Can You Get A Cavity Filled While Pregnant?

June 6, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

Yes, it is safe to get a cavity filled while pregnant. Dental work during pregnancy is generally considered safe during any trimester with a few precautions.

The safety is due to the use of local anesthesia, which won’t harm the baby. As a pregnant woman, neglecting your oral health can be hazardous since tooth decay can cause complications. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your teeth more vulnerable to decay and gum disease.

Even if you’re planning to become pregnant, it’s wise to have a routine checkup done beforehand to avoid potential future issues. This article explores the safety concerns, steps to take, and tips on keeping your teeth healthy while pregnant.

Can You Get A Cavity Filled While Pregnant?


Overview Of Dental Care During Pregnancy

Importance Of Dental Care During Pregnancy

Maintaining good dental hygiene and visiting a dentist is essential during pregnancy. Here are some reasons why:

  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of gum disease and cavities.
  • Poor dental health during pregnancy can affect the health of the mother and the baby.
  • Gum disease during pregnancy has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Pregnancy can aggravate existing dental issues, making it essential to address them timely.

Common Dental Problems During Pregnancy

Pregnant women may experience the following dental problems:

  • Pregnancy gingivitis: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause inflammation of the gums, leading to redness, swelling, and bleeding.
  • Cavities: Frequent snacking, poor diet, and vomiting can increase the risk of developing cavities.
  • Enamel erosion: Morning sickness can expose teeth to stomach acids, causing enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity.
  • Pregnancy tumors: These are non-cancerous growths that may develop on the gums during pregnancy.

How Hormones Affect Your Oral Health During Pregnancy

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your oral health in several ways:

  • Increased progesterone and estrogen levels can lead to pregnancy gingivitis or worsen an existing condition.
  • These hormonal changes can also impact the body’s response to bacteria, making pregnant women more susceptible to cavities and gum disease.
  • In some cases, hormonal changes may cause excessive growth of gum tissue, leading to pregnancy tumors.

To maintain good oral health during pregnancy, ensure you brush and floss regularly, avoid sugary snacks, and visit your dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings.

Cavity Treatment Options For Pregnant Women

Can You Get A Cavity Filled While Pregnant?

Pregnancy is a crucial time for women, and oral care is equally important during this period. Oral health has a significant impact on both the mother and unborn child. A common question asked by pregnant women is whether they can get a cavity filled while pregnant.

The answer to this is yes, but the pregnancy period may impose certain limitations on the cavity treatment options. In this blog post, we’ll focus on safe and effective cavity treatment options, local anesthesia options for pregnant women, and procedure and aftercare guidelines for pregnant women.

Safe And Effective Cavity Treatment Options

Cavity treatment while pregnant is safe and necessary since untreated cavities can cause infections and complications that can harm the mother and the unborn child. Below are safe and effective cavity treatment options for pregnant women:

  • Fillings: Fillings are a common dental procedure for treating cavities. Dentists may use a composite resin filling or amalgam filling, depending on the severity of the cavity. Composite resin fillings are safer for pregnant women since they do not contain mercury.
  • Root canal treatment: If the cavity has damaged the tooth pulp, dentists may recommend root canal treatment. The procedure can help remove the infected pulp and prevent the infection from spreading.
  • Crowns: Dental crowns may be recommended for severe cavities that cannot be treated with fillings. Dental crowns can help protect the tooth, restore its functionality, and prevent further decay.

Local Anesthesia Options For Pregnant Women

Pregnant women may be concerned about the effects of anesthesia on their unborn child. Local anesthesia is commonly used in dental procedures and is safe for pregnant women. Below are local anesthesia options for pregnant women:

  • Lidocaine: Lidocaine is a local anesthesia option commonly used in dental procedures. It has been found to be safe for pregnant women, but dentists may use it in moderation.
  • Septocaine: Septocaine is another local anesthetic commonly used in dental procedures. It is also considered safe for pregnant women when used in moderation.

Procedure And Aftercare Guidelines

Pregnant women should inform their dentists about their pregnancy before the cavity treatment. The dentist may take certain precautions to ensure the safety of the mother and the unborn child. Some procedure and aftercare guidelines for pregnant women include:

  • Avoiding x-rays during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Avoiding dental procedures in the third trimester since it can cause discomfort.
  • Taking antibiotics prescribed by the dentist only if necessary.
  • Following proper oral hygiene practices like brushing twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash.
  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet rich in calcium, vitamin d, and phosphorus.

