I am pregnant. I had a toothache, but thought it would be better for my baby if I could just get through the pregnancy then have the work done afterward. Unfortunately, my dental work couldn’t wait. My face swelled up. So, I thought the next best thing would be a holistic dentist. He examined me. I had a major infection and he recommended extraction. I agreed because he’s the dentist and figured he knew best. But, I was talking to a friend the other day who said she had a tooth infection and her doctor gave her a root canal. Did I make a mistake going to a holistic dentist? Could I have saved my tooth if I went to a different dentist?
First, congratulations on your expected baby. That’s always an exciting time. It’s a good sign that you’re already thinking about how your decisions impact your child. As far as the difference between you and your friend’s case, there could be some significant reasons why you had two different outcomes.
Your infection may have been much further along than hers. You mentioned you waited and the infection blew up. She may have gone in right away and a root canal was all that she needed to stem her infection. Yours had progressed so far it had to be extracted. Another possibility is her tooth didn’t have a cavity and simply died, maybe from trauma.
There are a few fringe cosmetic holistic dentists who don’t believe in root canal treatments. They feel it chances leaving some bacteria in your body because the bacteria hide in the microscopic holes. Here’s the problem with that way of thinking.
Your body always has good and bad bacteria in it. A healthy body fights the bad bacteria. In some sense, your body needs some bad bacteria in order to develop strength and proficiency in fighting the bacteria. The amount of bacteria that could be left in a root canal treatment is minimal. Your body would dispense of it quickly.
Most holistic dentists are more concerned with not placing harmful substances in your body. For instance, maybe they will not place an amalgam filling because of its high mercury content. Instead, they just place composite fillings.
The only way to know if your dentist is one of the fringe who doesn’t believe in root canal treatments is to ask him. If he doesn’t have a problem with the procedure, then you likely had to have the extraction.
In the long run, whatever you do to get rid of the tooth infection (within reason) is good for both you and your baby.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Warren Krutchick.