Many women wonder about the safety of oral surgery during pregnancy. It is important not only to the woman, but to the health of the developing fetus to know the facts about the safety of undergoing any surgical procedure at their oral surgeon’s office. A careful consideration of oral care during pregnancy, timing of any needed oral surgery, type of procedure, and methods used, is essential in order to answer this question most accurately.
Oral Care During Pregnancy
Consistent and thorough dental care is highly recommended during pregnancy. Excellent oral hygiene and regular checkups should continue with diligence, especially because during pregnancy hormones cause changes that increase a woman’s risk for gum disease.
It is important not to skip dental checkups during pregnancy. Pregnancy gingivitis is common, and a woman’s dentist is a key player in keeping her healthy throughout her pregnancy.
All dentists and oral surgeons would agree that any elective procedures should be postponed until after delivery. This includes procedures such as teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry improvements. Procedures during the first and third trimester should be avoided as much as possible. Most organ development happens during the first trimester, and during the third trimester it becomes increasingly uncomfortable for a woman to lie on her back for extended periods of time.
Routine x rays should be postponed until after the birth of the baby. In emergency situations, such as root canals, x rays are necessary to safely perform the procedure. It is widely reported that no single diagnostic x ray has enough radiation to cause adverse effects on a developing fetus. If x rays are deemed necessary, the dentist or oral surgeon should take every possible measure to use leaded aprons to protect the woman and as few images as possible to minimize any radiation exposure.
The least amount of anesthesia in order to be effective should be used to keep a pregnant woman comfortable during any oral surgery. When she is comfortable, the stress to her and the baby is reduced.
Only antibiotics labeled as safe during pregnancy should be prescribed. Additionally, only pain relieving medications deemed safe for pregnancy should be taken by a pregnant woman after an oral surgery.
Pregnancy is a very special circumstance to be considered by your oral surgeon before recommending any procedure. Your concerns and questions can be compassionately addressed by the caring and experienced team at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Utah. We are happy to discuss the safety of oral surgery during pregnancy with you.