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Essential dental treatment safe for pregnant women.

According to a study published in the June Journal of the American Dental Association, essential dental treatment and both topical and local anesthetics are safe for pregnant women at 13 to 21 weeks' gestation.

The new study provides evidence in support of obstetricians' general view that dental care is safe for pregnant women. Researchers led by Bryan Michalowicz, DDS, professor of periodontics, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, compared safety outcomes from the Obstetrics and Periodontal Therapy Trial in which pregnant women received scaling and root planning and "essential" dental treatment--defined as treatment of moderate-to-severe cavities or fractured or abscessed teeth.

The researchers randomly assigned 823 pregnant women with periodontitis to receive scaling and root planing, either at 13 to 21 weeks' gestation or up to three months after delivery. In addition, 483 of these women were also found to essential dental treatment. A total of 351 subjects completed all recommended treatment.

Throughout the trial, obstetric nurses monitored subjects for serious adverse events. The authors defined these events as pregnancies that ended in a nonlive birth and other adverse events that did not result in pregnancy termination. These included hospitalizations for more than 24 hours because of labor pains, hospitalizations for any other reason, fetal or congenital anomalies and neonatal deaths.

According to the authors, "periodontal treatment and essential dental treatment, administered at a time between 13 and 21 weeks' gestation, did not significantly increase the risk of any adverse outcome evaluated.... Use of topical and local anesthetics for scaling and root planing also was not associated with an increased risk of experiencing these adverse events and outcomes."

Source: American Dental Association
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Title Annotation:health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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