Tag Archives: dental work during a pregnancy

A Guide to Dental Work During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant it seems like everything changes, and you probably have a lot of questions. You question everything you do from what you eat to how to exercise and even how you sleep. If your regularly scheduled dental cleaning happens to fall during your pregnancy or you have a dental emergency arise, you may question whether or not it is safe to go to the dentist while pregnant. 

Pregnant Woman at Dentist Before Treatment

While it is normal to question dental work safety during pregnancy, the good news is that most dental procedures are still safe to have done. Be sure to let your dentist know that you are pregnant before or when you arrive so that the proper precautions can be taken. 

Is Dental Work Safe During Pregnancy?

A: An old wives’ tale states that each pregnancy claims one tooth, but in reality, pregnancy need not damage your teeth at all. Before you become pregnant, see your dentist to care for any existing problems and find out whether you need nutritional supplements such as prenatal vitamins.

Pregnancy is not a bar to dental work, but timing is important for non-emergency issues. Postpone elective procedures until after the baby is born, but make an appointment for the second trimester. Pregnant women are more likely to suffer from gingivitis, so a thorough deep cleaning only makes sense. This also allows your dentist to assess you for any emerging problems and treat them before they become severe.

The first trimester and the second half of the third trimester are considered the riskiest times to have dental work done, but even then, the risks are very slight. If you need emergency dental care, seek it, regardless of how far along you are. Tell your dentist and staff that you are pregnant to ensure proper X-ray shielding, and keep in mind that the risks from an untreated dental infection are much higher than the risks of emergency dental care.

Is it Safe to Have X-Rays During Pregnancy?

According to the American College of Radiology, the amount of radiation that is delivered in one X-Ray is too low to cause any damage to a developing embryo or fetus. Even so, if X-Rays are simply routine and not absolutely necessary, it would be best to postpone them until your next visit. If you need emergency dental care that requires X-Rays to be taken, a lead apron is used to drape over your body so that the radiation does not pass through. 

The American Dental Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists collectively agree that X-Rays are safe during pregnancy as long as the proper shielding is used.

Are Medications Used in Dental Procedures Safe During Pregnancy?

One of the biggest concerns about undergoing dental procedures during pregnancy is the anesthesia and medications used during and after the procedure. One of the most common numbing agents, lidocaine, has been proven to cross through the placenta after administration. Of course, the risk is lower when only the minimum dosage is used.

It is for this reason that it is best to postpone any non-emergency dental work until after your pregnancy. But in the case of an emergency, where there is severe pain or a procedure needs to be done immediately to save a tooth, the benefit outweighs the risk. 

Antibiotics are prescribed following some dental procedures to prevent infection. Most antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin, and clindamycin fall into category B for use during pregnancy. Category B drugs are considered to be safe to use during pregnancy. 

Should I Still Go to the Dentist For Routine Cleanings During Pregnancy?

Not only is it perfectly safe to have your teeth cleaned by your dentist during pregnancy, but it is also more important now. Pregnancy can harm your teeth in multiple ways. 

  • – The hormones that are present during pregnancy can cause your gums to swell, which increases your chances of developing gum disease and puts your teeth at a higher risk of decay. The prevention and treatment of gum disease is important, as it has been linked to preterm birth. 
  • – The growing fetus siphons nutrients from the mother, causing the mother’s nutrients to become depleted. Lack of tooth-strengthening minerals, such as calcium, can lead to weakened teeth that are more susceptible to cavities. 

Visiting the dentist while pregnant to have your teeth cleaned and examined is not only safe, but important for your oral health as well as your overall health and the health of your baby. 

Can I Have Elective Dental Work Done During Pregnancy?

In general, dental work can be performed during pregnancy. The second trimester is considered the safest, as the first and third trimesters are particularly critical times in the baby’s development. However, most dental experts agree that it is best to delay elective dental work until after your baby is born. There are two main reasons for this:

Risks to the Baby: It is extremely unlikely that one or two dental X-rays would harm the baby, particularly with proper shielding. Likewise, your dentist can come up with a combination of antibiotics and medications that are not considered especially harmful. However, pregnancy is a relatively short-term condition. It makes no sense to expose your baby to even minimal risks for a procedure that can be safely delayed until after you give birth.

Maternal Discomfort: Although a handful of women sail through pregnancy with no discomfort, most women battle some nausea, aches and pains, and other physical symptoms. Laying on your back in the dentist’s chair is not exactly comfortable under the best conditions, so why add to your general feelings of unwellness? Once you are back to your normal shape and size, dental appointments will be far more comfortable.

Tips for Making your Dental Visit Comfortable During Pregnancy

If you’re concerned about your personal comfort during a dental visit, these tips can help. 

  • – Avoid going to the dentist during your third trimester, if possible, as lying on your back for prolonged periods of time may be uncomfortable. 
  • – Bring a pillow for extra back or neck support. 
  • – Keep your legs uncrossed while in the dental chair to promote healthy circulation. 
  • – Avoid going to the dentist in the first trimester if morning sickness is a major problem for you. 
  • – Ask what dentist conveniences are available to make you more comfortable during your visit. 

Trust Your Care To The Best Dentist in Savannah, GA

Proper dental care is more important than ever during your pregnancy. Trust your dental care during this time to the best dentist in Savannah, GA. Savannah Dental Solutions understands the unique circumstances of receiving dental care during your pregnancy and makes every effort to ensure your comfort and safety. 

Call (912) 354-1366 today or contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you maintain your dental health during this special time in your life. 

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.

Pregnant woman at dentist before treatment

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.