Normally healthy pregnant women need not worry about denying themselves most dental care during pregnancy. Dr. Cyril Joseph of Dr. Joseph’s Dentistry in London, Ontario, knows this is a time of utmost concern and has compiled the most often asked questions regarding dental procedures during pregnancy.
Provided you are generally healthy and not medically compromised, there are only a few possible dental considerations to take into account during pregnancy.
You shouldn’t worry about dental procedures when pregnant. According to the Canadian Dental Association, pregnancy means your body will go through regular maternal changes, both physiologically and metabolically: cardiovascular blood flow increase produces a temporary slight murmur in 96% of women, your heart rate may increase, plasma volume increases, and for some people in the third trimester (28- 42 weeks), a larger uterus can be located very close to one of the body’s most prominent veins which may cause reduced blood flow back to your heart, or compressions in certain sitting positions.
Your family physician informs you of these possibilities.
Let’s start with the most common questions and their possibilities. All women will experience their pregnancies differently, and most will rarely experience oral health concerns. Dr. Joseph makes sure your oral health is monitored during your pregnancy.
Does pregnancy change my oral health?
Pregnancy can possibly alter your dental health, but poor mouth care can be a greater risk to the fetus if left untreated.
Pregnancy’s changes of higher estrogen levels may cause slight gingivitis (inflammation of gums induced by a film of bacteria on your teeth), enamel erosion (from the bacterial film), in rare cases, periodontitis (infection of the bone holding teeth), occasional Ptyalism (excessive saliva), Xerostomia (dry mouth), and some pregnant women may experience the feeling of movement in their teeth an indication that you should contact our office at the phone number below.
The FDA approves many pregnancy-safe pain relievers and antimicrobials to fight infections.
Dr. Joseph monitors your oral health and suggests, along with the Canadian government health site, overall teeth cleaning in your first trimester along with a check-up to assess any possible risk of inflammation or infection.
Can I have an oral X-ray while pregnant?
The possibility of radiography (X-rays) harming your unborn child is proven to be non-existent. If an X-ray is required for any reason, you should feel assured that modern digital radiation X-rays emit 70% less radiation than traditional or classic film radiation X-rays. Protective lead aprons and neck collars are always used for patients.
Digital X-ray sensors are connected to a computer that provides immediate images. They remove the need for toxic and environmentally harmful chemicals to develop the traditional X-ray film.
X-rays still hold a general psychological worry for pregnant patients, and Dr. Joseph only uses X-rays if he assesses they should not be postponed.
Is dental anesthesia ok if I’m pregnant?
You should feel safe about dental anesthesia during pregnancy. Emergency oral care is sometimes necessary, even when pregnant, and not taking on whatever procedure may be a health concern for mother and unborn child.
According to the Official Publication of Family Physicians of Canada, “local anesthetics, X-ray scans, and amalgams (dental filling material) do not pose an increased risk to a developing fetus.” “The use of anesthetics in 823 pregnant women with periodontal therapy that required anesthesia did not increase adverse fetal outcomes”, a viewpoint also maintained by the Canadian Dental Association. “Aspiration should be carried out to minimize the risk of intravascular injection.”
Dr. Joseph is sensitive to your concerns, answers any of your questions regarding anesthesia, and assures you to feel safe if anesthesia is necessary. As a matter of routine, we also eliminate the feeling of needle injection with our body temperature injection technique.
Is it safe to have my teeth cleaned during pregnancy?
According to the Official Publication of Family Physicians of Canada, “a study of 823 pregnant women at 13- 21 weeks gestation found that scaling (a deep cleaning procedure for gum disease) caused no concerns regarding birth weight, early birth, congenital disabilities, or concerns of any kind.” The Canadian government health site assures no proven risks associated with teeth cleaning.
You might refrain from using teeth whitening systems while pregnant just to be on the safe side, although zero studies show risk. Retail-available whitening toothpaste is safe to use.
Dr. Joseph suggests it is essential to receive proper cleaning and check-up early in your pregnancy to assess your oral health.
Can I continue Invisalign braces while pregnant?
Scans and Invisalign are perfectly safe to continue during pregnancy. Although the government site does not offer advice, the Invisalign site suggests no complications during pregnancy and a quick look at Reddit discussions from pregnant Invisalign users confirms a lack of concerns.
Dr. Joseph’s Dentistry provides Invisalign braces and confidently supports the continuation or commencement of Invisalign when pregnant. As with all procedures, a thorough assessment will be done before you begin.
Can I have a tooth cavity filled while pregnant?
An amalgam is the dental filling material used to fill cavities, and although mercury is one of the metallics used, inhalation or ingestion is highly unlikely.
Health Canada, however, takes a conservative approach and states amalgams should not be placed or removed during pregnancy even though there are zero case reports of exposure to the slight amount of mercury.
Following the government’s risk aversion stance, Dr. Joseph suggests it is best to leave filling a cavity until after the birth unless a chance of infection is evident.
Can a pregnant woman get an implant?
Do not put off procedures like implants, crowns, root canals, or fillings if there is a risk of infection.
In light of proven studies that show no causation of miscarriages, congenital disabilities, low birth weight, or premature births from anesthesia, X-rays, or dental fillings, Dr. Joseph strongly discourages risking infection to avoid dental care.
You shouldn’t worry about any procedures at the dentist’s office when pregnant. However, while there is no evidence of dangers regarding proceedings, it is common for dentists, dental associations, and governments to err heavily on the side of caution.
It is important to remember that remaining in poor oral health without treatment can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, and treating dental concerns during pregnancy is strongly encouraged.