Is Oral Surgery Safe During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a special time, but also a restricted time when many of your favorite foods and activities are off limits. While it may be obvious to not eat sushi or go zip-lining, the line becomes blurred when it comes to some medical and dental procedures, particularly oral surgery. Is it safe during pregnancy?
Weighing The Necessity Against The Risk
Any oral surgeon and obstetrician will agree that any elective surgery, like cosmetic procedures, or those that are not immediately medically-necessary, should be put off until after the birth. Anesthesia, the physical discomfort of laying prone for extended periods, and the emotional stress that many people experience with dental procedures – these are risks it’s better to avoid during pregnancy unless medically necessary.
The Best Time For Oral Surgery During Pregnancy
If an oral surgery procedure is recommended, but it’s not an emergency, although your oral surgeon would prefer you do it “sooner rather than later,” the second trimester is the ideal time. The reason is that the fetus’s vital organs are rapidly developing in the first trimester, and so exposure to x-rays, anesthesia and other drugs should be avoided. In the third trimester, women are uncomfortable on their backs, and it can actually be dangerous to lay this way for too long, because it puts pressure on two major blood vessels, the inferior and superior vena cava. Not only can this disrupt the flow of blood to the uterus, but also to the brain, causing dizziness and nausea in women.
The Safety Of X-Rays
While most routine x-rays are generally considered safe in pregnancy, with the exception of torso/abdominal diagnostics, most dentists recommend that pregnant women should postpone routine dental x-rays until after the birth. However, in an emergency situation where oral surgery is being considered, x-rays are often necessary. Rest assured, your oral surgeon will take extra precautions to shield the rest of your body and take as few images as possible.
The Safety Of Anesthesia
Local anesthesia, topical numbing solutions and Lidocaine injections, are completely safe during pregnancy, and pregnant women are encouraged not to put off routine dental work like fillings. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and general anesthesia (IV sedation) are not recommended for pregnant women. While an emergency may dictate the necessity of surgery during pregnancy, and plenty of women do undergo it and go on to have healthy pregnancies and babies, if it can be put off, it should.
Antibiotics And Pain Relievers
There are certain drugs in both of these categories that are approved and deemed safe during pregnancy. If a woman requires antibiotics before a dental procedure and pain relievers following it, her oral surgeon is trained to prescribe only those drugs that are safe.
Bauer Dentistry Is The Oral Surgeon Your Can Trust During Pregnancy
At Bauer Dentistry, we’re more than just a local dentist. We’re a family, and we consider our patients one of our own! If you’re pregnant and concerned about oral surgery or any dental procedures during pregnancy, please contact us for a consultation. We will give you an honest, professional assessment, and help you make the right decision for you and your baby.