Is It Safe To Receive Dental Care During Pregnancy?

Is It Safe To Receive Dental Care During Pregnancy?

Occasionally a pregnant or soon-to-be-pregnant patient of ours will ask if it will be safe for her to receive dental care during pregnancy. It’s a great question. All pregnant women should be curious and cautious regarding their health. The answer is that dental care is not only safe for pregnant women, but recommended. The American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics all encourage pregnant women to get dental care while pregnant.  

Unfortunately, many moms-to-be skip dental visits. According to a recent US survey, most women received no routine dental care during their pregnancies, and half of moms-to-be with obvious dental problems, like pain, didn’t seek care because they believed that having oral health problems during pregnancy is normal, or that dental treatment could harm the baby. These women probably aren’t aware of the challenges that pregnancy poses to their oral health. The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums. Morning sickness creates an acidic oral environment and eats away at enamel, hastening tooth decay. Cravings, associated with frequent snacking and increased consumption of carbohydrates, also accelerates decay. Preventive dental work while pregnant is essential to avoid periodontal disease, which has been associated with pre-term birth, low birth weight and other complications.We now know how strongly linked oral health is to overall health. Mothers, this means your oral health is linked to your developing baby’s overall health.

Make The Most Out Of Your Appointments

If you can, make an appointment with us before getting pregnancy. A pre-pregnancy cleaning and exam will ensure your oral health is as good as it can be going into pregnancy. We’d also advise an appointment during the pregnancy.  The second trimester through the first half of the third trimester is the safest time to provide dental treatment. Treatment during this visit will be limited to periodontal maintenance, preventive care and, if necessary, simple restorative procedures that will eliminate potential problems and control active disease. Anything beyond that is best deferred until post-pregnancy. During your appointments, let your doctor know of medications you are taking and the stage of your pregnancy.

Are Anesthetics & Antibiotics Safe?

The most common drugs that dentists may use for pregnant women are antibiotics (to treat infection) and Lidocaine (a numbing medication). Antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin, which are labeled category B for safety in pregnancy, are commonly used while other, less safe, antibiotics are typically avoided. Lidocaine, also a category B drug, does cross the placenta after administration to a pregnant woman. There has been conflict in the medical community concerning the degree of risk during pregnancy. The dentist will use as little Lidocaine as possible to make you comfortable during your dental procedure. If you are experiencing pain, additional Lidocaine can be used. Dentists agree that the benefit of receiving needed dental work, and the reduced maternal stress experienced when a modest amount of Lidocaine is used outweigh the risks of its usage.

Are X-Rays Safe?

Magic Smile uses digital x-rays, which have been shown to drastically reduced the amount of radiation exposure for both patients and healthcare workers.  However, for pregnant women, dentists limit the use of x-ray treatment to dental emergencies. Routine x-rays are postponed until after pregnancy.

Call us at (908) 486-5000 to schedule an appointment, or click here to fill out our appointment form. Dr. Anatoly Bensianoff, your Linden NJ dentist, offers dental services to the residents of Linden, Roselle, Roselle Park, Elizabeth, Rahway, Cranford, Clark, Kenilworth, Garwood, Carteret, Avenel, Union, Colonia, Hillside, Staten Island, Port Reading, and Westfield.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply