During pregnancy, expectant mothers have a long time to think about their growing baby, or babies. They have time to decorate a nursery, choose just the right name, and plan for how to adjust to a new normal once the baby is brought home. Since time began, mothers have been known to worry about everything concerning their children, and these worries often start long before a child is miraculously brought into the world. One area of concern for many mothers once their baby is born is whether dental treatments will affect their milk supply and affect a nursing baby. Many women avoid visiting the dentist for months because they are concerned with how medications used during dental treatments will affect their milk. Dr. Wayne Suway is committed to providing exceptional care to his patients and hopes to help clarify guidelines for mothers who are breastfeeding healthy, full-term babies.
Local anesthesia – Local anesthesia is injected directly into the location of the mouth that requires care. It is given in very small quantities that make it highly unlikely that any will pass into a mother’s milk supply. If any does happen to enter the milk supply, it will be highly diluted and have no effect on the baby.
General anesthesia – General anesthesia is a drug that is administered directly into the blood stream. It is a carefully controlled substance that is given based on a person’s weight in order to use the correct amount of medication. The effects of general anesthesia wear off quickly and by the time a mother is awake and cognizant enough to hold her baby, the amount of anesthesia in her system will not be enough to affect her breast milk.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) – This medication is an oral sedation that is insoluble in the blood stream. Nitrous oxide is inhaled and travels from the nose and mouth directly into the lungs, and it is expelled into the air in the room. The rapid elimination of nitrous oxide eliminates almost all possibility of it entering a mother’s milk supply at all.
X-rays – While X-rays are not a medication, they are often needed for dentists to see “below” the surface. During any X-rays given at a dentist’s office, a lead apron will be lain across the body for protection against exposure to radiation.
Dr. Wayne Suway respects a woman’s choice to breastfeed her baby, and he also respects a mother’s concerns for her child’s well-being. There is an InfantRisk hotline that we encourage you to call for any other concerns: (806) 352-2519.