What type of dental work is safe to do during pregnancy?

Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana talks about what type of dental procedures are safe to do during pregnancy and which ones should wait until after the birth of your baby.

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Hi, I’m Dr. Holly Austgen from Southeast Family Dental and today I’m going to talk about dental work and pregnancy. This topic is especially relevant to me because at this point I am four days out from my due date so we’re hoping I make it through this video without any crazy water breaking or needing to rush to the emergency room.

One of the most common questions we get from expecting moms is what type of dental work, if any, is safe to do during pregnancy? The most important thing to do when you’re expecting is to go ahead and continue to have your annual cleanings and exams. This is not only recommended, but it’s essential treatment to prevent any type of gum infection that could lead to pre-term labor.

X-rays are also safe to do during pregnancy if needed for an emergency exam. If x-rays are just being taken at an annual exam to check for decay, we usually try to wait for after the birth of your baby to move forward with that. But if there is a dental emergency and a x-ray is needed for diagnosis, it is perfectly safe to have limited images taken. The amount of radiation that you would get from one x-ray is no more than what you would get from one day out in your natural environment.

If emergency dental treatment is needed, such as an extraction or a root canal, it is important to get that treatment done as soon as possible, at any point during your pregnancy, to prevent any type of spread of infection throughout your body or possibly to your developing baby.

If you need dental work done, such as getting a cavity filled or a crown, you should also get that treatment done while you’re pregnant to prevent infection but it should be limited to during the second trimester. It would be okay to do it in the third trimester, but it becomes uncomfortable for the patient to lay down for an extended period of time.

Any unnecessary or elective dental treatment should be postponed until after the birth of the baby. Such treatments as bleaching or cosmetic things can always wait and would be safer to do at the very end.

Another common question that people have concerns about when they’re expecting is the use of dental anaesthetic. Most common dental anaesthetic that is used is Lidocaine and it is considered safe to use during pregnancy. You still will want your dentist to use the minimal amount necessary to get you comfortable, but it is important to be comfortable during a dental procedure.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding what type of dental work can be done during pregnancy, please feel free to contact us at Southeast Family Dental or your OB/GYN for further clarification. And remember, at Southeast Family Dental, we can make you smile.