Dental Work and Pregnancy: Myths vs. Facts
Pregnant women are continually bombarded with information on what to do and what not to do during their pregnancy. Modern technology virtually guarantees that women will receive a lot of this information from internet sources, well-meaning friends and family, and other sources of questionable veracity. With so many claims swirling around, it can be tough to separate myths and old wives’ tales from scientifically proven facts. Here is what you need to know about dental work and pregnancy.
Myth: Avoid Routine Dental Work
Fact: Routine Dental Work Is Safe and Essential
If you are planning to become pregnant, it is a great idea to go ahead and visit your dentist. Have a routine checkup and cleaning, and have any needed treatments performed. However, many women become pregnant unexpectedly. In this case, it is important not to neglect your annual exam and cleaning. Pregnant women are at higher risk for swollen, bleeding gums, which can lead to gum disease, a condition that is linked to preterm birth. Never be afraid to receive routine dental work during your pregnancy.
Myth: Dental X-Rays Are Dangerous
Fact: Dental X-Rays Are Acceptable in Moderation
Because pregnant women should not be exposed to unnecessary radiation, it makes sense to put off nonessential x-rays until after you give birth. However, if a dental emergency should arise, x-rays may be essential for diagnosis. With proper shielding, dental x-rays are considered generally safe during pregnancy. Tell your dentist about your pregnancy and discuss the risks and benefits before proceeding.
Myth: Emergency Dental Treatments Should Be Avoided
Fact: Emergency Dental Treatments Should Be Performed
Many women worry about the effects that anesthesia and antibiotics, as well as dental procedures such as extractions and root canals, could have on their babies. Because there is a small risk with any procedure, putting off elective treatments until after the birth is advised. However, if a dental emergency arises, the risks of infection from putting off treatment are higher than the risks associated with performing a dental procedure.
Your dentist will work with you to use the safest medications possible in the lowest doses that still provide comfort. It is better to have your mouth thoroughly numbed than to put yourself and your baby through the stress of intense pain.
Myth: The Second Trimester Is the Best Time for Dental Work
Fact: This Is True
In many cases, it is possible to schedule both routine and emergency dental work. Although studies do not show increased risks with dental work performed during the first trimester, many dentists and patients prefer to wait until after this critical time in fetal development. Most dentists and patients also try to avoid the third trimester, when laying on your back could be painful and early labor is a possibility.
During the second trimester, most women have gotten used to the pregnancy. Morning sickness may have subsided, and the baby has made it through the critical first weeks. If you need dental work that can’t wait until after you deliver, this is the ideal time to have it done.
Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.