Even before you decide to become pregnant, it’s vital to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and practice good oral health care. Developing good medical and dental health habits early on ensures you a better chance of a healthy pregnancy. It also means you’re less likely to lose teeth and need dental implants.
However, if you should be both pregnant and in need of dental implants simultaneously, speak with your dental care professional about your options.
Good Oral Care during Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings on both physical and emotional changes. It’s important to take good care of yourself and your unborn child. When it comes to good oral care during pregnancy, many dental care professionals recommend that you:
- Notify your dental professional when you become pregnant.
- Tell your dentist of any medications you are taking – including prenatal vitamins prescribed by your primary care physician.
- Avoid elective dental procedures and dental x-rays during pregnancy.
- Notify your dental professional of changes – redness, swelling, and bleeding – in your gums.
- Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices.
Dental problems, such as gum disease, may result in low birth weight and premature babies. Make sure to talk with your dental professional and get regular dental checkups during your pregnancy.
Dental Implants while Pregnant
Dental implants offer you the best chance to have a great looking smile. However, even more important, they act more like your natural teeth than any other dental prosthetic. For this reason, they offer your best option for improved speech, comfort, durability, and convenience.
Here’s why. Unlike dental bridges or dentures, which sit on top of your gums, dental implants consist of small titanium posts embedded into your jawbone. After a 6 to 12 week healing process, which bonds the post to your jawbone, your dental professional will add an abutment to hold your new porcelain crown. The crown, matched to the shade of your existing teeth, slips over the post where your dentist cements it in place.
The American Dental Association suggests that regular dental exams and dental cleanings are safe for pregnant women. However, most dental professionals recommend against any form of elective dental surgery during pregnancy. It’s best to avoid anesthetics and other unnecessary medications as well as stress. Therefore, it’s wise to avoid dental implant procedures during your pregnancy.
If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant and your dental professional recommends you for dental implants, plan accordingly. Choose to get your dental implants either before or after you become pregnant.