Dental anxiety doesn’t discriminate. If you tend to get nervous when you have dental visits coming up, you aren’t alone. Over 30 million Americans experience stress related to the dental office. The good news is that you don’t need to put off getting essential dental care. Dental sedation options are available to help anxious patients feel comfortable in the dental chair – but what if you are expecting? Is it safe for you and your baby to take advantage of the benefits of dental sedation at this time? Here is what you should take into consideration.
Is Dental Sedation Safe for Pregnant Women?
The drugs that are used in dental sedation may pass onto the fetus through the placenta. Ultimately, using sedation during the first trimester may lead to problems with development. Sedation during the third trimester may encourage premature labor. Sedation is typically safe during the second trimester of pregnancy, but most dentists recommend that invasive procedures that would warrant sedation wait until after the pregnancy if at all possible. If you must receive sedation during pregnancy, it is always best to go with the minimal amount possible to make you feel comfortable.
Which Dental Procedures Are Safe for Pregnant Women?
It is both safe and encouraged to have your teeth examined and cleaned while you are pregnant. Due to higher hormone levels, pregnant women are more likely to experience gum inflammation, bleeding, and irritation, so regular cleanings and checkups can help to prevent oral infections.
When pregnant, it is important to do everything possible to prevent infections, and that may include getting a filling or crown to repair and protect damaged teeth. Emergency procedures, like root canals and extractions, are also sometimes necessary. In these cases, your dentist will administer a small amount of a local anesthetic to ensure that you are comfortable. This can help to reduce the stress on both you and your baby. It is safe for your dentist to use local anesthetics, like lidocaine, during these procedures. If necessary, they may also recommend a category B antibiotic to prevent and treat infections.
If you are interested in elective or cosmetic work, it is best to wait until after your baby is born. While these treatments are generally considered safe, it is also important to avoid any possible risk of complications.
If you are pregnant, let your dentist know how far along you are. This way, they can take all of the necessary precautions for you and your baby. If your pregnancy is high-risk, this is also a good thing for you to mention. The health and safety of you and your baby are their top priorities!
About the Author
Dr. Adam Jones is an experienced dentist serving the Vero Beach community. He earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. He then went on to complete a Master of Science and a residency program in prosthodontics to further elevate his skills. Today, he is a member of the American College of Prosthodontists and the Academy of Osseointegration. For more information on dental sedation or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (772) 234-5353.