Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life; however, it also means that you’ve got an extra passenger onboard that you need to take into consideration at all times! But one thing that you should always keep in mind is your oral health, given how connected it is to the rest of your body. This means that issues such as missing teeth still need to be addressed—but are restorative solutions like dental implants safe during pregnancy? Here’s what you need to know.
The Link Between Pregnancy & Oral Health
Pregnancy greatly affects your body in a lot of different ways; however, most people don’t realize the profound effect that it has on your oral health! For example, persistent morning sickness can damage your enamel, increasing your risk of tooth decay. The surge of hormones can also cause your gums to swell, raising your risk of gum disease. Due to these heightened risks, the American Dental Association strongly encourages pregnant women to seek out regular preventive care.
Dental Implants & Pregnancy
But when it comes to other types of oral care such as tooth restoration, things are a little different if you’re pregnant. Even though tooth loss is an issue that should be addressed promptly, it’s not considered a priority; while dental implant surgery can be performed after the first trimester, most dentists prefer to wait until the patient is no longer pregnant. There are a few key reasons for this:
- Elective vs. Necessary Treatment – Although it’s always going to be in your best interest to replace missing teeth, dental implants are still considered an elective procedure, whereas something like an infected wisdom tooth would be necessary.
- Pregnancy Gingivitis – Since your gums are more likely to become inflamed during pregnancy, you’re at an increased risk of gum disease—which can significantly increase the likelihood of dental implant failure.
- Use of Anesthetics – Although local anesthesia is considered safe for those who are pregnant, implant surgery often requires something a little stronger, which comes with heightened risks. Pregnancy also takes certain antibiotics off the table, which may be necessary to prevent infection post-surgery.
- Stress – Dental implant surgery might also impact your stress levels, which can raise your blood pressure, reduce blood flow to the placenta, and cause other complications.
Preparing for Dental Implants
If you’re planning to receive dental implants after your pregnancy, here are some helpful things you can do in the meantime to prepare yourself:
- Quit poor dental habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, chewing on ice, biting your fingernails, or using your teeth as tools.
- Commit to your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily.
- Eat a healthy and vitamin rich diet that supports oral health and be sure to drink plenty of water.
- Visit your dentist for regular preventive care and cleanings.
If you’re unsure about how your pregnancy might affect your dental implant candidacy, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist. Although replacing missing teeth is incredibly important, your little one will benefit from you holding off for a while!
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Lee has proudly served patients and families in the Cambridge and Marietta communities for several years. Dr. Lee received his DDS from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and has taken countless hours of continuing education in fields such as implant dentistry. If you have any questions about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Lee through his practice’s website to find a location near you.