It's very important to visit the dentist during pregnancy. Pregnant women are at greater risk for issues with bleeding, swollen, or infected gums, which is why it is worth having a dentist perform an exam and look at their overall health. However, you may fear going to the dentist because of the risks it can cause to the baby. Here are some common concerns you may have about the dentist while pregnant.
The dentist is going to try to make your visit as comfortable as can be, no matter what stage of the pregnancy you are in. Dental chairs do recline and can be adjusted as needed to make sure that you are comfortable during the exam process. You can always ask your dentist to make adjustments to take some pressure off of certain parts of your body. Ankles should be uncrossed while in the chair since it will improve blood circulation to the feet and prevent swelling and cramps.
If you need some sort of dental work done, you do have a few options depending on which part of the pregnancy you are in. If you have a major problem that needs to be treated immediately, know that the numbing agents used to numb your mouth are safe during pregnancy. More specifically, lidocaine is a local anesthetic that will not cause problems when it is properly administered by a dentist.
If you're very late in your pregnancy and you need a procedure done, the other option is to wait until after the baby is born. Some people are worried about the stress that a dental procedure can put onto their body, especially if they are nervous about going to a dentist. A minor cavity that is not causing any pain at the moment could be delayed until after giving birth to avoid any potential complications.
When an X-ray must be taken to see the health of your teeth underneath the gums, know that this procedure is very safe to have done while pregnant. The amount of radiation generated during a dental x-ray is minimal, and steps are taken to concentrate the radiation on just the mouth area. There should not be any concerns about the radiation affecting a developing fetus. That said, you can ask the dentist to delay an X-ray until after the birth if it just a routine X-ray and not one needed to diagnose a problem.