The decision to get dental implants is often made after many months of careful consideration. If you’ve had your consultation and booked your appointment, only to find out that you’re pregnant, you’re undoubtedly wondering if it’s safe to go through with the surgery. Here’s what you need to know about getting dental implants while pregnant.
Elective vs. Necessary Treatment
In dentistry and medicine, we weigh the risks and benefits of any treatment before moving forward with it. We always want to minimize the risk of harm to our patients, but this is even more important during pregnancy.
You may have received dental fillings during a previous pregnancy, or maybe a friend of yours had an infected wisdom tooth removed while pregnant—why are those procedures okay, but not dental implants? The difference is that a dental implant procedure is elective, which tilts the scales when it comes to weighing its risks and benefits.
An infected tooth puts your health and your baby’s health at risk—the risk of delaying treatment is greater than the risk of moving forward with it. When it comes to dental implants, there’s no significant health risk in waiting, so there are more risks involved in going ahead with the surgery. If you’re worried about having a gap in your smile, we can provide you with a temporary restoration to wear while waiting for your implant surgery.
Oral Health Changes During Pregnancy
One of the reasons why dental implant surgery during pregnancy is risky is because there are changes in oral health during pregnancy that can increase the likelihood of dental implant failure. Although there are no controlled studies on the success rate of dental implants during pregnancy—it’s generally considered unethical to conduct clinical research on pregnant women—we know that changes in the immune system, inflammation of the gums, and gestational diabetes all contribute to a higher rate of implant failure in women who are pregnant.
Whenever we perform dental implant surgery—pregnant or not, man or woman, full arch or single tooth—we always want the patient to have good oral health for an optimal outcome.
We know that dental x-rays and local anesthesia pose little risk to developing fetuses, but because your oral health may be compromised during pregnancy, you’re at a higher risk of infection and implant failure after your surgery. Should you have these complications, the fact that you are pregnant significantly limits our treatment options for pain and infection.
When you’re pregnant, a number of antibiotics are off the table. An infection can be extremely painful, but you won’t be able to take prescription medications or even most over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate your symptoms.
All of this can cause anxiety—and we know that anxiety isn’t good for expectant mothers or their babies. The best option is to wait until after your pregnancy to schedule your dental implant surgery.
The Bottom Line
While it’s natural to feel disappointed that you can’t get dental implants while you’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start the process. By all means, schedule a consultation with us and we can begin working with you to plan your implant restoration. Once your baby is here, we’ll be ready to get started on your smile transformation.