Pregnancy and dental work: Is it safe?

If you’re expecting, you may be unsure if it’s safe to get dental work. The truth is that routine dental work is safe and recommended, so don’t put off dental care because of your pregnancy.1

Here are some detailed answers to help ease your mind.

Yes, you can get dental work while pregnant

The American Dental Association, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Academy of Pediatrics all agree that women should get dental work while pregnant.2

A main reason is the rising hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed and trap food. The increased irritation to your gums can cause oral infections like gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth.3

Let your dentist know right away when you’re pregnant or if you think you’re pregnant. Also, let them know if you’re taking any medications or if your physician has given you special advice. If your pregnancy is high-risk or you have certain medical conditions, some dental treatments may need to be postponed.4

Regular cleanings and exams are safe during pregnancy

Routine dental care can be done any time during pregnancy. Your dentist might even recommend extra appointments during your second trimester and early third trimester to help prevent gingivitis and more serious forms of gum disease.5

Dental X-rays are safe during pregnancy

Your dentist may want to get X-rays of your mouth during an exam. To keep you and your baby safe, your abdomen will be covered with a protective apron that minimizes any exposure to radiation.6 Your throat should also be covered with a thyroid collar, as pregnant women can be more susceptible to radiation effects.7

Dental procedures are safe during pregnancy

Dental work such as fillings and crowns should be performed to reduce any chance of infection. It’s recommended to get any work done during the second trimester, because it may be difficult to lie on your back for a long time during the third trimester.8

Local anesthetics are safe during pregnancy

Studies have shown no significant risk using anesthesia like lidocaine shots during dental procedures for pregnant women. So if you need to get a tooth pulled or a root canal while pregnant, the numbing medication should be safe for you and your baby.9

Cosmetic procedures should wait until after your baby arrives

Cosmetic procedures, like teeth whitening, should be postponed until after birth. It’s best to avoid exposing your developing baby to any potential risks, even if they are minimal.10

Humana offers family dental plans

If you’re a current Humana dental plan member, you may be able to add a dependent to your plan at any time. If you’re looking for a family dental plan, Humana offers a broad range of plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana Insurance Company dental insurance page.

Sources

  1. “Pregnancy and Dental Work,” American Pregnancy Association, last accessed January 13, 2021, https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/is-it-safe/dental-work-and-pregnancy-1185/, opens new window.
  2. “Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During Pregnancy?,” American Dental Association, last accessed January 12, 2021, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/concerns, opens new window.
  3. “Pregnancy and Dental Work.”
  4. “Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During Pregnancy?”
  5. “Pregnant? 9 Questions You May Have About Your Dental Health,” American Dental Association, last accessed January 12, 2021, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy-slideshow, opens new window.
  6. “Pregnant? 9 Questions You May Have About Your Dental Health.”
  7. “Policy Statement on Thyroid Shielding During Diagnostic Medical and Dental Radiology,” American Thyroid Association, last accessed January 13, 2021, https://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/statements/ABS1223_policy_statement.pdf, opens new window.
  8. “Pregnant? 9 Questions You May Have About Your Dental Health.”
  9. “Pregnancy and Dental Work.”
  10. “Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During Pregnancy?”