Have you been planning a dental implant procedure and now you’re pregnant? If so, you may have some concerns about whether or not you should go through with the procedure in your current condition.
It is generally recommended that only preventive dental care and minor restorative procedures be performed during pregnancy. However, complex or in-depth procedures, such as dental implants, should wait if possible.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth and root system that completely replaces a tooth. If you have a tooth that is severely decayed, has been damaged beyond repair, or was lost due to gum disease, a dental implant is the optimal replacement option. An implant consists of a titanium tooth root that is surgically placed in the jaw bone with an artificial tooth (crown) on top. It looks and functions just like a natural tooth, which is why it is considered to be the gold standard for tooth replacement.
What does the dental implant procedure entail?
Placing a dental implant requires minor oral surgery. Sometimes an implant can be placed under local anesthesia, although sometimes it will be placed under sedation . The implant root is placed first and allowed to heal for a few weeks. Then the abutment is attached, which is the piece the crown will adhere to. After the gums have healed following the abutment placement and when the root has osseointegrated (bonded) to the jaw bone, the crown can then be attached.
Why should the dental implant procedure wait until after pregnancy?
The concern with getting a dental implant while pregnant is the anesthesia. Local anesthesia that is used to numb the mouth in preparation for a cavity filling or root canal is safe during pregnancy. But IV or oral sedation is not necessarily safe. While there has been no research to show that there are any harmful effects, ultimately it is better to be safe and avoid the procedure if it is not urgent.
Another factor is that X-Ray images are usually needed to prepare for an implant procedure. X-Rays are used to evaluate bone density to ensure that there is sufficient jaw bone to support an implant. While it may be safe to have X-Ray images taken during pregnancy with the appropriate protective covering, it is usually best to avoid it if not absolutely necessary.
What if I have an urgent need for a dental implant?
If the situation calls for it, an implant may need to be placed during pregnancy. Ideally, if the procedure is to be done during pregnancy it is best to wait until the second trimester for safety and before the third trimester for comfort. Discuss the situation with your dentist and determine whether or not the benefit is worth the risk.
Why are dental cleanings important during pregnancy?
There is no reason to avoid routine teeth cleanings during pregnancy, and in fact, it is particularly important to keep your appointment as scheduled. The way that pregnancy affects the body can cause an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The gums have a tendency to become inflamed during pregnancy, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Morning sickness that results in vomiting can cause stomach acid to erode the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. The baby also tends to syphon nutrients from the mother while in the womb, including calcium that supports tooth health, leaving mom’s teeth weaker than before.
Holzinger Periodontics and Dental Implants
Are you in need of a dental implant evaluation? Whether you are expecting or not, there is no risk to scheduling a consultation. Holzinger Periodontics and Dental Implants will evaluate your condition and together you can determine whether or not it is safe to go through with a dental implant procedure or not. We will only recommend what is in your best interest and the best interest of your baby. If postponing your procedure is best, we look forward to seeing you after your delivery.
Call 860-347-8457 to schedule an appointment at our Middletown office or 860-224-0433 for our New Britain office. You can also request an appointment at either office. We are happy to help you maintain your oral health during this special time in your life.