Many expectant mothers have a lot of questions about what’s to come when they are pregnant. Some of these questions revolve around the medical aspect of things including dental work. If you are wondering can you get a cavity filled when pregnant, this article will let you know. Read on to learn about dental work while pregnant.
Is it safe?
Getting dental work while pregnant is not only totally safe, but it is a good thing to do. Having annual checkups as well as preventative dental work is recommended while pregnant. When your hormone levels rise, your oral health can be affected. Pregnancy can cause your gums to bleed, swell and trap food. This can all contribute to an increase in irritation to your gums.
Having preventative dental work when you are pregnant is crucial if you want to avoid infections in the mouth like gum disease; gum disease has actually been attributed to preterm birth.
Is other regular dental work safe while pregnant?
While you are pregnant, dental work like crowns and cavity fillings, should all be done. This can help reduce the chance of getting an infection. If you are having dental work done during pregnancy, it is ideal to do it within the second trimester. Once you have reached the third trimester, you may find that it is difficult for you to lie down on your back for a long period of time.
The best way to do it is to wait for any unnecessary dental work that is more invasive until after you have given birth. That said, sometimes there is a need for emergency dental work. This can include things like a tooth extraction or root canal. But elective procedures like cosmetic procedures and tooth whitening, should wait until after the fact. Overall, getting dental work is fine, but try not to overdo it.
What about medications for dental work while pregnant?
There are currently conflicting studies that show possible effects on the baby when using medication during dental work. Lidocaine, for instance, is one of the most commonly used dental work drugs; lidocaine can cross over the placenta after it has been given. If you are getting dental work, the amount of anesthetics that you get should be as little as you can.
The dentist can give you enough to ensure that you are comfortable. If you are still experiencing pain, ask for more numbing medication. When you are comfortable, there will be less stress placed upon the baby and upon you. The more comfortable you are, the easier the anesthesia is going to work as well.
Dental work will also often need antibiotics when treating or preventing infections. There are a few antibiotics like clindamycin, amoxicillin and penicillin that are safe for pregnant women.
Can I have x-rays that are needed for dental work during pregnancy?
X-rays that are considered routine like the ones that are taken during annual exams can often be pushed off until after birth has happened. X-rays are important and necessary in a lot of dental work, especially ones that are during emergencies. According to the American College of Radiology, there is no single x-ray that has a dose of radiation that is large enough to hurt or cause any effect in a developing fetus or embryo.
The ACOG and the ADA both say that having dental x-rays while you are pregnant is safe to do with the right kind of shielding. Some women may still want to avoid dental work during the first trimester. This is because it is known that the first trimester is the most vulnerable time in a pregnancy. That said, there is no evidence that there will be anything happening to the baby for those who are wanting to go to their dentist during the first trimester.
If there is dental work that needs to be done that is non-emergency in nature while in the third trimester, it will often be put off until after the birth. This is to avoid having the pregnant woman lying on their back for too long or to avoid premature labor.
How to address dental work and pregnancy issues
- There are a few tips that have been issued by the American Dental Association for pregnant women. See some of these tips below if you are pregnant and heading into the dentist’s office.
- Brush your teeth thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste two times every day. This should be done regardless but it is especially important when you are pregnant.
- Get exams and cleanings done while you are pregnant. This will help reduce your risk of any sort of gum disease that might affect the pregnancy.
- Tell your dentist that you are pregnant. The dentist will know what precautions to take, especially when it comes to giving you an x-ray.
- Put off any non-emergency dental work until at least the second trimester. If you can manage to wait, then it would be even better to do it after birth.
- Elective procedures should be put off until after you give birth.
- Keep your legs uncrossed while in the dentist’s chair. This will help to improve your circulation.
- Bring in a pillow to keep you and your baby more comfortable while in the chair. The pillow can be positioned in such a way as to make the dentist’s chair more bearable.
- Bring headphones and some good music. This will help distract you and keep you calmer while you are getting your dental work done.
In this article, we have answered the question, “can you get a cavity filled when pregnant?” and determined that the answer is yes. It is important to have dental work done when you are pregnant to avoid gum disease.
Have you ever had any dental work done while you were pregnant? What did you have done and what was it like? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.