Pregnant women can get cavities filled as long as they follow the necessary precautions and take the advice of their dentist. With proper oral care and dental treatment, pregnant women can ensure a healthy pregnancy with a healthy baby.

Potential Risks And Precautions During Cavity Treatment

Can You Get A Cavity Filled While Pregnant?

Pregnancy is a time when most women take extra care of themselves and their unborn babies. However, dental problems like cavities can still arise, even with proper care. If you’re pregnant and have a cavity, you might be wondering if it’s okay to have it filled.

The short answer is yes, but there are certain risks associated with cavity treatment during pregnancy. We’ll discuss these risks, the precautions dentists take when treating pregnant women, and the contingency plans in case of an emergency.

Risks Associated With Cavity Treatment During Pregnancy

Cavity treatment during pregnancy carries some risks that you should be aware of. Here are some of the potential risks:

  • Anesthesia can harm the baby: Local anesthesia used during dental procedures can be risky for the baby. The amount of anesthesia used during the procedure has to be minimal to avoid any risk to the baby.
  • Radiation from x-rays: X-rays may be needed to diagnose and treat dental problems. However, radiation from x-rays can be harmful to the developing baby. Therefore, dental professionals prefer performing x-rays during the second trimester when chances of harm to the baby are relatively low.
  • Medication risks: Some medication used during cavity treatment, like antibiotics, can affect the developing baby’s teeth and bones. Moreover, pain medications like aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided due to adverse effects.

Precautions Dentists Take When Treating Pregnant Women

Dentists take extra precautions when treating pregnant women to ensure their safety and that of their unborn baby. Here are some of the precautions dentists take:

  • Delay x-rays until after the first trimester: During the first trimester, the baby’s vital organs are developing, and dental x-rays may cause harm. So, dentists prefer to delay x-rays until after the first trimester.
  • Use minimal anesthesia: Dentists use the minimum amount of anesthesia required to avoid risk to the baby. They also perform simple procedures and keep the sessions short.
  • Avoid certain medications: Dentists avoid certain medications that could potentially harm the baby. They offer alternatives to the decisions made concerning medication choices.

Contingency Plans In Case Of Emergency

Dental emergencies do not come with a warning, and they can arise at any time. Therefore, dentists must have contingency plans in place in case of an emergency:

  • Always have a plan: Dentists always have emergency plans in place to handle any complications.
  • Keep the oxygen supply ready: Oxygen is essential during dental procedures. Therefore, dentists keep adequate oxygen supply to avoid complications.
  • Have a plan for premature labor: Dentists must plan for scenarios where dental procedures might contribute to early labor. They always keep an ambulance ready, as part of their contingency plans.

It is safe to get dental treatment while pregnant, but certain precautions must be taken due to the potential risks. Dentists are well-trained on how to treat pregnant women with the appropriate care and are always ready to handle any emergencies that might occur to ensure the safety of both mother and child.

Frequently Asked Questions On Can You Get A Cavity Filled While Pregnant?

Is It Safe To Get A Cavity Filled During Pregnancy?

Yes, it’s generally safe to get a cavity filled during pregnancy with precautions such as shielding your abdomen.

Is It Normal To Have Dental Problems During Pregnancy?

Yes, it’s normal due to hormonal changes during pregnancy that cause an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Can Dental X-Rays Harm My Unborn Baby During Pregnancy?

Modern dental x-rays produce very low radiation that won’t harm your unborn baby. Make sure to tell your dentist if you’re pregnant.

What Local Anesthetics Are Safe To Use During Pregnancy For Dental Work?

The local anesthetics lidocaine and prilocaine are considered safe for use during pregnancy for dental procedures.

Do I Need To Notify My Dentist That I’M Pregnant?

Yes, you should inform your dentist if you’re pregnant and how far along you are to receive appropriate care and precautions.


Maintaining good dental hygiene is crucial for both yourself and your growing baby during pregnancy. It is safe to get your cavities filled while pregnant, but precautions must be taken in terms of timing and medication used during the procedure.

Only non-emergency dental treatments should be scheduled during the second trimester, and local anesthesia with epinephrine should be avoided. Communication with your dentist and obstetrician is key to ensuring a safe and healthy dental procedure. Additionally, you can prevent dental problems during pregnancy by maintaining a healthy diet, practicing good oral hygiene, and visiting your dentist regularly.

By keeping up with your dental health, you can help ensure your own health and the health of your little one.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …