Can You Have Dental Sedation While Pregnant?
Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience but involves uncertainty and precaution. Pregnant women are often classified as “at-risk” individuals for several reasons. This is why the question even comes up about the safety of dental sedation during pregnancy. At Dental Brothers, we understand your concern. We take every possible precaution to ensure we offer safe dental care for you and your baby.
We understand that each person’s oral health and well-being may require unique dental care solutions, depending on each need and the criticality of the situation. That’s why we carefully evaluate each patient’s health and recommend solutions that best meet your dental situation.
What is Dental Sedation?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to relax the patient while alleviating stress and anxiety. Dentists can use different levels and forms of sedation based on what the patient needs:
- General anesthesia.
- Deep sedation.
- Moderate sedation or conscious sedation.
- Minimal sedation.
For most sedation, you would be at least partially conscious, except for general anesthesia. Sedation dentistry aims to offer comfort and relief, so you can relax and not worry about the dental procedure.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe During Pregnancy?
There has long been controversy and debate over whether dental treatment is safe during pregnancy. Recent studies show that dental treatment with anesthetics during pregnancy does not involve an “increased risk” of negative outcomes for the mother or the baby. That’s great news because oral health plays an important role in a woman’s overall health and wellness.
Dental care is particularly important during pregnancy because women may be at higher risk of tooth decay because of morning sickness, gum bleeding, etc. It’s more essential than ever to follow a regular oral health regime and seek care and treatment for any pain, discomfort, and/or concerns that might arise.
What About Other Types of Sedation Dentistry?
A few types of dental sedation are available to patients during dental treatment. Here’s a quick list.
- Inhaled Minimal Sedation: This method allows you to breathe in nitrous oxide (laughing gas) through a mask.
- Oral Sedation: With this method, you typically take a pill, such as Halcion, to make you feel drowsy but awake.
- IV Moderate Sedation: Since this method is administered via IV, the sedation works more quickly, and your dentist can easily adjust the level. You may not remember much afterward, but you can respond to requests from your dentist.
- General Anesthesia: With this method, you’re deeply asleep. You remember nothing later, and the procedure seems to be over quickly.
In general, researchers and doctors agree you should try to avoid dental work during pregnancy if possible. Of course, emergency dental treatments may be necessary to reduce the chances of infection and/or other serious complications. In those urgent cases, dental work may be the best option, with anesthesia to alleviate pain and discomfort.
What About Risks?
While special considerations are also important for pregnant considering dental care, the American Dental Association indicates that diagnostic, preventative, and restorative dental treatments are safe. While dental treatment may be advised, it is best to consider treatment in the second trimester if possible.
Because your care and well-being are of utmost importance, we also consult with you and your obstetrician to determine the best time for the treatment, as well as to discuss the appropriate medication for pain control, etc. It’s generally recommended that you avoid inhaling nitrous oxide during pregnancy due to the risk of fetal harm. We work with you to develop a dental treatment plan that best suits your needs.
Dental Brothers is a leading dental practice in Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona, specializing in sedation dentistry. We are dedicated to your comfort and safety every day, so we carefully evaluate your health and dental situation before making recommendations for the dental care solutions that should work best for you. We can’t wait to see your beautiful smile! Contact us today to learn how we can help you!