Do you need a cavity filling, a root canal, or some other dental procedure? These and many others are routine procedures, except now you’re pregnant. Can you still get your dental work done?
This is a common question, and a totally understandable one. When you’re pregnant you question everything because you want to make sure you and your baby are safe and healthy. But what is safe for one pregnant mother may not be safe for another. Here’s what to consider when it comes to getting dental work during pregnancy.
Dental Work is Generally Safe During Pregnancy
For most healthy patients, most dental procedures are safe to undergo during pregnancy. However, the overall health of the patient and the developing baby should be taken into consideration. If there are any risks that could be increased due to the effects of anesthesia or other aspects of a certain procedure, it might be better to wait until after the baby is born.
Common Concerns About Dental Procedures and Pregnancy
Here are some of the aspects of certain dental procedures that may be a cause for concern for some patients.
- Anesthesia. If the procedure you need will require you to undergo anesthesia of any kind, you should first consult with your doctor. Local anesthesia only affects the area where it is applied, numbing the nerves in that area. It typically wears off a few hours after administration. If IV sedation or general anesthesia is required, it may be in your best interest to wait until you are no longer pregnant. In the event of a dental emergency, you and your dentist can discuss your options and weigh the risk vs. benefit.
- Dental materials. Another consideration is the dental materials used in procedures, such as dental cement and composite resin used to fill cavities. These materials are very safe and pose little to no risk to a pregnant woman or her fetus, even if they were to be accidentally ingested.
- Nerve sensitivity. During pregnancy your nerves can sometimes be hypersensitive. This may cause an increase in pain and irritation while undergoing dental procedures. Not every patient will experience this, but if you’ve had any discomfort in your mouth tissues since you became pregnant, you may want to consider postponing elective procedures until after the baby is born.
- Nausea. Some women experience nausea during pregnancy. It is most common in the first trimester and in the morning, but some women experience it throughout their pregnancy at various times of the day. If you have frequent and unpredictable nausea, you may want to postpone any elective procedures until after your pregnancy.
- Comfort. Pregnancy can make it uncomfortable to spend time sitting or laying down in a dental chair. If your dental procedure is not emergent, you may want to wait until after your pregnancy for your own comfort. In the event that a procedure can’t or shouldn’t wait, you can bring pillows and padding for increased comfort.
When is the Best Time to Have Dental Work Done During Pregnancy?
Ideally, if you must have dental work during your pregnancy, the best time is during the second trimester. By this time your morning sickness has hopefully subsided. Another benefit is that you will most likely be more comfortable laying back in a dental chair in the second trimester than in the third. There is also an increased risk in the third trimester that the use of anesthesia could, in rare cases, cause preterm labor.
Smile Makers Comprehensive Dentistry Puts Safety First
At Smile Makers Comprehensive Dentistry, we put the safety and comfort of our patients above all else. We take your overall health into consideration before recommending any dental procedures. If you need dental work that is urgent, we will consult with your doctor to determine whether or not there are any risks to consider. Your health and your developing baby’s health is always our top priority.