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Anesthesia During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, tell your dentist during your visit.

During the first trimester (three months), it is best to avoid major non-emergency dental treatment. However, treatment to remove infections of the teeth or gums is critical to perform at any time during pregnancy.

After the first trimester, discuss your anesthesia options with your dentist and your obstetrician or midwife. They can help to decide on the safest choice for you.

Local Anesthetics

Sometimes a dentist will give you a shot to numb part of your mouth. This is called a local anesthetic. You can receive some local anesthetics for necessary treatment while you are pregnant. It's best to have dental treatment before pregnancy and postpone treatment that you don't need right away. You should still have preventive treatment, such as tooth cleanings, and periodontal (gum-disease) treatment.

If you are nursing, you can receive normal doses of local anesthetics. This does not affect the baby.


Sedation makes you drowsy and less anxious. If you are pregnant, avoid nitrous oxide. There are many other options to reduce dental anxiety. Examples include listening to music or acupuncture. You should not have diazepam or similar drugs if you are pregnant or could be pregnant.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia causes you to become unconscious. The effects of general anesthesia on you and your fetus will vary. In most cases, you should avoid general anesthesia while you are pregnant. Tell your dentist or oral surgeon if you know you are pregnant, or think you might be.

Last updated September 24, 2015