Are Dental X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

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dental x-rays while pregnant

When you’re pregnant, there’s so much to think about. After all, you’re suddenly responsible for not just yourself, but also your growing baby. So we know you might be wondering: Are dental x-rays safe while pregnant? Why might a dentist recommend an x-ray during pregnancy—and how can you protect yourself from unnecessary radiation? 

Let’s get to the bottom of these questions. Here’s what you need to know about dental x-rays while pregnant.

Why Are Dental X-Rays Important? 

Dental x-rays are key to maintaining good oral health—which is especially important during pregnancy. X-rays are one of the most valuable, and commonly used diagnostic tools for dentists. They’re not only highly effective in revealing tooth decay, they can also identify bone infections and other issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. 

Can You Get Dental X-Rays While Pregnant? 

If you’re wondering, can I take dental x-rays while pregnant? The answer is yes! With dental x-rays, the dose of radiation is small and very concentrated. In fact, a routine dental x-ray is about 0.005mSv, less than one day of natural exposure to radiation—which is considered safe.

And because dental x-rays are pointed at your mouth, your baby is not directly exposed to the x-ray beam at all. So there’s no need to be concerned about risks like miscarriage or birth defects.

However, it’s always important to let your dentist know if you’re pregnant, or suspect you might be pregnant. In some cases, we may recommend postponing certain dental treatments.

How Does Cottonwood Dental Minimize X-Ray Exposure? 

While dental x-rays are safe, at Cottonwood Dental, we take every precaution to minimize how much x-ray exposure all our patients receive. We provide lead aprons during x-rays to block any scattered radiation from reaching your body and reproductive organs. We also adhere to the American Dental Association and FDA’s guidelines for the selection of patients for dental radiographic examinations, using x-rays with caution and only when necessary.

Of course, we also take the individual needs of each patient into consideration. Patients that are at a higher risk for cavities may require more frequent x-rays, while patients that are not experiencing problems may not need x-rays as often. The guidelines provided by the American Dental Association state that adults should get them every 2-3 years. At your dental visit, Dr. Giaquinto will review your history, examine your mouth, and decide whether x-rays are needed, and what type.

And the good news is, technological advancements in x-ray machines have made it possible to further limit the amount of radiation a patient is exposed to. That’s why we use advanced digital x-ray technology at Cottonwood Dental. This method is faster, provides clearer dental photos, and reduces exposure by up to 90% when compared to traditional film methods.

Ultimately, getting dental x-rays while pregnant is safe when done properly, and coupled with safety procedures followed at Cottonwood Dental, you can feel comfortable knowing that you—and your child—are not being exposed to unnecessary radiation.

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