It may have taken countless sleepless nights and several weeks to decide to get dental implants and as you’re nearing the date of your surgery, you’ve discovered that you’re pregnant. While you’re excited and full of anticipation, you may now be wondering whether it’s a good time to get dental implants. Here’s what you need to know about having dental implant surgery during pregnancy.
In the world of dentistry and medicine, it’s crucial to weigh up the risks and benefits before going ahead with any form of treatment. At Chesterfield Dentistry, we always want to minimize the risk of harm to a patient, but it’s even more important when that person is pregnant.
Given the fact that in a previous pregnancy, you recall having a tooth filled or maybe you have a pregnant friend who has recently had an infected wisdom tooth removed, you may assume that it’s safe to go ahead with dental implant surgery. After all, it was okay to have those particular procedures, so what’s the difference?
The difference is that dental implants are an elective procedure. In other words, implants are a treatment that a person chooses to have as opposed to a treatment that is regarded as necessary. Ultimately this tips the scales when weighing up the risks and benefits of dental implants.
To put all of this into perspective, a dental infection puts your and your baby’s health at risk. Not treating the infection is even more risky and could cause more significant issues than not going ahead with treatment. When it comes to dental implants, there are no significant health risks associated with waiting but there are more risks involved when going ahead with the surgery.
If you’re concerned with a gap in your smile, our dentist can provide you with a temporary restoration to cover the time spent waiting for your implant surgery.
One of the main reasons dentists recommend waiting until the baby is born before getting dental implants is that changes in oral health during pregnancy can increase the risk of dental implant failure.
According to the CFC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis – the early stage of periodontal (gum) disease.
Studies have revealed that gum inflammation, changes in the immune system, and gestational diabetes all play a contributory role in increasing the risk of dental implant failure in pregnant women.
Moreover, poor oral health during pregnancy has been linked to medical conditions like high blood pressure and dry mouth and, more importantly, adverse pregnancy outcomes including premature birth and low birth weight of the baby.
Why is it necessary to wait?
The success of a dental implant relies on osseointegration – a natural process where the titanium implant and the surrounding jawbone fuse to create a stable platform that can support the replacement tooth or teeth.
Hormonal fluctuations could affect the body’s ability to heal and may slow down or even prevent the process of osseointegration, potentially affecting the implant’s success. If osseointegration doesn’t take place as it should, the implant is likely to loosen and need removal by your dentist, or fall out of its own accord. Therefore, timing is critical in ensuring optimal outcomes.
Whether a patient is pregnant or not, male or female, wanting a single dental implant or a full arch, we always want them to be in good oral health for an optimal outcome.
Post-surgery complications during pregnancy
X-rays, CT scans and local anesthesia pose little threat to your developing baby but because your oral health may decline during pregnancy, you could be at higher risk of infection and implant failure following implant surgery. In the unfortunate event, that you were to develop post-surgery complications, being pregnant limits our treatment options for infection and pain.
While an infection can be excruciatingly painful, you could be putting your baby’s health at risk by taking antibiotics or over-the-counter pain relief to ease your symptoms. Your doctor may give you antibiotics to help your body fight off infection but some antibiotics can cause problems like stained teeth or growth issues for your baby and side effects for you. While popping an over-the-counter painkiller may seem harmless enough, the rules differ when you’re pregnant, so always check with your doctor first.
The above concerns can lead to anxiety – which we know isn’t good for pregnant women or their babies. The best option by far is to delay getting dental implants until after your pregnancy.
The bottom line
We understand your disappointment at having to delay dental implant surgery but that doesn’t mean you can’t start the process. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free dental implant consultation and we can begin working with you to plan your implant journey. Once your baby has arrived, we’ll be ready to start transforming your smile.
Find out more about dental implants
To schedule your consultation and learn if dental implants are right for you, give Chesterfield Dentistry a call at 314-936-3621 or use our online booking service.
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