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Is Sedation Safe During Pregnancy?

May 15, 2015

Typically sedation is not recommended during pregnancy due to the effects of the sedative drugs but also from local anesthetics. Although it depends on the drug being used, some sedatives can potentially be "teratogenic" which refers their negative effects on the fetus. Any medications that can possibly pass over the placenta can cause potential problems with normal development and nutrition. It is because of this that sedation as well as most dental treatment is typically deferred to the 2nd trimester.

It is not recommended during the 1st trimester because of early fetal development and also contraindicated late in the 3rd trimester due to the stress of the drugs/treatment than can promote premature labor. The 2nd trimester is typically the safest of the 3 trimesters but if possible, all treatment until after pregnancy.

Emergency dental issues may arise throughout pregnancy, necessitating immediate, painful diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Pregnant women who are in pain may suffer even more from the painful intervention and the secondary anxiety, necessitating procedural sedation. In most instances, the exposure to the medications used in procedural sedation is brief, and the doses are relatively low; therefore, significant adverse pregnancy outcomes are not expected.

The current evidence suggests that pregnant women who need a surgical intervention and who have significant pain, distress, or fear may benefit from sedation, but it should be provided under the supervision of a physician with expertise in obstetric anaesthesia. Dr. Reese in Indianapolis is an experienced sedation dentist in Indianapolis that can help you make this decision.

If you're pregnant, be sure and let your dentist know before you have any dental work done in order to protect you and your baby.