Essential dental treatment safe for pregnant women, says study

Jun 10, 2008

Pregnant women can safely undergo essential dental treatment and receive topical and local anesthetics at 13 to 21 weeks gestation, says a study published in the June issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Although obstetricians generally consider dental care safe for pregnant women, supporting clinical trial evidence has been lacking. To address this issue, researchers compared safety outcomes from the Obstetrics and Periodontal Therapy Trial in which pregnant women received scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) and essential dental treatment (defined as treatment of moderate-to-severe cavities or fractured or abscessed teeth).

The researchers randomly assigned 823 pregnant women with periodontitis to receive scaling and root planing, either at 13 to 21 weeks' gestation or up to three months after delivery. (Experts recommend that pregnant women defer elective care before eight weeks' gestation and during late pregnancy.) The researchers determined that 483 of these women also needed essential dental treatment. Three hundred fifty-one of the women completed all recommended treatment.

Throughout the trial, obstetric nurses reviewed medical records to monitor subjects for serious adverse events. The authors defined these events as pregnancies that ended in a nonlive birth and other adverse events that did not result in pregnancy termination (including hospitalizations for more than 24 hours because of labor pains, hospitalizations for any other reason, fetal or congenital anomalies and neonatal deaths).

The results of the study showed that "periodontal treatment and essential dental treatment, administered at a time between 13 and 21 weeks' gestation, did not significantly increase the risk of any adverse outcome evaluated," the authors write. "Use of topical and local anesthetics for scaling and root planing also was not associated with an increased risk of experiencing these adverse events and outcomes."

Source: American Dental Association

Explore further: AMA: avoiding distress in medical school

Related Stories

Engineering safer drinking water in Africa

Feb 07, 2012

In the United States and other developed countries, fluoride is often added to drinking water and toothpaste to help strengthen teeth. But too much naturally occurring fluoride can have exactly the opposite effect.

Pulled teeth stored for stem cells

Jan 21, 2011

Naidelys Montoya didn't wait for her son's baby teeth to fall out. She took the boy to an oral surgeon to have two of the loose ones extracted.

Expecting? Don't neglect your teeth

Nov 23, 2010

Even though most people are aware that good oral health is essential for the overall health of both mother and child, misunderstandings about the safety of dental care during pregnancy may cause pregnant women to avoid seeing ...

Recommended for you

AMA: avoiding distress in medical school

May 22, 2015

(HealthDay)—Understanding the key drivers underlying medical students' distress can help address the issues and enhance student well-being, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

European court to rule on right-to-die case

May 21, 2015

Europe's human rights court will on June 5 rule on whether a man in a vegetative state can be taken off life support, a case that has ignited a fierce euthanasia debate in France, a spokesman said Thursday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.