Dental implants are a safe and effective method of replacing missing teeth for virtually any patient who is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. To maintain a healthy smile and prevent bone loss and other oral health problems, missing teeth should be replaced as soon as possible.
But what if you’re expecting a baby? Is it still safe to undergo the implant procedure?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dental Association encourage pregnant women to seek out regular preventive oral health care, including cleanings and exams. Elective procedures like dental implants can be performed after the first trimester; however, most oral surgeons prefer to wait until the patient is no longer pregnant to perform implant surgery.
Why Surgery for Dental Implants Should Wait
After the first trimester, pregnant patients are typically given the green light for routine dental treatments, such as crowns, fillings and root canals.
Studies show that local anesthesia is completely safe during pregnancy. Dental implants, however, often require stronger anesthesia, which can be risky for the expectant mother or her unborn baby. Many procedures require X-rays also, another risk the ADA discourages during the first trimester.
Expectant mothers are cautioned to avoid stress during pregnancy, as anxiety can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure. Stress also can increase the odds of preterm birth and low birth weight.
Any type of surgery may cause increased feelings of worry and fear, so to avoid added stress, we often advise our moms-to-be to wait until after the baby is born to have implant surgery.
Getting Started with Dental Implants
Unfortunately, implant surgery should probably wait until you are no longer pregnant. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start and be ready to move forward after you have given birth.
Once you’ve reached your second trimester, you can schedule an implant consultation appointment. At this point in your pregnancy, X-rays will be safe, so your oral surgeon will be able to evaluate your jawbone health and determine whether a bone graft will be necessary before placing the implants.
Your dental implant placement appointment also can be scheduled at this time.
Preparing for Dental Implants after Birth
Keeping your mouth healthy while you are pregnant is the best way to be prepared for implant surgery.
The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can increase your risk for gum disease. Also, pregnant women are more prone to tooth decay. Consequently, it is especially important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, including brushing and flossing.
Going for a dental checkup and having a professional cleaning is also advised, as it will allow your regular dentist to monitor your oral health and prevent problems from developing.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah serves patients throughout the Salt Lake City area. We are committed to helping you and your family enjoy a lifetime of good oral health and we look forward to celebrating this happy addition with you. Contact us with any concerns you may have, or to learn more about dental implants.