Dental Work during Pregnancy: Is it Safe?
Expectant women experience a rise in hormone levels during pregnancy. As a result, their gums swell, bleed and trap food. This causes an irritation to the gums. Therefore, preventive dental cleanings and annual exams are necessary during pregnancy. Dental work during pregnancy is highly recommended to avoid oral infections like gum diseases. Some of these infections contribute to preterm birth.
When is the right time to do dental work during pregnancy?
The second trimester is the perfect time to do any dental work during pregnancy whether it is cavity fillings or crown fillings. These should be done to avoid any infections.
The second trimester if the ideal time because in this period, you are unlikely to suffer from any serious complications of your pregnancy. Remember that you will also be lying on your back during the dental work, so in the second trimester, you can do so without harmful effects on your back.
In the third trimester, it will be difficult because you will have a challenge in lying on your back for an extended period of time.
The safety of dental work during pregnancy
It is always advised that you should hold everything that you feel is uncomfortable till after you give birth. This includes dental work. It will be better and safer for you to reschedule all your dental work for some time later after you have delivered. These procedures include elective treatments like teeth whitening and any other cosmetic procedures. Dental work during pregnancy may be safe but it is best to avoid exposing the developing baby to any risks even if they are minute.
But sometimes, emergency dental work may be needed. For instance a root canal or a tooth extraction that may be necessary.
Medications used in dental work
The studies on the effects of medications used in dental work on the baby’s development are conflicting.
Lidocaine is the commonly used drug during dental work. This drug crosses the placenta after administration. Dental work will definitely need some amount of anesthesia but this should be kept at a minimal. The anesthesia should be as little as possible but an amount that still makes you as comfortable as possible.
If the anesthesia is too little and you begin to experience some pain, ask for additional numbing. A level of comfort is important to reduce the amount of stress on both you and your baby. Furthermore, if the level of anesthesia is comfortable with you, then it will be able to work effectively.
After the procedure, antibiotics like penicillin and amoxicillin will be prescribed to prevent or treat infections. These antibiotics are safe during pregnancy and they are necessary.
Avoid taking any x-rays and postpone them till after birth. Sometimes they may be required to perform emergencies and that is fine. The American College of Radiology says that the radiation in x-rays is not enough to cause any altering effects on your unborn child.
How to address your pregnancy and dental work needs
- Eat a balanced diet
- Brush your teeth thoroughly
- Preventive exams and cleanings are necessary during pregnancy
- Inform your dentist of your pregnancy
- Do dental work in the second trimester
- Do elective procedures after delivery
As with everything else, dental work during pregnancy should be avoided when possible.
Have you announced your pregnancy yet?
If not, here are a few creative ideas for pregnancy announcement: