Can you extract teeth during pregnancy?

Years ago, dentists wouldn’t normally treat women during pregnancy. This is not the case today but pregnant women can still be confused when it comes to receiving dental care.

Routine procedures such as cavity fillings, crowns, root canals and extractions are safe during pregnancy.

Local anesthesia, pain medications and x-rays

One of the biggest concern regarding pregnancy and oral care is the effects of anesthetic and radiographs on the baby. Both a consensus published by the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center and a study by the American Dental Association presented a variety of evidence to show that numbing agents, painkillers and x-rays do no present a considerable risk.

To minimize exposure, your dentist will use the smallest dosage of numbing agent required to make you comfortable and limit radiographs to what is absolutely needed. Should antibiotics be needed post-extraction, penicillin, amoxicillin and clindamycin are all safe for use during pregnancy.

Oral care by trimester

For comfort reasons, tooth extractions should be scheduled during the first or second trimester. Sitting in a dental chair for an extended period of time while heavily pregnant can be uncomfortable.

Some women prefer to not introduce medications to their body during the first trimester. The ADA did not find any increased risk during this stage of the baby’s development. Patients that want to wait until the second trimester should consult with their dental professional.

Non-essential treatment

Elective procedures or treatments that do not require immediate attention are best postponed until after delivery. Your dentist will inform you if your needs are urgent in nature.

Routine checkups and cleanings should not be pushed back until after the baby arrives. Due to hormonal changes in your body, you will require more (and not fewer) cleanings during pregnancy to avoid tooth decay.

Always inform your dentist that you are pregnant and schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to discuss changes in your oral care regimen during pregnancy.