Dental work during pregnancy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hate it that this is even a topic Im having to bring up.

Last December, I had a crown fall off on one of my back left molars. Immediately, it started hurting like crazy. I went to the dentist and she informed me that the dentist who had put the cap on had not gotten all of the decay out and that it had basically eaten through the backside of my tooth, making a huge hole in my tooth and basically told me it wasnt salvageable, even with a root canal.

I was 8 months pregnant. We decided to wait to remove it until after Charlie was born. So, she gave me a round of antibiotics and the pain stopped. So, after Charlie was born I went to the oral surgeon and he told me that I would have to be given (some medication ...cant remember the name) and that I wouldnt be able to breastfeed for 48 hours. I called the hotline about whether or not the drug actually passed through breastmilk, and yes, it does.

SO, I opted to wait until he was about 3 months to get the tooth removed. Well, as most of you know, he passed away in early April before he was three months. Chaos and madness ensued, my tooth was the last thing on my mind. DH and I made a super hasty desicion to TTC, and here I am with a tooth that is rotting out of my head and needs to be removed. I've seen a different dentist (mainly because I just dont want to have to go through all the reasons why I didnt go to the surgeon and get it removed to my old dentist.) The new dentist says that it needs to be removed, asap. He said my options were either to remove it, or take antibiotics multiple times during pregnancy (basically any time it gets infected.)
Also, because I waited so long to have it removed, the tooth behind it has a cavity now. They will fill it with the white filling, but its just one more thing.

I am freaking out. First of all, I have to say that I put this off because I was super scared of having the tooth removed. Second of all, now Im terrified that Ive already done some horrible damage to my babies because of having a bad tooth in the first place and Im kicking myself for putting my wants and needs above those of the babies by TTCing without getting this seen about. WTF was I thinking?

Anyway, I need some advice, or reassurance, or something.

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#2 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 06:35 PM
 
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I think you're better off taking the tooth out than going on antibiotics.  A good dentist should be able to do it and painless at that.  Having had at least 4 teeth pulled in my life I can tell you from experience it's never hurt.  They will give local anesthesia which is a pin prick for 2 seconds.  Given that this tooth was already long time infected it will probaby come out very easily and it will be over before you know it.  The only thing I'd be "worried" about regarding the procedure would be taking an xray which I would most likely decline before 12 weeks.

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#3 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 06:44 PM
 
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Oh Holly hug2.gif. Ouch about your tooth! I would agree that removing it sounds like the best option. Local anesthetic seems better than several rounds of antibiotics, but that's just my opinion. Have you spoken with your OB/midwife about it? I would first turn to her for opinions.

 

I also have some cavities that I haven't dealt with or at least I suspect I do. I only recently learned about maternal tooth health and babies and I'm freaking out like you are. We have crappy dental insurance so I just haven't wanted to deal. But I have promised myself that I'll make an appointment soon!


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#4 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I did talk to my OB about it- last time. Im super embarrassed to bring it up again, but at least I feel like I wont have to explain anything to her. She will understand why it never got done. Last time she agreed that it shouldnt be taken out since I was about to give birth.


Anna- The dentist said it would have to be "surgically removed". Is that the same thing as pulled? Half of it's broken off, so it cant really be pulled like most teeth would be (as in, how I remember teeth being pulled as a child). I dont think it needs an xray, since its pretty visible that it's totally rotted. Its a big black hole in my tooth (that use to be filled, so imagine a big cavity only the filling gone and the tooth brokenish).


I was under the impression both times that there would be more than local anesthetic involved, and that the medication wasn't safe for pregnancy. Why else wouldnt they have just pulled it out last time when it was giving me such hell?

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#5 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 07:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

So, I did talk to my OB about it- last time. Im super embarrassed to bring it up again, but at least I feel like I wont have to explain anything to her. She will understand why it never got done. Last time she agreed that it shouldnt be taken out since I was about to give birth.
Anna- The dentist said it would have to be "surgically removed". Is that the same thing as pulled? Half of it's broken off, so it cant really be pulled like most teeth would be (as in, how I remember teeth being pulled as a child). I dont think it needs an xray, since its pretty visible that it's totally rotted. Its a big black hole in my tooth (that use to be filled, so imagine a big cavity only the filling gone and the tooth brokenish).
I was under the impression both times that there would be more than local anesthetic involved, and that the medication wasn't safe for pregnancy. Why else wouldnt they have just pulled it out last time when it was giving me such hell?

 

That term sounds scarier than it is.  It may be a bit more work for the dentist, and you may feel a little more pressure or small tugging, but from the patient's standpoint you really won't know the difference because you won't feel anything when he's working.  It may take a few minutes longer because in a "surgical" removal the tooth can come out in more than one piece.  I don't think that novicane or maybe some other local anasthetic would have been contraindicated during pregnancy, but given that you were close to the end of pregnancy they may have been thinking that if you were going to go into labor sooner than anticipated then having a sore spot in your mouth during labor would be the last thing you'd want.  Generally it takes a few days of being careful not to eat on that side of the mouth after the tooth is out.  As far as x ray, depends on the dentist, some will insist on one to make sure they can see what the tooth looks like below the gum line, but many will agree to do it without.  xrays before 12 weeks are very dangerous to baby, a lot of dentists will not do one and rightfully so.  Sorry edited b/c forgot about the medications.. I don't know what other meds would be needed, though that depends on each case of course and your dentist knows your case.  The only med I could think of would be antibiotics during the removal and a few days after to prevent any infection.  Those few days are much better than going on antibiotics during the whole pregnancy.  There's also the option of being under full anesthesia but that's really overkill IMO, tooth removal is generally minor surgery.  Be brave hold your hubby's hand or ask the nurse to, all will be ok. 

