Dentists use x-rays to help diagnose oral disease that is not visible to the human eye upon examination. Compared to total exposure of radiation a person receives yearly, the amount of exposure associated with dental x-rays is considered to be minor, as stated by the American Dental Association (ADA). According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the average radiation exposure on a flight taken from the east coast to the west coast is approximately 0.035 mSv. Whereas the average radiation dose from an intra-oral dental x-ray series is 0.005 mSv. With the effective dose being so low, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women have also made a statement affirming the use of dental x-rays in pregnancy to be considered safe.
Below is a statement from the American Dental Association on dental x-rays during pregnancy:
"Concern exists for the safety of dental X-rays in pregnant patients and operators. The ADA recommends the use of aprons and thyroid shields for pregnant patients, and dosimeters and work practice controls for pregnant operators. Studies of pregnant patients receiving dental care have affirmed the safety of dental treatment. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women reaffirmed its committee opinion in 2015: “Patients often need reassurance that prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral conditions, including dental X-rays (with shielding of the abdomen and thyroid) … [is] safe during pregnancy.”
We encourage expecting mothers to discuss the use of dental x-rays with their OB/GYN prior to visiting our office.