, but you should not be expected to suffer through the next several months with a toothache either. Toothaches do not fix themselves and the pain can become quite excruciating. If the pain is caused by an infection, the infection can spread throughout your body. In serious cases, this scenario could endanger your pregnancy. The plan I propose will protect the developing fetus and also resolves your toothache.

One X-ray may be required to look at the shape of the tooth's root. A single X-ray really should not cause any problems, especially if the dental assistant places two lead shields over your abdomen.

If you really want to be cautious, perhaps the tooth can be opened up, cleaned and prepared for a root canal now. This may alleviate some of the pain. Later, when you enter the second trimester of your pregnancy, have an X-ray taken and complete the root canal.

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