Dentists, specialists, and patients throughout the world agree that dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. However, the process for placing them is somewhat complex, and your oral surgeon will need to be familiar with your overall health before they approve you to go ahead with treatment. If you are pregnant, it is very likely that they will urge you to wait until after your baby arrives to undergo your dental implant procedure. Let’s talk more about why getting dental implants during pregnancy is unwise.
Urgent vs. Non-Urgent Dental Care
Before moving forward with any type of treatment, an oral health professional must weigh both its potential rewards and its risks. In some cases, performing dental procedures on a pregnant woman is necessary. For example, addressing a badly infected tooth could protect both the woman’s health and that of her unborn child. In other words, the rewards outweigh the risks.
The need for dental implants is not particularly urgent. Since some aspects of the procedure might harm an embryo or fetus, the risks of performing it during pregnancy outweigh the rewards. Waiting until after the baby’s arrival is the safest and wisest course of action.
Oral Health Changes During Pregnancy
Many people undergo changes to their oral health during pregnancy. For example, hormonal fluctuations can increase the risk of plaque accumulation, bacterial growth, and pregnancy gingivitis (also called pregnancy gum disease). Because gum disease is strongly associated with a heightened risk of dental implant failure, it should be addressed before a patient goes ahead with tooth replacement.
It is also worth mentioning that some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Because diabetes slows down the body’s healing processes, it can interfere with recovery after oral surgery. Since blood glucose levels tend to return to normal after the end of a pregnancy, waiting until after the birth of a child to get dental implants is the smart thing to do.
Managing Pain After Surgery
Yet another reason for pregnant women to wait to get dental implants relates to pain management after oral surgery. Often, patients will be prescribed pain medications to help them stay comfortable during the first portion of their recovery. Since most types of pain relievers are not safe for a developing baby, pregnant women are more likely to struggle with significant discomfort while they heal from an oral procedure.
You Can Start Planning Now
Even though getting dental implants while pregnant is not generally a good idea, you can start planning your tooth replacement journey right now. Speak to an oral surgeon, and they can guide you on your next steps. Your general dentist can also help you manage your oral health throughout your pregnancy so your smile is well enough to undergo dental implant placement when the time comes.
Pregnancy may delay the replacement of your lost teeth, but before you know it, you may have a complete, strong, and beautiful smile.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Steve Koo and the other board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons in our practice have many decades of combined experience. Whether you have questions about dental implants or you are ready to get started with replacing your lost teeth, our team would be pleased to serve you. Contact us at 713-597-7340.