Dental Care and Pregnancy

Dental Care and Pregnancy

Special considerations

Special attention must be paid to pregnant women when it comes to dental cleaning, X-rays, prescription drugs, local anaesthetics and dental treatments.

Dental hygiene appointments for the pregnant woman

Regular dental check-ups are recommended during pregnancy to avoid the appearance or worsening of pregnancy gingivitis, tooth decay or any other condition related to a weaker immune system.

It is recommended to undergo dental scaling and prophylaxis.

In late pregnancy, the position of the woman on the chair will be adapted to avoid the compression of a vein that could cause dizziness or loss of consciousness. Taking small breaks or folding legs on the left side can increase the comfort of the patient.

X-rays and pregnancy

X-rays are not recommended during pregnancy. In emergency cases, X-rays can be taken with appropriate shielding (lead apron and thyroid collar), but should be avoided whenever possible.

Emergency treatments can usually be undertaken by the dentist without X-rays.

The most dangerous period for the fetus remains the first trimester of pregnancy.

Medication and dental work during pregnancy

In urgent circumstances, it is possible to prescribe antibiotics and painkillers to pregnant women.

As for antibiotics, penicillin or its equivalent (in case of allergies) are favoured. Tetracycline, known to cause damage to the teeth of unborn babies, is avoided and replaced by safer molecules. Dental professionals are very aware of these side effects.

The painkiller recommended for pregnant women is acetaminophen (Tylenol or Paracetamol). Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) should be avoided during pregnancy.

Local anesthesia and dental treatments in pregnant women

As much as possible, it is preferable to avoid non-emergency dental treatments during pregnancy. Anesthetics or any other chemical substances used during dental restorations can enter the bloodstream of the fetus.

Health Canada recommends avoiding the placement or removal of dental fillings that contain mercury (amalgam fillings) in pregnant women. For security reasons, this material is not used in our clinic (see mercury toxicity).

In the event of an emergency such as a severe infection, a procedure may be performed, ideally during the second trimester of pregnancy, using a lidocaine- or procaine-based anesthesia (without adrenaline or dental amalgam of course).