Dental Sedation and Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Pregnancy can be a period of both joy and excitement as well as fear and anxiety. Your body goes through an incredible transformation, helping your child grow and develop healthily. 

But, pregnancy can also put a lot of strain on your body. As most of your resources are redirected toward your baby, your immune system is not as strong anymore and you are more susceptible to disease. Moreover, because of hormonal changes, you are more prone to developing cavities and gum disease. That's why preventive care is so important during pregnancy.  

But, life happens and you may get a toothache or may need dental work while you are pregnant. So, is sedation dentistry safe for pregnant women? 

What Is Sedation Dentistry? 

Sedation dentistry is meant to help anxious patients feel relaxed and safe during dental work. There are various types of sedation based on your level of anxiety and the length of the dental treatment. 

  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas): This mild type of sedative will help you relax while keeping you awake and conscious. 
  • Oral conscious sedation: With this type of sedation, you will receive a pill about an hour before the procedure. The effects are a bit more intense, but you will still be awake during the procedure. Because the effects linger on for longer, it's best to have a family member accompany you and drive you back from the dentist's office. 
  • IV sedation: While still a conscious type of sedation, IV sedation is the most intense. It's very likely that you will fall asleep during the procedure and have no memory of it after.  
  • General anesthesia: With this type of sedation, you will be completely unconscious during the procedure.  

Can You Get Sedation Dentistry When Pregnant? 

Generally, sedation dentistry should be avoided during pregnancy as some types of sedatives are considered unsafe for the unborn baby. Some types of sedation can pass through the placenta and affect the development of the baby.

Some argue that nitrous oxide can be safely used during pregnancy, but there isn't enough data or consensus among the scientific community to support this claim.

It's also best to wait until the second trimester to get the dental work done. That's because, during the first trimester, your baby is more susceptible to developmental problems, and during the third one, you are at a higher risk of preterm birth.

Preventive Care Is Crucial for Pregnant Women

The best way to keep your oral health in check while pregnant is by going to your regular dentist appointments. Your dentist can perform in-depth cleaning and remove the plaque and tartar that could lead to issues like cavities or gum disease.  

If you are looking for an experienced dentist to look after your oral health during pregnancy, then the team at DentAllon Dentistry is ready to assist you. 

Use the form on our contact page to schedule your appointment.