Wisdom Teeth are more often extracted than not. The majority of people will need to have theirs removed because they didn’t or aren’t coming in properly. Wisdom teeth, otherwise known as the third molars, can cause a variety of dental health and orthodontic problems. Since they are not necessary for modern humans, it is usually best to have them removed.
But what if you’re pregnant? Can you get wisdom teeth extracted during pregnancy? The best answer is: it depends on the situation.
How Urgent is the Need for Removal?
Wisdom teeth can become impacted, meaning there isn’t enough room for them to come in properly. They often push against the second molar, causing damage and potentially crowding the other teeth together. In some cases the wisdom teeth get stuck under the gums and cause damage to the roots of the second molar, or leading to the development of an infection.
If there is an existing infection or if the wisdom teeth are causing noticeable damage to the other teeth, it may be worth getting them extracted during pregnancy. Any time there is severe pain resulting from impacted wisdom teeth, the situation is urgent enough to require immediate attention.
What Type of Anesthesia Will Be Needed?
Another consideration regarding wisdom teeth removal during pregnancy is the type of anesthesia that will be required. In some cases wisdom teeth can be removed with local anesthesia. Numerous studies have shown no negative effects of local anesthesia used during pregnancy.
If the wisdom teeth are severely impacted or stuck below the gums or jaw bone, the procedure to remove them may be too invasive for local anesthesia. IV sedation is usually not recommended during pregnancy. General anesthesia may be a possibility, but should only be used in severe cases where wisdom tooth removal is crucial for the health of the mother.
Are X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?
In many cases X-Rays are needed to determine the position of the wisdom teeth, especially if they are beneath the gums. Digital X-Rays use a low level of radiation, and a protective apron will be placed over you to prevent any radiation from reaching the fetus. Numerous studies have been conducted on X-Rays during pregnancy and the results have shown that they are safe. But if you are not experiencing any dental problems, they can usually be postponed until after your pregnancy.
Is the Pregnancy High Risk?
In case of a high risk pregnancy, wisdom teeth removal should wait until after the baby is born if at all possible. Your obstetrician should be consulted before any dental procedures are considered. The health of the mother and the unborn baby are of utmost importance in high risk pregnancies, and dental procedures are not worth the risk in most cases. Again, the urgency of the situation should be taken into consideration.
How Far Along Are You in Your Pregnancy?
If you plan to have your wisdom teeth removed during pregnancy, the best time is in the second trimester. By this time any morning sickness you experienced will likely have subsided or become less severe. By the third trimester you may find it uncomfortable to lay on your back in the dental chair for the time it takes to have your wisdom teeth removed. This is why we recommend the second trimester if possible.
Total Dental Care Provides Wisdom Teeth Extraction
At Total Dental Care, our patients’ safety is our top concern. Please let us know if you are pregnant when you come in for your appointment. We will only recommend dental care that is best for you and your unborn child. Any non-urgent dental procedures like tooth extraction can most likely wait until after your baby is born.