September 17, 2021
Pregnancy means a world of uncertainties and worries. Even though you want to get dental work done to keep your smile in optimal shape, it’s important to ensure that it is the best decision for both you and your baby. Any concerns that you are having are valid and common. Read on to learn how you can safely receive dental work while you are pregnant and which procedures you should put on hold until after your baby is born.
Are Cleanings and Checkups Safe for Expectant Mothers?
It’s both safe and highly encouraged to have your teeth cleaned and examined while you are pregnant. When your hormone levels are higher than usual, you are more likely to experience gum inflammation, bleeding, and irritation. By seeing your dentist during this time, you will be more easily able to avoid oral infections, like periodontal disease, that can lead to preterm birth.
Which Dental Procedures Are Safe for Pregnant Women?
When pregnant, you should do everything in your power to prevent infections. This means that undergoing dental procedures, like fillings and crowns, may be necessary. Emergency procedures, like root canals and extractions may also be a must.
Your dentist will administer the smallest amount of anesthesia possible to ensure that you’re comfortable. This can help to reduce stress on both you and your baby. It is safe for your dentist to use local anesthetics, like lidocaine, during these procedures. If necessary for your treatment, they may also recommend a category B antibiotic to prevent and treat infections.
If you’re interested in elective or cosmetic work, it is best to wait until after the birth of your baby. While most of these treatments are safe, it is always best to avoid any risks of complications if at all possible.
Can Pregnant Women Get Routine X-Rays?
The American College of Radiology reports that no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause any adverse effects on an unborn child. The American Dental Association (ADA) considers dental x-rays to be safe with appropriate shielding. However, if your x-ray isn’t for an emergency treatment, it can usually be postponed if you would prefer to do so.
If you’re an expectant mother, let your dentist know how far along you are. This way, they can take all of the necessary precautions for you and your baby while you receive treatment. If your pregnancy is high risk, this is also something your dentist should be aware of. The wellbeing of you and your child is the number one priority of your dental team!
About the Author
After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, Dr. Chris Johnson earned his dental doctorate from the Texas A&M College of Dentistry. He has regularly pursued continuing education to further expand his clinical skillset, including completing the Implant Pathway Implant Continuum. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Houston, visit his website or call (713) 229-8100.
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