What To Know Before Heading To The Dentist.
David Barrere, MD
I'm 17 weeks pregnant and I need to go to the dentist. What can they safely give me in order to do the necessary work on my tooth? - Deborah in Washington, DC
The expert answers
During pregnancy, routine dental care can be continued without worry. Dental cleaning, use of Novocaine and local anaesthetics for cavities and extractions, and X-rays with proper abdominal lead shielding are all acceptable. Any procedure is best avoided during the first trimester.
In rare circumstances, oral surgery (wisdom teeth extraction, etc.) is required during pregnancy. This is best performed in the second trimester. Sedation or general anaesthesia can be utilized during this time as organogenesis (fetal organ development) has been completed.
In the third trimester, major procedures are best deferred until the post-partum period for fear of causing premature labor.