Is dental work during pregnancy safe?

Answers from Roger W. Harms, M.D.

Dental treatment can be done at any time during pregnancy. However, the best time to perform elective dental treatment during pregnancy is in the second trimester, weeks 14 through 20.

By this time, the development of the fetal organs is complete and the risk of side effects is lower. Research also suggests that women who receive fillings, undergo tooth extractions or have root canal treatment during the second trimester don't experience higher rates of problems at birth. In addition, nausea and postural discomfort are often less of an issue during the second trimester.

Keep in mind that if you have oral pain or swelling, you might need immediate treatment. The consequences of not treating an infection during pregnancy outweigh the possible risks of the medications used during dental treatment. Your health care provider will carefully monitor the use of any antibiotics or pain medications.

If you have questions or concerns about dental care during pregnancy, talk to your health care provider.

Jan. 10, 2015 See more Expert Answers