22 April, 2022
Aesthetic Dentistry During Pregnancy
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Being pregnant, especially for the first time, is challenging. Most women are confused or overwhelmed by others suggesting they should do this or shouldn’t do that.
And that brings you somewhere in the middle, trying to understand the changes in your body while being filled with concerts. For example, what is safe for you and your baby and what is forbidden?
Cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry are unofficial, yet commonly used terms to describe all those dental procedures that will help you improve your smile and oral health.
This includes improving appearances, like discolourations, misshapen or misaligned teeth, or restoring any missing or deficient teeth (decayed, damaged, cracked, or chipped), gums and tissues.
Pregnancy is always a factor that dentists should evaluate before proceeding with any treatment plan. Based on our years of experience and expertise, we will analyse some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures and their safety during pregnancy.
But before we start with the treatment options, let’s review some potential dental risks associated with pregnancy.
Dental risks during pregnant
According to the American Pregnancy Association, “The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food, causing increased irritation to your gums.”
“Nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, which occurs when the gums become red and swollen from inflammation,” the CDC highlights.
Some pregnant patients have also observed some growths on their gums. These are usually called “pregnancy tumours“, but don’t get confused here; they are not related to cancer.
They are usually formed because of plague or gum issues. But, if they are created because of pregnancy hormones, they usually will go away without treatment.
All the above implicate a high risk of gum-related complications that healthcare professionals and pregnant women never should neglect or overpass.
The high levels of progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy and the possibility of gingivitis could temporarily loosen the tissues around your teeth.
This way, your teeth could become painful but also feel loosened. There is a minor possibility for a worst-case scenario here; a tooth extraction. So be sure to get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.
The possibility of tooth decay also increases during pregnancy, and there are some reasons like eating habits or extensive vomiting during the first months that reinforce the existence of decay.
According to CDC, 1 in 4 women has untreated cavities (tooth decay) during pregnancy. This number shows how much missing information is when considering dental health during pregnancy.
Aesthetic dental work during pregnancy
A pregnant woman shouldn’t be left untreated in an emergency dental situation or when their oral health is in danger. Therefore, addressing the above complications and restoring oral health is a top priority.
So, is it safe, and can you actually have dental work during pregnancy?
If we want to go to the bottom of this, the actual question that anyone should be asking is if the treatment option is necessary and mandatory or elective.
It’s advisable to avoid any invasive procedure that can be delayed and performed either later in pregnancy (after the second trimester) or even better post-delivery.
- For procedures like dental implants or veneers that require a lot of visits, X-rays, anaesthesia, or staying for a long time in your dentist’s chair, it’s best to re-schedule.Of course, if the situation requires immediate treatment, there is always a way to safely perform, let’s say, dental implants at any time during your pregnancy.
- Cosmetic procedures that will only improve the appearance of your smile, like teeth whiting and bleaching, it’s best if you avoid them.There aren’t enough data indicating that they could cause issues. But we should never forget the dental complications any pregnant woman could experience and try to avoid anything that could induce those issues.
- Preventative restorations, like fillings or dental crowns, could be performed during pregnancy. Taking care of these will protect your overall oral health and reduce the risk of future infections.
- It’s worth mentioning that root canal treatments or teeth extractions can also be performed if mandatory since they could be necessary steps for other aesthetic procedures.
Pregnancy is a period in a woman’s life that could cause some complications with their oral health. A dental professional should evaluate the situation and offer safe treatment options when and if needed.
There are available scientifically-approved guidelines and lists of safe medications that we can follow and provide proper dental care to pregnant patients.
The general rule to follow here is that any procedure is best if it could be scheduled for later (after delivery or even lactation) unless it requires immediate care to prevent even more significant and severe complications.
However, every patient is different, so our advice is to contact a dental professional and get a proper consultation plan for your pregnancy.
Don’t forget to take care and preserve your oral hygiene because preventative care is the best treatment option always!