Are Dental X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

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Why is Prenatal Dental Care Important?

If you are expecting a baby, there are numerous things you need to do to keep yourself and your unborn child healthy. Prenatal dental care is an important part of caring for your body during pregnancy.

Not only are some women more prone to gum disease and cavities during pregnancy, but mothers with poor oral health are more likely to pass bad oral genetics and bacteria onto their children. For example, according to the CDC, “Children of mothers who have high levels of untreated cavities or tooth loss are more than 3 times as likely to have cavities.”

Poor oral health also increases the chances of pre-eclampsia, premature birth, low birth weight in infants, gum ulcers in the mother, and other complications.

Since we are aware of the heightened risks associated with pregnancy, we know that individuals who normally struggle with maintaining their oral health are even more likely to encounter problems should they become pregnant. Therefore, for pregnant women who are prone to dental issues, like cavities and gum disease, it’s especially important for them to receive at least one dental radiograph, or X-ray, during pregnancy.

Can You Get Dental X-rays While Pregnant?

The question of how dental X-rays affect pregnancy is a very common one, and fortunately, according to the American Dental Association (ADA) dental X-rays during pregnancy are safe as long as thyroid and abdominal shielding is applied.

Leaded aprons are designed to protect against even small amounts of radiation exposure. Therefore, radiation emitted from the X-ray machine is blocked from reaching the baby when the patient wears an apron over their body.

Types of Dental X-rays

There are various types of X-rays used in dental treatment planning, all of which can be provided during pregnancy to help protect your teeth.

  • Bitewing X-rays – Bitewing X-rays are common and used to look at one specific area of the mouth at a time. These are usually used to locate hidden cavities that are tucked between the teeth, and evaluate jaw bone density.
  • Periapical X-rays – Periapical X-rays are designed to capture an image of the whole mouth and show details of tooth structure, from the biting surfaces of teeth to the roots.
  • Full Mouth Survey X-rays – Full mouth survey x-rays include bitewing and periapical X-rays. These are used to assess the overall health of your teeth and jaw, as well as to locate abnormal growths like cysts or tumors.
  • Panoramic X-rays – Panoramic X-rays are used to take full mouth pictures, including the jaw, emerging teeth, impacted teeth, and fully erupted teeth.
  • Occlusal X-rays – Occlusal X-rays take pictures of the upper and lower arches of teeth. They are often used to locate baby teeth that have not yet erupted.

Visit Us at DentArt Chicago for Comprehensive Dental Care

If you are struggling with maintaining your oral health, or you are expecting a baby and want to make sure you protect your teeth and gums during your pregnancy, you can rely on the team at DentArt Chicago to provide exceptional diagnostic, restorative, and preventative dental care.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our dentists in the Loop in Chicago!