It is a common belief that expecting mothers should avoid taking medicines but the fact is not absolutely correct. Whenever a dentist performs some procedure, the dentist recommends certain medicines like pain killers, antibiotics etc. The following details should help the expecting mothers in clearing most of their doubts about medicines which can safely be taken during pregnancy.
Dental pain is the main symptom and to relieve that dentist has to prescribe the painkillers to the expecting mother. Acetaminophen is considered to be safe throughout the pregnancy. If necessary the nonsteroid pain killers like ibuprofen is safe till 32 week s of pregnancy. But sometimes the pain is severe so narcotics i.e. codeine has to be prescribed they can be given for short duration like maximum for a week. Narcotics are quickly flushed out of baby’s system by the mother’s metabolism. The baby may be bit sleepy when the expecting mother is on narcotics but there is no side effect. Still before prescribing narcotics patient’s obstetrician can be consulted.
When the patient has some kind of dental pain ,it is due to some infection. So the dentist has to prescribe the antibiotic along with the painkiller. If the patient has to undergo the procedures like extraction or root canal treatment , even then the antibiotics have to be prescribed. The pencillins and cephalosporins are considered safe during pregnancy if the patient is not allergic to them. Dentist avoid prescribing tetracycline to the pregnant patient as it is known to stain the teeth of the baby which is known as tetracycline staining. Erythromycin is also safe during pregnany if the patient’s stomach can tolerate it. If the patient has severe infection like abcess formation then metronidazole can also be prescribed. Metronidazole also known as flagyl is safe during pregnancy.
Whether fluoride should be given to the expecting mother or not is a big controversy. The optimum level of fluoride makes the teeth resistant to the acid attack but at the same time high level of fluoride is harmful for not only the teeth but for the bones also. So we avoid giving fluoride during pregnancy whatever is available through water is sufficient.
The procedures like extractions and the root canal treatment which are considered safe during pregnancy needs anesthesia and the safest is local anesthesia. Dentists avoid inhalation anesthesia or intravenous anesthesia during pregnancy(because of increased risk of miscarriage in first trimester ). All local anesthesia like lidocaine ,lignocaine, novocaine are considered safe. They are normally used without epinephrine. Epinephrine is a vasoconstrictor and its main function is to increase the time period so that the anesthesia lasts for a longer period . If the dentist think that the particular patient require anesthesia with epinephrine then patient’s obstetrician can be consulted.
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