During your pregnancy, you'll be regularly visiting your doctor to ensure that you and your baby are in good health. This means lots of back and forth trips to the hospital. You might also be considering having some dental work done, especially if you are in pain or suffering from a dental infection. Naturally, you may have reservations about having dental work done whilst pregnant.
However, while you should take some precautions, it is safe to have dental work done while you are pregnant. In fact, in most cases, it is recommended that you take care of any dental issues you might have in pregnancy.
Here are some of the most common concerns of pregnant mothers regarding dental work:
The Timing of Dental Work
According to a study recently published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, the ideal time to receive dental treatment is in the second trimester, between weeks 13 and 21.
During this period, studies have shown that because your baby is sufficiently well-developed, there is no risk to your baby from having dental work done.
Therefore, you should wait until at least your thirteenth week of pregnancy before seeing your dentist.
The Type of Dental Work
As long as the timing of your treatment is right, i.e. in the second trimester, your dentist can perform the normal range of dental treatments, from filling a cavity to performing a root canal on a tooth.
Dental X-Rays Whilst Pregnant
Although dental x-rays should be avoided if possible, your dentist may need to perform an x-ray to identify a cavity or periapical abscess. However, even if an x-ray is required, your dentist will provide you with a leaded apron to protect your baby from radiation exposure.
Anaesthesia and Medications
You might also be worried about the effect on your baby of using anaesthesia or medications during dental treatment. However, while this is an important concern, a recent study shows that the use of anaesthesia carries no risk to your baby. If you are in need of a root canal or multiple extractions, for example, your dentist can safely administer an anaesthetic to numb your mouth during the treatment.
Your dental health should be a priority during your pregnancy as due to the higher levels of oestrogen in your body at this time, you have a higher risk of gum disease. Therefore, as well as visits to your doctor to check on the health of you and your baby, you should also plan to visit your dentist to ensure your teeth and gums are in good condition.