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#6 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 07:57 PM
 
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X-rays before 12 weeks are not "very dangerous" to a baby. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/x-ray-during-pregnancy/AN02058 The radiation in a dental x-ray is like going outside, less actually. It's true that waiting until after the first trimester is best, but not always avoidable. I had a root canal done on a v painful tooth at 8 or 9 weeks. I was waiting until later to fix it when it flared up horribly. Waiting 3-4 more weeks may have been possible, but I weighed the risks and decided that having it taken care of asap was the best solution for me. The dentist will double-lead you or lead you front and back when doing an x-ray & they will keep them to a minimum. Obv, my baby has not been born yet. All I can go by was our ultrasound, which was normal.

 

Ask the dentist exactly what removing it will entail. That is the only way you are going to know how to answer the question. If you can wait until second tri, do that.


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#7 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 07:58 PM
 
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Wait ok, sorry I "lied", I just remembered that they did give me pain meds after too, but I never used them afterwards because nothing really hurt badly enough to have to take them.

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#8 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 09:04 PM
 
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My main concern would be how much pain you'd have after the procedure and what you could take for pain relief. Hopefully the pain would be minimal, and in that case, it definitely seems better to have the work done now. 

 

I had some fillings done in the 2nd trimester, and this was recommended by my midwives. I also brought it up to my mom, who works in an OB/Gyn office, and she asked their perinatologist about how the medicine could affect fetal heart rate, as I had my anatomy scan scheduled just hours after the dental work, and he said it shouldn't have any effect - the amount of anesthetic is very small and located quite far from the fetus. If what you need is more than the typical local anesthetic, then I'd find out exactly what they use and how much, and I'd ask your OB what the effects could be. 


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#9 of 13 Old 07-18-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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Yeah, the amount of anesthetic that would get to the babies is really negligible. I had two crowns when I was pregnant because waiting was not a good option. I had to have anesthetic several times but it really wasn't a big deal. I'm sure they can pull your tooth and do the filling on the other one with a local anesthetic. You're at more of a risk carrying on with the rotting tooth, so definitely get it taken care of. And go easy on yourself, of course your tooth was the last thing on your mind after losing your precious baby.

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#10 of 13 Old 07-25-2012, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies, I called the oral surgeon, and he made me an appointment for August 23. He says that he will need to do an xray, and that I needed to be in my second trimester. (which, i will be next week, but I supposed this is for extra safety measures.) He says that you stand behind a wall that has square for your face to go in, and that's how they take the xray so that no other part of your body is exposed. He also says it should just be able to be removed with local anesthetic..

My tooth hurts! August 23rd is forever away and Im worried about how much tylenol Ill have to take in the meantime. I have an antibiotic (amoxycillin) that Im on because of the upper respiratory infection Ive had for almost two weeks, so hopefully that will knock it the pain out and let me delay this a litlte longer. I will update this thread after that appointment.

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#11 of 13 Old 07-25-2012, 12:16 PM
 
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I recently had a molar pulled and it wasn't bad at all.  I had local anesthetic, but I also took some Valium beforehand.  That really helped because I didn't really care about what they were doing. I was cool as a cucumber.  I would ask if taking one Valium tab is safe during the second trimester if you think you could use it.  Afterward, the doctor gave me the choice of Vicodin or Tylenol with Codeine.  I took the Tylenol but found that I didn't really need it much.  After a day I switched to over the counter painkillers.  I have found that Anbesol doesn't do much for a toothache.  Can your dentist prescribe something topical that's safe to use so that you can make it to the 23rd?  Or maybe Anbesol would help you.




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#12 of 13 Old 07-26-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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Sorry you're dealing with this now!!!  Ugh, I hate dental stuff and I have terrible teeth.  I just had a molar pulled a few months ago, which was pretty bad for me.  I also need to do a root canal some time soon and a couple of fillings, I'm sure.

 

Any kind of dental work completely wears me out.  I'm always exhausted and just ready to go to bed after anything is done, nothing to do with pain-just being there (stressed), mouth open (my jaw gets stuck open and can be painful) and whatever work they have to do.

 

After getting the molar pulled (which didn't hurt during the procedure), and dealing with eating liquid foods and some amount of throbbing pain... I literally stayed on the couch for 2 days with netflix on the TV entertaining my kids  bag.gif.  My whole body was just completely wiped out and if I got up to do anything (laundry, cook, whatever) I just *really* felt like I needed to be resting, so I did.

 

Anyway, I hope I'm not freaking you out even more, that's not my intention at all.  Most people have no problem and no intense pain after an extraction.  However, just prepare ahead of time for the possibility that you may need to really rest afterward.  Obviously it needs to get done, so maybe have a couple of friends lined up to help with the kids?  

Hope you don't have to deal with too much pain while you're waiting for the date to arrive!!!  Tooth pain is just the worst!  


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#13 of 13 Old 07-26-2012, 06:53 PM
 
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I just got back from having a root canal because of an infected tooth. I'm hoping that the root canal works and the infection goes away (I'm also taking a course of amoxicillin) and I don't have to resort to extraction. However, I did have a tooth extracted a little more than a year ago because of infection (a break in the root on a tooth I'd had a root canal on), and it wasn't a very big deal. I am a very anxious dental patient, and the worst parts were the lead-up to actually having the procedure and the discomfort of having a wound in my mouth for a few days. I didn't have much pain and I had a toddler to chase around. It was necessary for me to have help with said toddler the day of the procedure and nice to have help for a day or so after that. You will be so relieved to have it taken care of, and your babies will be fine :)


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