Going to the Dentist During Pregnancy

When is the best time to visit the dentist for a check up and clean during pregnancy?

Ideally you should visit the dentist for a check up if you are planning to become pregnant or as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Your dentist will be able to assess your oral health status and plan any dental visits you may need during your pregnancy.

What about other treatment?

In reality most dental treatment can be carried out with safety during pregnancy and certainly any emergency treatment required can be carried out at any time. However it is a general convention that as little operative treatment as possible should be carried out during pregnancy in order to avoid any possible distress to you or your developing baby. Therefore elective procedures requiring general anaesthesia or intravenous sedation should generally be deferred until after the baby is born and, preferably, until breastfeeding has been ceased.

If you require planned treatment, which is considered essential, the middle of the second semester and the earlier part of the third semester is the time when it will be most comfortable for you. This would also be an ideal time to have light treatment like a cleaning carried out.

X-Rays during pregnancy

If dental radiographs are necessary for assessment or diagnosis of infection or trauma, or for treatment of these conditions, there is no reason, on radiation protection grounds, to defer them as there are no contraindications to the taking of intraoral radiographs during pregnancy; however, provision of a leaded drape is recommended when the X-ray beam is directed downwards towards the patient’s trunk (e.g. when taking occlusal views of the maxilla).

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