Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life—but it also means that you have many additional things to take into consideration now that you have an extra passenger onboard. One thing to keep in mind is your oral health; visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings is still very important, even if you’re pregnant. But if you’re someone who battles dental-related anxiety, is sedation dentistry still a safe option for you? Here’s what you need to know about receiving sedation dentistry during pregnancy and some safe available sedation options.
Is Dental Sedation Safe During Pregnancy?
Sedation dentistry involves sedating patients for dental treatment in order to make their experience more comfortable, and it’s a very effective solution for those who experience dental-related anxiety. All of the sedation methods used are safe and effective, and sedation is only administered after your dentist has evaluated your overall health. That said, sedation dentistry is totally safe and reliable—even for pregnant woman.
However, most dentists still recommend that pregnant women 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 gum disease and tooth decay, 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
Although there are many different sedation methods with varying strengths, there are two options that stand out as the safest and best choice 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. You’ll remain conscious throughout the visit and will still be able to respond to verbal commands. Afterwards, the effects wear off within minutes.
- Oral conscious sedation – Your dentist can also provide you with an oral sedative that you’ll take before your appointment, so that by the time you sit down in your dentist’s chair, the effects are starting to kick in. 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 not just for you, but also your child. By knowing what sedation options are accessible during pregnancy, you’re ensuring that your oral health isn’t jeopardized while also safeguarding yourself and your little one from any unnecessary risks.
About the Author
Green Hills Dental Center proudly serves patients and families in the Nashville area under the leadership of Dr. James Kirby. Dr. Kirby received his dental doctorate from the University of Tennessee in Memphis and has several years of experience in a wide variety of fields. His practice is pleased to offer many available services including sedation dentistry. If you have any questions about sedation dentistry or would like to schedule a visit, feel free to contact Dr. Kirby through his website or by phone: (615) 327-2123.