Even missing one tooth can make it tough to speak clearly, chew properly, and smile confidently, as the more than 170 million Americans who are dealing with tooth loss have learned. If those issues sound familiar to you, perhaps you’ve been considering dental implants. And why wouldn’t you? They last for 30 years or more, look natural, and are the only tooth replacement option that preserves your jawbone. In your case, the catch is that you’re pregnant. Can you get dental implants during pregnancy? Keep reading to find out from your implant dentist in Plano.
What Effect Can Pregnancy Have on My Oral Health?
When you’re expecting, your belly grows, your hair thickens, and your cravings intensify. However, some of the changes aren’t as obvious, like the effects on your oral health. To start, persistent morning sickness can wear away the enamel on your teeth, significantly increasing your risk of tooth decay. Additionally, increased fatigue causes many women to slack on their oral hygiene routine, which is another unhealthy habit that can wreak havoc on your oral health. Lastly, and most importantly, the surge of hormones can cause your gums to swell and consequently increase your risk of pregnancy gingivitis.
What Are the Issues with Getting Dental Implants When Pregnant?
Although dental implants have an impressive 95 percent success rate, the procedure is considered perilous for pregnant women. With this in mind, there are a few important factors to consider:
- Anesthesia – Although local anesthesia is considered safe for pregnant patients, dental implant surgery requires a stronger anesthetic, which is riskier.
- Elective vs. Medically Necessary Treatment – Although it’s better to replace a missing tooth sooner rather than later, dental implants are still considered an elective procedure. Therefore, many doctors will wait until after birth to perform the surgery.
- Pregnancy Gingivitis – As mentioned above, expecting mothers are more likely to experience swollen gums and other symptoms of gum disease. Unfortunately, this can significantly increase your risk of dental implant failure.
How Can I Prepare for Getting Dental Implants?
If you and your dentist decide it is best to wait until after you give birth to get dental implants, there are a few measures you can take to prepare in the meantime:
- Quit poor dental habits like smoking, using your teeth as tools, and chewing on ice.
- Commit to a solid at-home oral hygiene routine (like brushing twice a day and flossing daily).
- Visit your dentist every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning.
- Eat a vitamin-rich diet.
Your health and safety are always a priority at your dentist’s office, especially if you are pregnant. If you are struggling with tooth loss and unsure if getting dental implants during pregnancy is feasible, then contact your dental team today to schedule a consultation. From there, your dentist in Plano can create a game plan to safely get you the healthy, beautiful, complete smile you deserve.
About the Author
Dr. Shannon Stokes earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Baylor College of Dentistry, which is hailed as one of the country’s best dental schools. He has kept the learning going by completing a variety of postgraduate courses with the understanding that the dental field and associated technology are always evolving. If you are interested in dental implants, Dr. Stokes is able to replace one tooth or all of them so you can continue to eat all your favorite foods while maintaining your appearance. He can discuss the relevant factors of pregnancy when considering implants during your consultation, which you can schedule on his website or by calling (972) 596-0200.