Can you safely undergo wisdom teeth removal if you’re pregnant?
Many moms-to-be suffer pain, swelling and sensitivity in the wisdom tooth area, thanks to all the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Yet pregnant women are understandably cautious about getting oral surgery due to the potential effect it could have on the baby.
Here, we explore some of the most common safety concerns expecting moms have about wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy.
Are Wisdom Teeth X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?
Oral surgeons need diagnostic x-rays to safely perform wisdom tooth extraction procedures – but aren’t expecting moms supposed to avoid getting x-rays?
Yes and no. While routine x-rays should wait until after the baby arrives, experts agree that the benefits of diagnostic imaging tests outweigh the risks. X-rays of the wisdom teeth don’t directly expose the abdominal area to radiation, so there’s very little chance of harm to a developing fetus.
Plus, the amount of radiation delivered by dental x-rays is extremely low, not enough to cause adverse effects. And, to further minimize the risks, oral surgeons take as few images as possible, using leaded aprons and collars to shield the mom-to-be and her unborn baby.
Is Oral Surgery Anesthesia Safe During Pregnancy?
For most wisdom tooth extraction procedures, oral surgeons administer anesthesia to keep patients comfortable – and pregnant women are no exception.
Stronger forms of oral surgery anesthesia, including laughing gas and IV sedation, are not recommended during pregnancy, as their use can increase the risk of miscarriage. However, studies show that local anesthetics, like lidocaine, are safe for moms-to-be.
In addition, when administering local anesthesia to expecting moms, oral surgeons take care to keep the dosage low and use as little medication as possible – just enough to provide a comfortable experience.
What is the Safest Time to Schedule Wisdom Teeth Removal?
When moms-to-be need wisdom tooth extraction, oral surgeons aim to schedule the procedure during the second trimester.
During the first three months of pregnancy, oral surgery could hamper the growth and development of the unborn baby. Tooth extraction can be safe during the third trimester, but at that stage, expecting moms may not be able to sit comfortably for the amount of time required to complete the procedure.
However, every pregnant patient has unique health concerns. For some high-risk pregnancies, wisdom teeth removal may need to be postponed until after delivery.
Is your pregnancy causing wisdom tooth problems? For expert advice in the greater east central Indiana area, turn to the professionals at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr. Partridge and Dr. Alderman, our board-certified oral surgeons, specialize in wisdom teeth removal and have extensive experience working with moms-to-be. We understand the challenges of oral surgery during pregnancy, and we can address all of your concerns and questions.
If you’re pregnant and think you might need tooth extraction, contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and schedule a wisdom teeth removal consultation today.