Dental Treatments and Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant, it’s important to take care of your health. That includes the health of your teeth and gums. The hormones your body produces during pregnancy can put you at higher risk of developing gum disease.
Research suggests that there is a link between gum disease and premature births. Premature babies have a higher risk of having a brain injury or eye or hearing problems.
How to prevent gum disease
You can help to prevent gum disease by:
- brushing your teeth at least twice a day,
- flossing once a day,
- limiting your intake of sugary food and drinks (even if you have cravings),
- not smoking
- not drinking during your pregnancy, and
- regularly visiting your dentist.
Always tell your dentist that you are pregnant before you have any dental treatment so that any necessary adjustments can be made. Your dentist may be unaware you are in the early stages of pregnancy unless you do.
Your dentist may avoid non-essential x-rays during your first trimester. If they have to be done, your dentist will make sure your baby is shielded from any radiation. This is done by using a lead apron and thyroid guard. Modern x-ray equipment also emits lower levels of radiation than in years gone by.
Which dental treatments are safe when you’re pregnant?
All routine and most non-routine dental treatments are safe while you’re pregnant. If you are in any doubt, check with your obstetrician and dentist.
Can I have anaesthetic?
Many local anaesthetics can be safely given to you while you’re pregnant to numb any dental pain. Your dentist will choose a suitable pregnancy anaesthetic and dosage to use.
Any anaesthetic containing felypressin is avoided for pregnant dental patients.
Can I whiten my teeth while pregnant?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry treatment. It can be performed during pregnancy, but as it’s not-essential for your health, it’s better to wait until after your baby is born.
Don’t try whitening your teeth yourself. Teeth-whitening gel with a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide can cause gum tissue damage if it’s not applied by a dentist.
Can you get veneers while pregnant?
In the dentistry context, a veneer is a layer of porcelain material placed over a tooth (or teeth). It can be a cosmetic treatment or it can help to protect damaged teeth. Porcelain veneers are generally considered to be a safe treatment during pregnancy, unless you have sensitive gums that may be irritated by the treatment.
Does a root canal affect pregnancy?
Root canal treatment is done to remove painful tooth decay that has reached your tooth nerves. The infected tissue is removed and replaced with a crown to avoid the tooth having to be removed. It requires you to have a local anaesthetic.
Emergency root canals can be performed at any time during pregnancy. However, they do require an x-ray, so the treatment is best avoided until after the first trimester if possible.
The second trimester is the best time for root canal treatment if it must be done during pregnancy. During the third trimester, it may be uncomfortable for you to lie on your back for an extended period while the treatment is being performed by your dentist.
Can a tooth be extracted while pregnant?
Painful teeth can be extracted during pregnancy if necessary and they cannot be saved. As with root canal treatment, you will require a local anesthetic and the second trimester of your pregnancy is the best time to have this work done.
Can you get dental implants while pregnant?
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are surgically implanted to connect with a small titanium screw that’s placed in the jaw.
You can get dental implants while you are pregnant, but as it’s a non-essential surgical procedure involving x-rays and a significant time lying on your back for treatment, you may want to wait until after your baby is born.
If not, as with other high-end dental procedures, the second trimester of pregnancy would be the best time to have the treatment performed.
Can you get dentures while pregnant?
Dentures are removable teeth. They sit on your gums just like normal teeth. If you don’t have sensitive gums during pregnancy and good oral health, there’s no reason you can’t get dentures.
However, your gum tissue may be more sensitive due to pregnancy hormones. If that’s the case, it may be better to delay getting dentures until after your baby is born.
How we can help you
At Aria Dental in Perth, we can provide you with all the specialist advice you need for before, during and after pregnancy dental care and treatments.
Our services include:
- general dentistry
- dental implants
- dentures, and
- cosmetic dentistry (including Invisalign treatment)
- teeth straightening
Contact us at our Hay Street clinic in the Perth CBD to find out more about your dental needs. We’d love to hear from you and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.