There are a large number of different things patients are told to avoid while they are pregnant. From raw and uncooked meats, alcohol, and fish high in mercury to house paints and hair dye, there are several things that are cause for concern for pregnant individuals. But what about visiting your dentist for a regular checkup and getting dental X-rays? While there may be some procedures that patients should avoid while pregnant and postpone until after the birth of their child, preventative, diagnostic, and restorative dental services are safe throughout pregnancy.

If you have concerns about dental treatments during your pregnancy, contact our office. Our staff will be happy to help provide you with any information you may need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about our available procedures.

What Are Dental X-Rays?

A dental X-ray, or a radiograph, is an internal image taken of a patient’s teeth and jaws. Our dentists use these images to thoroughly examine the internal structures of your mouth that cannot be seen with the naked eye during a physical examination. Dental X-rays provide a sort of blueprint of your oral health and help our dentists identify any issues that might be overlooked during an oral exam. X-rays function using a form of electromagnetic radiation, which allows it to pass through your soft tissue. The bones inside your mouth reflect a higher amount of radiation from the X-ray, which makes them visible. There are several types of dental X-rays dentists use, including traditional dental X-rays, which use film to capture the final image, and digital dental X-rays, which capture an image and transfer it to a digital image on a computer.

Side Effects Of Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy

The potential for X-rays, in general, to cause harm to an unborn child is extremely small. In most cases, the benefits of procuring an X-ray image for diagnostic purposes outweigh the potential risk to the unborn child and the expecting patient. The majority of X-rays, including those used by your dentist, do not expose a patient’s reproductive organs to the direct beam of the X-ray, which prevents harm. Additionally, the patient can wear a lead apron to provide protection to radiation scatter. The Food and Drug Administration, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the American College of Radiology (ACR) all agree that getting dental X-rays during pregnancy is completely safe when performed using the appropriate protective equipment. If you are pregnant and get a dental X-ray, you are in the clear. There are no known side effects or risks to either you or the unborn child, even if you are early in your pregnancy.

Should Patients Who Are Nursing Get Dental X-Rays?

Even after a patient gives birth, they may have concerns about whether a dental X-ray will be harmful to their health or the health of their child during the period of breastfeeding. Just as it is very safe to undergo dental X-rays during any stage of pregnancy, it is also safe for breastfeeding patients to get dental X-rays. Dental X-rays are deemed safe for breastfeeding individuals and their babies alike. Receiving a dental X-ray will not affect your breast milk. Thus, there is no reason for concern or worry about visiting your dentist for your regular dental check-ups and X-rays! For more information, please contact Comprehensive Dental Care.