Dental treatment during pregnancy
During pregnancy, women may experience changes in the oral cavity that are associated with altered hormonal regulation at this time. Due to elevated levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones, women experience local oedema and hyperaemia of the gums. During this period it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and remember to brush the tongue in order to more accurately remove bacteria from the mouth.
Daily oral hygiene is essential, but it is important that pregnant women and women planning pregnancy visit the dentist regularly.
Which treatments are safe during pregnancy?
During pregnancy it is important to undergo professional dental cleaning, i.e. tooth scaling and polishing. This treatment should not be delayed because the accumulating plaque hardens into tartar, which is dangerous to teeth and penetrates the gums. weakening the ligament between the roots and gums.
Any dental treatment that is aimed at avoiding the risk of infection, such as fillings or crowns, should preferably be performed in the second trimester.
If the treatment causes pain, the dentist can choose a type and dose of anaesthetic (one that does not pass through the placental barrier) that will be safe for both mother and child. It is best to use anaesthesia during the second and third trimesters, and one which does not contain a blood vessel constricting component (adrenaline and noradrenaline).
Tooth removal, or extraction is a dental procedure permitted during pregnancy. Cavity removal and fillings are also allowed because the composite bases do not penetrate beyond the tooth structure and are not dangerous to the foetus.
There are no contraindications for orthodontic treatments, such as crowns, bridges, or prostheses. During pregnancy, you can wear corrective braces (both removable and fixed) but practicing exceptional oral hygiene is required. However, it is not advisable to begin orthodontic treatment due to the fact that the teeth are less mineralized, weakened and easily damaged.
Which treatments are unsafe during pregnancy?
During pregnancy you should not be exposed to X-rays (especially in the first trimester) because they adversely affect the developing foetus. However, there are situations (such as acute inflammation, root canal treatment) when you need to have an X-ray performed, in which case the patient’s stomach and pelvis need to be covered with a special apron.
Due to the harmful effects of carbamide peroxide (15-38%) contained in the whitening agent and its ability to penetrate into the bloodstream, pregnant women and nursing mothers should not undergo teeth whitening. One solution is to alternate whitening and regular toothpastes.
The implant procedure requires X-ray imaging. In addition, it is not a life-saving treatment, and thus is recommended after pregnancy.
Removal of silver amalgam fillings
Often patients ask the dentist to replace their old silver amalgam fillings with new aesthetic composites. However, if there are no clinical indications for such a procedure, i.e. the “old” filling is tight, and there is no decay under or around it, then the procedure is not performed.
Research shows that amalgams consist of heavy metals, including the very harmful mercury. During amalgam removal surgery, the absorption of mercury into the body increases, therefore this procedure should be performed after pregnancy.