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As delays in the age for a mother's first pregnancy continue to trend upward globally, particularly in developed countries, many pregnant patients are increasingly educated on the importance of obtaining dental care throughout their pregnancies. Guidelines set forth by the American Dental Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists highlight the importance of dental treatment for optimizing maternal-fetal health across all trimesters, especially for emergent dental issues. The pregnant dental patient undergoes significant physiologic remodeling unique to each trimester, which may complicate treatment. Providing safe anxiety and pain control for dentistry can be further complicated if sedation or general anesthesia is required for the parturient. This is even more true when superimposed with increasingly prevalent underlying comorbidities like hypertension and diabetes. As dental providers, there is a clear need for continuing education on the many challenges associated with caring for pregnant patients due to this being an often overlooked subject in undergraduate and postgraduate dental education. Part 1 of this review will present the maternal and fetal physiologic considerations and the impact on patient management from an anesthetic perspective. Additional discussion focusing on common sedative and anesthetic agents used during dental procedures and their considerations will follow in Part 2.

Keywords: Pregnancy; Dental treatment; Maternal-fetal health; Sedation; Anesthesia; Dentistry; Fetal development; Preeclampsia; Eclampsia; Parturient
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Copyright: © 2021 by the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology
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