If you are a good candidate for dental implants, they can offer a highly effective way to correct various dental issues, especially if you have missing or failing teeth. The technology behind implants has advanced significantly over the past few years, making the procedure more beneficial to patients in every stage of life.
Yet, many may wonder if implants are safe for expectant mothers. This is one of the most common questions dental professionals face. Learning about the body changes that women undergo during pregnancy and soon after baby delivery, as well as how those changes affect dental health, is an important first step into addressing the issue of whether expectant or new Moms can be good candidates for an implant procedure.
How Pregnancy Affects the Body
A woman’s body undergoes many physiological adaptations during pregnancy, including structural and hormonal changes that should be considered before any treatment is provided. For instance, many pregnant women have elevated levels of estrogen. This may increase infection risk and contribute to tooth decay and bleeding gums; if such issues are significant, the need for dental implants may increase if those Moms find they have missing or failing teeth. However, for most oral and maxillofacial surgeons who treat pregnant women, they recommend having an implant procedure after the patient delivers her baby; this greatly lessens the risk of developing problems and/or complications while the patient is pregnant.
Dental Health and Pregnancy
A solid oral health care routine is an essential part of a healthy pregnancy. Good oral hygiene can reduce gum inflammation, and regular professional cleanings prevent the buildup of undesirable bacteria and plaque. It’s important to brush twice daily and use proper flossing techniques. Furthermore, if a woman experiences morning sickness, her teeth may be more likely to suffer damage due to acid exposure. To minimize the risk, it’s best to rinse the mouth with a mixture of baking soda and water should teeth and gums be exposed to digestive acids.
A healthy, balanced diet also provides the nourishment a pregnant woman needs to support dental health. Pregnant women should choose foods with low sugar content and avoid acidic foods like soft drinks and citrus fruit. Bacteria feed on sugar, and the acid from drinks and foods may damage the tooth enamel with time.
The Safety of Dental Implants During Pregnancy
In extremely rare cases, expecting mothers may receive dental implants where there’s an urgent medical need. However, nearly all dental practitioners suggest that women wait until after delivery to reduce the risks associated with x-rays, anesthesia, and certain pain medications. While x-rays are usually safe during pregnancy, many patients elect to avoid radiation exposure all together during this time.
Local anesthetics may be used for basic oral surgery procedures, but general anesthesia can pose risks during pregnancy. There is also the factor of stress, pain, and recovery time; as such, most oral surgeons suggest that dental implant procedures may cause unnecessary stress on a mother and unborn baby. Undergoing surgery raises a patient’s anxiety levels, which can affect the child. Therefore, waiting until after the baby is born is an effective way to reduce stress during an already hectic time.
Houston Moms Can Consult with OMSH
Expectant and new Moms of Houston don’t have to wait until after their pregnancies to start researching their dental implant choices. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced oral surgeon, gives patients the information they need to make the right choices. By consulting with the oral maxillofacial surgeons of OMSH, Moms can learn about the oral care options that may work best for them, as well as plan ahead should it be determined that a dental implant procedure is necessary.
Get the best consultation and care in the greater Houston area with the highly-trained surgeons of OMSH. Call us today at tel:832-509-4505 for an appointment and information.