Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Dent Assoc. 2008 Jun;139(6):685-95.

Examining the safety of dental treatment in pregnant women.

Author information

  • 1University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, 17-116 Moos Tower, 515 Delaware St. S.E., Minneapolis, Minn. 55455, USA.



Although clinicians generally consider it safe to provide dental care for pregnant women, supporting clinical trial evidence is lacking. This study compares safety outcomes from a trial in which pregnant women received scaling and root planing and other dental treatments.


The authors randomly assigned 823 women with periodontitis to receive scaling and root planing, either at 13 to 21 weeks' gestation or up to three months after delivery. They evaluated all subjects for essential dental treatment (EDT) needs, defined as the presence of moderate-to-severe caries or fractured or abscessed teeth; 351 women received complete EDT at 13 to 21 weeks' gestation. The authors used Fisher exact test and a propensity-score adjustment to compare rates of serious adverse events, spontaneous abortions/stillbirths, fetal/congenital anomalies and preterm deliveries (<37 weeks' gestation) between groups, according to the provision of periodontal treatment and EDT.


Rates of adverse outcomes did not differ significantly (P> .05) between women who received EDT and those who did not require this treatment, or between groups that received both EDT and periodontal treatment, either EDT or periodontal treatment alone, or no treatment. Use of topical or local anesthetics during root planing also was not associated with an increased risk of experiencing adverse outcomes.


EDT in pregnant women at 13 to 21 weeks' gestation was not associated with an increased risk of experiencing serious medical adverse events or adverse pregnancy outcomes. Data from larger studies and from groups with other treatment needs are needed to confirm the safety of dental care in pregnant women.


This study provides evidence that EDT and use of topical and local anesthetics are safe in pregnant women at 13 to 21 weeks' gestation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center