Question: Is oral/IV sedation safe during pregnancy?
Answer: Typically sedation is not recommended during pregnancy due to the effects of the sedative drugs but also from local anesthetics. It is known that 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 I prefer to defer all treatment until after pregnancy.
The exceptions to this is cleanings, exams and emergency treatment that would be more harmful if actually deferred. Talk to your dentist about what treatment is safe and achievable during pregnancy. If the dentist in unsure, he may consult your OB/GYN for treatment recommendations. Re: sedation, nitrous oxide is the only form of sedation/analgesia I would be comfortable administering during pregnancy.
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