December 3, 2022
Pregnancy affects the human body in several different ways, meaning that if you’re pregnant, you have many additional things to take into consideration now that you have an extra passenger onboard! One thing worth keeping in mind is your oral health, and visiting your dentist in San Antonio regularly is one of the best ways to ensure your smile is in tiptop shape. But what if you suffer from dental-related anxiety, or need to undergo a particular oral procedure; is dental sedation still a viable option for pregnant patients? Here’s everything you need to know.
Is Dental Sedation Safe During Pregnancy?
Simply put, sedation dentistry is totally safe, even for pregnant women! All of the sedation methods used are reliable and effective, and sedation is only administered after your dentist has evaluated your overall health. But research confirms babies are not affected by dental sedation, even if the mother needs general anesthesia, meaning that any procedures necessary are not dangerous.
However, most dentists typically recommend that pregnant patients delay receiving invasive or elective procedures until after their pregnancy, unless they’re needed promptly. Since pregnancy can also affect hormones, pregnant women are sometimes more susceptible to issues like tooth decay and gum disease, meaning that regular oral care and screenings are even more essential! In these situations, sedation dentistry can safely be used to help address the issue.
Types of Sedation Dentistry for Pregnant Women
Among the many different dental sedation methods, two options stand out as the safest and best choices for pregnant women:
- Nitrous oxide sedation – Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide provides a mild level of relaxation. Your dentist will fit a breathing mask over your mouth and nose to administer the gas, and you’ll shortly begin to experience feelings of warmth and euphoria—but you won’t start cackling as the name implies. You’ll remain calm and conscious throughout the visit and will still be able to respond to verbal commands. Afterwards, the effects wear off within minutes. It’s also worth mentioning that the nitrous oxide will not cause any harm whatsoever to the baby.
- Oral conscious sedation – Your dentist can also provide you with an oral sedative that you’ll take before your appointment, for reasonable but necessary procedures like dental crowns or tooth extractions. Like nitrous oxide, you’ll still remain conscious during your visit, but you will need someone to drive you home afterwards since the effects are stronger than laughing gas.
A large part of pregnancy is knowing what’s best for both you and your child. That said, the safety of dental sedation during pregnancy is virtually undisputed, and it’s very much capable of assisting pregnant women in maintaining their oral and overall health.
About the Author
Dr. Christopher J. Holland received his dental doctorate from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and has proudly served patients and families in the San Antonio area for several years. His practice is thrilled to offer a wide range of services including various sedation dentistry options. If you have any questions about the blog or would like to arrange a visit, feel free to contact Dr. Holland through his practice’s website or by phone for assistance: (210) 804-1558.