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Can I Get a Cavity Filled While Pregnant?

by
author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
Can I Get a Cavity Filled While Pregnant?
Good dental care during pregnancy helps prevent infections that could affect the fetus. Photo Credit Igor Mojzes/iStock/Getty Images

Good dental care is an essential part of prenatal care. If you develop a cavity, you might have concerns about undergoing dental work. Fortunately, women with cavities or other urgent dental problems can be treated at any time during pregnancy, according to a 2012 national consensus statement endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dental Association, in collaboration with other experts. Talk with your obstetrician and dentist if you need dental work done during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Positioning

Pregnancy can make dental work more uncomfortable. Lying back in the dental chair in the late second or third trimester can put pressure on blood vessels, which can cause your blood pressure to drop. Putting a rolled blanket or pillow under your right hip prevents compression of the blood vessels. Lying back can also put pressure on your lungs, potentially making breathing difficult. Changing positions frequently may help.

Anesthesia, Filling Material and X-Rays

X-rays should be used in pregnancy only when necessary. Your dentist might not need an x-ray to determine whether you have a cavity that needs a filling. However, if you do need a dental x-ray, it won't cause any harm. Dental technicians will provide you with a lead apron to shield your abdomen and protect your unborn baby. Local anesthesia will not harm the fetus. If you have concerns about the use of silver amalgam for fillings, ask your dentist about alternate materials such as composite or porcelain.

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