Should I go to the dentist if I am pregnant and what can I have done?
This question comes up often. Unfortunately it mostly comes up when the pregnant patient is in pain.
In this situation the answer is quite simple, of course you can go to the dentist. There is no question here. If you broke your arm while pregnant would you not go to the hospital? Of course you would and you know that they would take the xrays needed and give you medication as required.
If you had a tooth ache, we would take xrays as required and do treatment as required. We would also give you any medication required. Having said this, a shield always covers the fetal area when giving you x-rays (dental xrays are minimal amounts to begin with). Also most professionals will do their best to give medications which have the least affect on the fetus.
If you are planning on getting pregnant, it is a good idea to have your teeth checked first and to make sure that you do not have dental problems that could lead to pain or infection during pregnancy. If you have fillings to do we generally try to do them in the second trimester. Small fillings can wait but anything that is quite large can become painful and infected if not treated early. If that happens then that can involve a lot more things for the unborn child than the filling would have.
Also we do recommend extra cleanings during pregnancy as the hormonal change in a women's body during pregnancy causes a more exagerated response of the gums to the bacteria in the mouth resulting in a greater amount of inflammation of the gums. This inflammation can manifest as swollen and bleeding gums which may be uncomfortable.
The short is you can and should go to your dentist during pregnancy and don't hesistate to ask your dentist regarding any concerns which you may have.
All the best
Dr. Ron Barzilay
Having fun in Hamilton Ontario.