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The Latex Connection: Having Root Canal Therapy With Allergies

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In modern dentistry, root canals have become fairly common practice. They make it possible to save your natural tooth in the event of an infection or decay. However, if you have a latex allergy, there are a few things that you should be aware of when it comes to having this procedure done.


Gutta-percha is used to fill the roots of your tooth during root canal therapy. This may be a concern for people with a latex allergy because it is a natural latex rubber. However, it is not the one that people are usually allergic to. Both the American Association of Endodontists and the American Latex Allergy Association consider it to be safe. This is because the chemicals and powders that people with latex allergy usually react to are not used in the manufacturing of Gutta-percha.

Safe Alternatives

Even though the use of Gutta-percha is considered safe, if you are very sensitive to latex, such as those who react with anaphylaxis, it may be prudent not to risk it. If this is the case, there are other materials that can be used to fill the root canal. In some cases, it may even be possible for a dentist to order a more hypoallergenic form of Gutta-percha as well.

Exam Gloves

Any time that you have a medical procedure done, you always need to make sure that the doctors and technicians are using latex-free gloves. Make sure that you speak with your dentist about the use of hypoallergenic gloves before your root canal begins. This is true, even if you only have a milder sensitivity to latex.

Dental Dam

Another thing to consider when having a root canal is the little sheet of rubber that is placed in your mouth in order to keep the dentist's work area clean. This is called the dental dam, and it is often made of latex rubber as well. However, there are hypoallergenic and latex-free versions available.

If you suffer from a latex allergy, even if it is just a mild sensitivity, let your dentist know. Root canal therapy is designed to help you get relief from pain, not create more. By paying special consideration to the materials used for filling the root canal, the gloves worn by the dental staff, and the dam that is placed in your mouth during the procedure, you can make sure that your root canal therapy does not aggravate your allergies. For more information, contact a clinic such a Van Buskirk & Krischke DDS, LLC.