Pregnancy Health and Safety (Prenatal Care)
Oral Health and Dental Care

Is dental work safe when you are pregnant?


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Dental x-rays and Pregnancy

If it is imperative you have dental x-rays make sure the dentist knows you are pregnant, but otherwise leave them until after you have the baby.

The dentist will only take x rays that are completely necessary. And they probably won't take any in the first trimester. You will be covered with a lead apron that will protect you very well, but it's better to be safe. If you don't want an x ray, you can refuse to have one until later in your pregnancy or after you have the baby.

Could an X-Ray at the dentist's office damage an unborn fetus?

Tooth x-ray, also known as dental radiography, is using low energy radiation. If what you mean by tooth x-ray is orthopantomography (OPG), the dose is slightly higher.

There are risks of unwanted effects to your baby especially during the first trimester. Unless the x-ray is emergency, I recommend you to postpone.

Be sure to tell your dentist first hand that you are pregnant. Most dentist offices make you put on a lead cover anyhow. I have my tubes tied and they still do it to prevent other radiation effects. They say that any x-ray can be harmful and cause birth defects.

Is it safe to get a filling from the dentist when pregnant?

'Safe' is a relative term. Yes, it is safe, that is it is more than likely that neither you or the baby will experience any adverse effects. On the other hand, the possibility does exist, even though it is remote.

Therefore, it is necessary to weigh the risks against the benefits.

If you are in pain, it is probably likely that you have an infection. If so, the infection itself could lead to complications of the pregnancy or delivery. In that case, having the tooth treated is probably the most prudent course.

On the other hand, if the tooth is not painful, it might be better to wait until the baby is born before treating the tooth. At the very least, waiting until the last trimester might be sufficient.

The best course of action would be to discuss your concerns with your dentist.

Dental fillings and Pregnancy

White fillings are safe.

Local anesthesia is safe.

X-rays are not safe for the baby.

Some drug medications are not safe.

Most dentists agree that silver fillings are not safe.

  • The best time to go is in your second trimester, most doctors won't do anything unless you are in that trimester (and some don't do anything in any trimester). I would call your dentist and ask what they accept; all they can really do is clean your teeth though.
  • It is imperative you go to the dentist while pregnant and you can have most treatments while pregnant, especially with the techniques now employed. There was an old saying that you lost a tooth for every baby you had. In the UK you can get free dental treatment on the National Health Service while pregnant and for a year after the baby is born.
  • Just make sure the dentist doesn't take x-rays. Usually if you tell the dentist that you are pregnant, he will know the precautions.
  • When you are pregnant you can do all dental treatments, including anesthesia, but you cannot take x-rays. Some drugs are also not advised to be taken.