Dental X-Rays & During Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings a lot of joy but it also brings a lot of obstacles and struggles as well. There are a ton of details to pay attention while being pregnant and it feels like there’s a billion suggested guidelines as well. When it comes to X-rays, including those that may be administered during dental examinations, it’s understandable that you might be hesitant. However, based on scientific research, as long as proper guidelines are followed, dental X-rays are safe for pregnant women at any stage of their pregnancy.

How X-Rays Work

Dental X-rays use ionizing radiation in order to capture an image of your mouth. Of course, any old camera can capture a picture of what can be seen on the outside of your mouth, but an X-ray captures what is under the surface. This means it gets a picture of the bones, gums, and other details that can’t be seen by the naked eye.

Why Would X-Rays Be of Concern to Pregnant Women?

It’s well-known that radiation can be detrimental in many various ways and must be handled with the proper care. Since a type of radiation is used with dental X-rays, it can seem alarming and potentially harmful to the baby a woman might be carrying. Due to this, many women might be hesitant to receive a dental X-ray while pregnant.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Dental X-rays use a very low level of radiation. This means that they are not harmful to a pregnant woman or the child she is carrying. As long as the proper safety precautions are taken at the dental office where the X-rays are being administered, there should be zero issues. More specifically, the ADA has stated that as long as the proper shielding is in place, a pregnant woman shouldn’t have any concerns when getting a diagnostic X-ray done, dental or otherwise. This is because diagnostic X-rays don’t have a radiation dose anywhere near high enough to affect a person, even a tiny baby.

If you’re pregnant, it’s perfectly fine to be cautious and ask questions before steps like X-rays are taken. A dental professional will be well-informed in this area of knowledge and be able to advise you confidently on what steps to take or avoid if you are nursing or pregnant. As always, if you have doubts, there’s nothing wrong with asking your doctor before proceeding. In the end, it’s better to be overly cautious than for a decision to result in the harm of your child. Often times, a dental professional and your doctor can work together in order to get you the proper care you need while nursing or pregnant while keeping the safety of the baby as a priority.