Treatment Tips

Twenty percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and 80% of those miscarriages occur in the first trimester. However, there is no association between dental procedures and the incidence of miscarriage. Despite this fact, elective treatments are often delayed during the first trimester because of fear that dental procedures will be associated with miscarriages that occur spontaneously more often in the first trimester. Women should not be prevented from receiving needed dental care based on unfounded fears.

First Trimester

  • Care should begin early especially if extensive treatment is needed.
  • Scheduling visits in the afternoon can avoid morning sickness nausea that many women experience.

Second Trimester

  • Organogenesis is complete, thereby reducing the risk of any necessary medication exposures.
  • The fetus is not large, making it easier for mothers to recline in the dental chair for prolonged periods.

Third Trimester

  • Late in term, position women slightly on left side with a towel prop to avoid vena cava syndrome.
  • Encourage her to stand and walk periodically if the appointment is long.
  • Elevating her head helps avoid shortness of breath induced by abdominal contents pushing up on already compressed lungs.


Oral Health Care During Pregnancy and Through the Life Span. Committee Opinion No 569. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2013;122:417-22.

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy Expert Workgroup. 2012. Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement-Summary of an Expert Workgroup Meeting. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center.

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy and Early Childhood Practice Guidelines. New York Public Health Department. 2006. View site here.

Oral Health During Pregnancy and Early Childhood: Evidence Guidelines for Health Professionals. California Dental Association Foundation. 2010.