While you have probably heard about the dangers of too much radiation on human health, you may still have questions regarding the safety of dental x-rays or x-rays in general. Health and dental professionals agree that x-rays that are performed for medical purposes in a professional setting are safe to humans. While there is a small amount of radiation emitted from these types of x-rays, the amount is so insignificant that it wouldn’t have any detrimental impacts on your health or body. For comparison, the amount of radiation from dental x-rays is even lower than the UV radiation generated on a summer day.
However, many people are still wary about having x-rays done, even if their doctors or dentists highly recommend them. While dental x-rays are regarded as safe for most individuals, those who are pregnant usually question whether radiation from x-rays can harm the unborn baby. In this article, we will discuss why dental x-rays are safe even for expectant mothers.
X-Rays and Radiation
Before you can decide whether or not you should undergo dental x-rays while pregnant, it’s important to have some background knowledge regarding radiation and just how much of it is emitted from modern day medical x-rays. An x-ray machine uses electromagnetic radiation to detect holes, breaks, cavities, masses, and other problem areas in different parts of your body.
While high levels of radiation can be extremely dangerous to human health and pregnancies, x-rays do not pose these risks, as the amount of radiation you are being exposed to is very minimal. Keep in mind that you are exposed to radiation on a daily basis from the sun, your phone, electronics, and even from heat sources. The dose of radiation from x-rays are very low compared to medical treatments that emit higher levels of radiation, such as radiation therapy in cancer treatments.
Pregnancy and Dental Health
Pregnancy is surely a very exciting time in a woman’s life. Your body will undergo many changes, and it’s especially important to discuss these changes with your healthcare professionals. Another aspect of your health that is not to be neglected during pregnancy is your dental health. Even if you are pregnant, you still want to check in with your dentist and keep up with oral hygiene and appointments or cleanings.
Make sure that you are informing your dentist about your pregnancy so that they can advise you accordingly and take any precautions necessary to minimize discomfort or risks to your baby. Remember that dental x-rays are safe to have even during pregnancy, and not only is the amount of radiation extremely low, but your dentist will take additional measures to reduce your exposure. It’s important to listen to the advice of your dentist and follow the procedures that they have in place, as these are there for a reason. Inspite of the low risks, we would delay taking an x-rays during pregnancy, unless it is an emergency situation.
Precautions for Pregnancy
Although the amount of radiation exposure with dental x-rays is very minimal, it’s still important to keep track of how many x-rays are being done and what precautions are being put in place. Be mindful of each x-ray that you receive during pregnancy, and keep a record of them so that you can discuss with your healthcare professionals and ensure that procedures aren’t being duplicated.
Make sure that your dentist outfits you with a lead apron to protect your stomach area during the x-ray, and try to schedule your dental appointments within the 2nd trimester of your pregnancy when development is not as high.
Wait Until After Delivery
If you still feel uncomfortable about having x-rays done while pregnant, you can decide to wait until after you deliver the baby. It’s also important to note that having dental x-rays done while breastfeeding is safe. If you can wait to have your dental procedure done after the baby is born, then you can do so without risk. However, for emergency dental surgeries, this may be problematic. Whatever the case, it all comes down to your personal preference and level of comfort.
Discuss With Your Dentist
Once again, it’s important to be having these conversations with your dentist during your pregnancy. A true dental professional will be able to walk you through your x-rays and discuss or answer questions about any of the procedures that they do. Never be afraid to ask questions, as your dentist has most likely heard and seen it all, even when it comes to pregnancy and dental health.
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about dental x-rays and pregnancy, you can understand why many pregnant women do just fine undergoing dental appointments and maintenance. It’s important to look after your dental health while pregnant, as you don’t want cavities and oral issues to get in the way of your time with your growing baby.
For more information on family dentistry services in Mississauga and the GTA, please call Bristol Dental at 905-712-3409 or contact us here. We understand the dental needs of our pregnant clients, and can work to ensure you and your baby are safe throughout any dental procedures or routine examinations. Contact us today to learn more.