Sunbury women ask, “How safe is laser dentistry during pregnancy?”
At Smile in Style, we take the responsibility of family dentistry seriously. Our offices in Sunbury and Moonee Ponds are holistic, mercury-free, and equipped with the laser technology to deliver the healthiest possible care for every member of your family – even if they haven’t been born yet. Taking care of your Dental care during pregnancy is important for you and your baby.
The importance of dental care during pregnancy
Among the many changes a woman experiences during pregnancy is a heightened awareness of self-care. You want to optimise your own health, but you worry about the potential effects of medications or treatments. Unfortunately, the importance of oral health is often overlooked. According to the Victoria Department of Health & Human Services, periodontal disease may trigger as many as 18 percent of premature births.
The good news is that most routine dental procedures are safe for pregnant women. However, certain medications may need to be avoided and precautions may need to be taken. The most important step in ensuring safe treatment is to tell your dental team that you are pregnant, even if you haven’t shared the news publicly yet.
As a holistic dental practice, we strive to provide healthy treatment, minimise invasive procedures, and aim to avoid toxins for all patients. We are also keenly aware of the specific needs of pregnant women. Laser technology allows us to reduce or eliminate the use of a dental drill when preparing a tooth for a filling. The technique is more precise and more comfortable than traditional methods and often can be done without a local anaesthetic.
Your changing oral health needs
Hormones are chemicals produced by the human body, which regulate many physiological processes. Their primary functions are largely associated with reproductive cycles and organs, so it’s not surprising that pregnancy involves dramatic changes in hormone levels. What may come as a surprise, especially if this is your first pregnancy, is that hormonal changes have a significant effect on seemingly unrelated aspects of health, and every part of the body. The mouth is no exception.
During pregnancy, a woman has a higher risk of:
- Periodontal infection – Both oestrogen and progesterone levels in blood and saliva are higher, contributing to an increase of bacteria in the mouth. If you have undetected or untreated gum disease, hormonal changes can exacerbate the condition. Even a woman with healthy gums is at risk of developing gingivitis.
- Cavities – In addition to the effects of hormones, pregnancy increases the risk of decay for several other reasons. One reason is changes in dietary habits. Healthy nutrition will require an increase in carbohydrates, and pregnant women often crave sweets. Compounding the problem, food might not always stay in your stomach. Vomiting, an extremely common side effect of pregnancy, can cause erosion of tooth enamel.
- Benign growths – Excess tissue may develop, especially in areas such as between the teeth. The growths may be red and may bleed easily. Although these are commonly called “pregnancy tumors” they are not cancerous. In many cases, the growths naturally disappear over time. However, if bothersome, they can be removed with a simple laser procedure.
What procedures are safe?
During your consultation, we will discuss the types of treatments that are suitable and recommended for you. This can vary, depending on several factors, including the severity of oral disease, the stage of your pregnancy, type of treatment needed, and your overall health. Generally, the following are considered safe:
- Hygiene appointments – There is no reason to avoid dental cleanings and examinations. This basic treatment should be considered an essential part of your pregnancy health care plan, and it is the best way to avoid some of the problems discussed above.
- Fillings – Most non essential treatment is avoided during the first trimester, but treatments such as fillings are considered safe during the second or third trimester. With laser dentistry, we can often avoid the use of local anesthetic.
- Orthodontics – If you are straightening your teeth, there is no need to interrupt treatment.
- Periodontal treatment – Gum disease does pose a risk, but treatment does not. Depending on the stage of the disease, we may recommend deep cleaning or laser therapy.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, please give us a call and schedule a checkup. You can reach us at 03 8400 4104 (Moonee Ponds) or 03 8001 6021 (Sunbury) or book online at www.smileinstyle.com.au.