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Evidence-Based Guidelines and Resources

Evidence-Based Guidelines and Resources

Dental treatment during pregnancy is both safe and effective. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist’s Committee Opinion on Oral Health Care during Pregnancy, “regular dental care is a key component to good oral and general health,” and “women should be counseled about the maintenance of good oral health habits throughout their lives as well as the safety and importance of oral health care during pregnancy.”

Preventive, diagnostic, and restorative dental treatment during pregnancy are all considered both safe and effective in improving oral health. However, studies have indicated many dentists may be unwilling to treat pregnant patients. A survey of Maine dentists found that 60% of respondents believed elective treatment should be delayed until after pregnancy and 84% identified various restrictions on dental treatment during pregnancy.

Educating pregnant women and caregivers of infants about preventing and treating dental disease is critical. Evidence suggests that most infants acquire cavity-causing bacteria from their mothers. Providing pregnant women with counseling on healthy oral health behaviors may reduce the risk for this transmission.  Prenatal care providers have a unique and opportune role in educating women about the importance of oral health for themselves and their babies.

The following evidence-based resources summarize the importance of oral health care during pregnancy and provide professional guidance.

ADA:

Discussing the importance of OB/GYN involvement in educating pregnant patients about oral health care
ADA News Article

ACOG:

Discussing safety of dental radiographs and treatment
Article

National Consensus Statement

Discussing the importance of the OB/GYN in discussing oral health care
Article