Dentist Visit during Pregnancy/Breastfeeding
Berkeley Parents Network >
Pregnancy & Childbirth >
Dentist Visit during Pregnancy/Breastfeeding
I am breastfeeding an 8-month old and just chipped an old mercury
filling. I need to get the filling fixed.
The novacaine is supposed to be OK, but What are the risks of
passing toxins to my baby from the silver amalgam filling being
Thanks in advance.
Hello! There is no problem with the toxins from the amalgam fillings
baby through breastfeeding. There are small amounts of mercury that get
into the air
when you are drilling out the old filling but a suction will be used to
However, dentists have methods to decrease any exposure to mercury if
worried. First, your dentist can use a rubber dam which slips around
the tooth and acts
as a barrier to your mouth (you can breathe totally fine through it).
Also, you can get a
tooth-colored or composite filling and then no need to worry about
Hope it helps
well, i had to get a freakin' root canal a month after giving
birth. i chose the white filling instead, but my dentist said
either would've been fine with breastfeeding. (i'd imagine the
level of toxin is miniscule in a filling.) enjoy your kid-free
time in the dentist's chair - i did!
Yes, please take this seriously! I am in my mid-40ies and have
been mercury poisoned by 16 amalgam fillings, severely suffered
for the past 3 years without knowing what was going on. I just
finished having all of my mercury fillings replaced with
non-metal composites by super-competent Dr. Sandor Hites in
Berkeley. I have also passed some of the mercury to my daughter
when I was pregnant with her. I will not go into detail about
detox here. All I have to say is 1. take it seriously and 2. walk
away from any dentist who thinks mercury in amalgams aren't a
problem. They are - and dentists are the first ones to get
poisoned, unless they are holistic dentists who use proper
precautions. I haven't felt this good since my early 20-ies! For
anyone who wants to get into the subject, look up research
scientist Andrew Cutler on the web. He wrote a very detailed book
about this as he was going through mercury poisoning.
So smart of you to recognize that, YES, there are risks
associated with removing silver amalgams while breastfeeding.
I had two of my silver fillings replaced while I was
breastfeeding my 7-month old daughter, and it was about the
biggest mistake of her and my lives. When you fiddle with a
silver filling, which is 50% mercury and other heavy metals,
you unleash a toxic bomb for your body, which, unfortunately
hits your baby harder than you, as mercury will travel through
your breastmilk in higher concentrations than exist in your
My advice to you: don't replace the filling until you are
through breastfeeding, unless you really need to. Since you
probably do need to, my practical advice is to stop
breastfeeding for at least a week following the dental work.
If you can pump lots of milk ahead of time, that would be
ideal. If not enough pumped milk, even though baby formulas
are not natural, that would be a lesser evil for a one-week
period than subjecting your child to the mercury. The day you
get the filling replaced, take loads of Vitamin C. Following
the dental work, take antioxidants, like Vitamins A, C and E,
grape seed extract, pycnogenol, turmeric, and milk thistle to
help your liver handle the detoxification. Eat a lot of
cilantro. While the mercury won't leave your body in that one
week (will take months), it will considerably lessen the load.
When you start breastfeeding again, give your baby Vitamin C,
Bottom line: mercury is toxic. At this point, you don't know
how well your baby's immune system can handle it, so you need
to protect him/her as much as possible. Feel free to email me:
Learned the Hard Way
I'm 16 weeks pregnant and concerned about some tooth
sensitivity. I am not in great pain - just concerned that
something might be wrong with one of my back molars which is
crowned. I have heard that pregnant women should avoid the
dentist, and I'd like to hear more. I fear that my dentist
will scoff at my fears about having anything done. My gums
have started to bleed a little when I brush, too. I plan to
talk to my OB at my next visit, and I am also trying sensendyne
toothpaste to see if that takes away the sensitivity (since
crowned teeth are more sensitive). What dental procedures
should I avoid when I pregnant and what is OK?
I can't help with the crown issue but did talk to my dentist
about bleeding gums just last week (I'm 11 wks preg). My dentist
recommended that in addition to brushing and flossing, that I
should use a mouthwash (cut 50% with water) each night after
brushing and flossing. The mouthwash would help cut down on
bacteria and help my gums heal.
Some sensitivity and bleeding go along w/ pregnancy, so keep
that in mind. If you can stand it, I'd wait till you deliver.
Talk to the dentist about your concerns. Mostly, the issues are
about things like no x-rays, but doing some dental work has
potential to introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, which of
course has potential to be a problem for the baby.
It's a very good idea to get your teeth cleaned while you're
pregnant. Your gums will be more sore afterwards than usual
because of the additional blood flow to them, but happier in the
long run. Also keep flossing, but use the thinnest, most waxy
floss you can--don't use Glide when you're pregnant, it'll only
irritate you more.
There's a great product called Gly-Oxide that you can use on
problem areas to oxygenate under the gumline and get the
bacteria out. That and flossing should help the bleeding gums a
My dentist gave me a root canal last month, when I was about as
far along as you. When he X-rayed me, he put two of the lead
blankets over me as an extra precaution. It's fine for your
dentist to numb you up to drill or replace a filling or crown,
and for you to use nitrous oxide, but you probably shouldn't get
a procedure done that will require you to use narcotic
painkillers for more than a dose or two.
An interesting thing that happened to me with my last pregnancy
(it's interesting now... it wasn't at the time) was that I got a
very painful abcess in a tooth the day before I went into labor.
I didn't notice the tooth pain during labor and delivery, but it
came back with a vengeance the night after. I went on Vicodin
and Motrin for a few days until I could get to the dentist. Then
when I went off the Vicodin cold turkey, my body finally felt
the soreness of having gone through labor! It was like I'd been
hit by a truck! So I went back on the Motrin for a few more
days. And all was well.
My dentist advised against all dental work during pregnancy,
because his insurance would not cover the liability and he
didn't think it was a good idea for the kid.
This meant that I went through the last 7 months of my pregnancy
with a broken filling...but, oh well...we got it taken care of.
as soon as I was back on my feet after the birth.
Go to the dentist! Look for a woman dentist who's been pregnant,
if you have to :)
My dentist, at least, was quite aware of what things I should or
should not have done while I was pregnant. Things like X-rays
are bad, OTHO, you also want to avoid having an oral infection
which could also hurt your baby. So find a dentist you can trust
and talk to them.
I am scheduled for wisdom tooth removal in early April. The
wisdom tooth-ache problem came up suddenly, right in the middle
of our attempts to conceive! Now, I may already be pregnant, or
may become pregnant by April (if we do not stop trying). The doc
says that if I am pregnant at the time of the surgery, he will
only give me local anesthesia, so I will be awake. If I am not
pregnant, I can be ''asleep'' for the procedure (the best case
scenario for me personally). Has anyone ever had their wisdom
teeth removed while pregnant? How did you cope? Is it better to
postpone conceiving (If we haven't yet) till after the surgery?
Any advice or suggestions welcome.
Pregnant (maybe) and in pain
Call around and find someone good who can extract your wisdom
tooth ASAP and not make you wait until April, or pressure (beg
or bug) your current dentist about this. Several reasons to
have it done while non-pregnant, in addition to the anesthesia
reason you identified: 1) you'll be in pain after the surgery,
and it would be nice to be able to take some heavy duty
painkillers w/o worry about harming a fetus; 2) you may feel
prety crummy during the initial stage of pregnancy, so why do
something else that will only add to your discomfort? My first
trimester was awful, and if anyone had suggested I get a tooth
extracted, I would have probably shot myself. 3) if anything
happens - and miscarriages early on are SO common - you'll be
wondering if the procedure had anything to do with it.
I unwittingly had my wisdom teeth out while pregnant. I
actually terminated the pregnancy, so don't know that it had any
effect on the fetus although my o.b. told me it would probably
have been fine. However, I did have a problem with healing. I
developed ''drysocketing'' I think it's called and healing took
several months. I suspect -- having always been a really fast
healer -- that being pregnant interfered with that somehow.
I'm pregnant and have been suffering with a broken filling for
four months because my dentist recommended waiting until the kid
was born to have any work done -- even with a local. He may just
be paranoid, but...the thing to ask yourself about drugs in
pregnancy, especially very early pregnancy, is, ''Can I get
through this experience without 'em?''
I'm not saying you should suffer unnecessarily, but I have found
that I have a lot more ability to get through pain than I thought
I did before I got pregnant (probably a good prep for
parenthood!) Mind you, I'm REALLY looking forward to having this
BTW, I had my wisdom teeth removed with a local back in high
school and was just fine. I got some codeine tablets and stayed
home for a couple of days. It's not as big a deal as you've heard.
I had a similar situation, we were trying to get pregnant but i
had to get my teeth out.
My advice is GET THEM OUT FIRST! if you're not preg this month,
make an appt asap and get them out then get back to trying. You
could always get the appt first and cancel if it turns out you
are pregnant since it is hard to get appts sometimes...
You could get an infection or something (if you delay) while you
are pregnant which would necessitate anti-biotics and getting
them out thru more painful local drugs which is not fun! And if
you are planning on breastfeeding that could delay your surgery
I have had a lot of problems w/ my teeth, and infections from the
wisdom teeth are an awful pain you don't want while you are
You want to be as healthy as possible while you are pregnant and
that includes your teeth!
It's best to talk to your ObGyn, not your dentist about what
would be best, as he/she would be the better expert regarding
how things will if at all impact the new embryo if you do get
pregnant. When I was 7 months pregnant my dentist said I had
several cavities that would needed local anesthesia to fix. He
wouldn't touch them until I talked to my Obgyn about the
anesthesia, who in turn told me to wait until after the baby was
born. And cavities are mild compared to getting wisdom teeth
pulled. But your dental problem definately sounds like it can't
wait. Another thing to think about and ask your ObGyn is the
painkillers you will definately need after getting your wisdom
Two notes: first, why not have the surgery *now* when you know
you're not pregnant? That way, you don't have to even contemplate
the surgery-while-pregnant scenario. Perhaps your oral surgeon
could put you on the cancellation list or you could seek out
Second, I had my wisdom teeth removed while mostly awake (a
little demerol, a little nitrous, but kept hearing him say, ''A
little wider, Jennifer'') and with local anesthetic. Unpleasant
but bearable. I'm not sure if if your hesitation is related to a
phobia about dentistry or just a presumption that wisdom tooth
surgery is always done while asleep.
Good luck with your decision.
this page was last updated: Jan 3, 2009
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network