Radiologist Questions Radiation Exposure

Did my dental x-rays harm my baby? (first trimester)

I went to the dentist and forgot to let them know I'm 2 months pregnant. I got routine dental x-rays done. They put the standard cover on me but nothing extra over my stomach. Will my baby be ok? Is there anything I can do?

40 Answers

Rest assured your baby will be just fine. As long as you had on the apron, it blocked 100% of the xrays from your child. Additionally, The xray unit is pointed at your mouth and not at other parts of your body. Xrays only affect the tissues they are pointed at, and do not "travel to other parts of the body.
In this day and age, X-rays are digital and thus have very minimum radiation. Your baby will be fine! (You probably get more exposure just going on an airplane flight)
This should not alarm you at all, protocols always require a leade apron while taking dental radiographs. Because of this there is no radiation that should reach your developing baby.
Your baby is ok...don't worry.
The standard cover will provide plenty of protection for your baby. Don’t worry.
I would let your doctor know this, if you are concerned.
First trimester is a very critical stage of your pregnancy, next time you let your dentist know that you are pregnant
yes, dental x-rays do emit radiation. Try to avoid them during pregnancy. If it is absolutely necessary to have an x-ray when pregnant, be sure you are adequately covered by a lead apron or other radiation protector.
The majority of Dental offices use digital radiography these days. If it was an office with digital equipment the amount of radiation being used is extremely small. No more than if you flew on an airplane. I would not be concerned if I were you.
I understand your concern about getting routine dental x-rays during pregnancy. While the recommendation is to avoid x-rays is generally accepted, the amount of radiation that you received is actually quite small. In fact you might be getting more radiation from background sources than at the dental office. The fact that you were protected by a lead shield lowers the amount of potential radiation that your baby received even more. That being said I would stay away from unnecessary radiographs of any kind until after the baby is born.

Yours truly,

president, American Friends of DVI
Trustee, Academy of General Dentistry
If the X-rays were taken with digital camera there is no worry what so ever. The intraoral X-ray mashines don’t emitt much radiation. I don’t know how many were taken in your case, but there should be no harm to the fetus. It would not be a bad idea to discuss your concerns with gynecologist.
Rest easy, you baby should be fine. There is nothing you need to do.

Michael M. Blicher, D.D.S.
2112 F St., NW Suite 605
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 638-5400
The short answer is no. The baby will not be harmed by your dental radiographs. The beam of radiation is aimed at your head. There is the potential for a minimal amount of scatter, however the lead vest generally is sufficient to block that. It is not enough to cause an any negative effects on the baby. There is nothing you need to do going forward, other than continue to take care of yourself. Best wishes!

Justin W. Ruffner, DDS
Outer Cape Dental Group
Office (508)349-6300
Cell (508)742-8659
According to the American College of Radiology, no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus. According to the ADA and ACOG, having dental X-rays during your pregnancy is considered safe with appropriate shielding.
Suggestions for addressing your pregnancy and dental work needs:
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends pregnant women eat a balanced diet, brush their teeth thoroughly with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and floss daily.
Have preventive exams and cleanings during your pregnancy.
Let your dentist know you are pregnant.
Postpone non-emergency dental work until the second trimester or after delivery, if possible.
Elective procedures should be postponed until after the delivery.
Maintain healthy circulation by keeping your legs uncrossed while you sit in the dentist’s chair.
Take a pillow to help keep you and the baby more comfortable.
Bring headphones and some favorite music.
Hello and thank you for your question.

First of all, I don't think there will be any problems with the baby, especially if the x-rays taken were digital which is typically about 80% less radiation than E-speed film x-rays. You said "routine" x-rays were taken. Assuming this involved only 4 BW's, that's even safer than say a full set of 18 or so images. I always compliment my pregnant moms for having their teeth checked and cleaned, so you can rest assured that having your cleaning and effectively reducing your overall level of inflammation will benefit the baby and make up for any negligent amount of radiation exposure. Also, if any dental pathology would have overlooked that can be much worse for the baby...such as an abscess for which you would often need to take Antibiotics etc.

If you are worried about what can be done from here on out, I would consult your OB-GYN, but I think there will not be any issues.

I hope that helps!
Normally doctors recommend no x-rays until after the 2nd trimester however if the normal precautions were taken, a lead apron, there should be no repercussions for the baby. There is nothing to be done at this time although you should check with your physician. There are no additional x-ray protection protocols for pregnancy after the 2nd trimester.
There is no harm to your baby. The X-rays are aimed at your face, not your foetus. Furthermore the dosage is so small that it's almost negligible.
In regards to dental treatment, try getting it done in 2nd trimester. That's the safest for dental treatment
technically and theoretically yes, but realistically should not result in problems for your baby, d
The dental apron should afford maximum protection to the mother and the baby during first trimester. Actually more radiation is absorbed during noon and high Sun on a walk then with dental X-rays properly administered with modern techniques and equipment.
First, you should ask why you are getting so many dental X-rays and are they needed. IF they are really needed, then you should ask that a lead apron be placed over your chest and abdomen.
I would not worry about it too much, dental X-rays have a very light radiation in comparison to medical X-rays and usually are harmless in combination with the bib and especially if they were digitally taken.
At this point, there is nothing you can do. We try not to take any X-rays or do any dental work, unless necessary in the 1st trimester. Occasionally, we have to and we never seem to have any problems, but I would check with my OB-GYN to be sure. Try not to lose sleep over it though, the amount of radiation for a routine dental examination is far less than a typical medical radiograph. Please avoid dental treatment until the 2nd trimester, if you need any work done.
Dental X-rays are highly unlikely to harm your baby. However, we prefer to reduce radiation as much as possible and X-rays travel in very straight lines and with use of digital equipment, it is very low. So don't worry, everything will be fine.
Well, first of all congratulations.... and no your baby will be fine. It is however very important that if all possible to eliminate or at least minimize radiation in the first trimester of a pregnancy but sometimes it is unavoidable. Please rest assured that the amount of radiation is very minimal that you receive in a dental office especially if they are taken digitally. Please do not worry.
Your baby will be fine. The amount of radiation is negligible with digital radiography. And the x-ray head is focused on just that portion of your mouth. Your abdomen was not irradiated and even so it was draped with a lead apron. Of course, it is sensible to minimize any elective procedures during pregnancy but for the most part, dental procedures, including dental x-rays are safe! If there is any concern contact your OBGYN.
Dental x-rays are extremely safe and should not harm the fetus.
First and foremost do not worry... the likelihood that something has "happened" is extremely low with today's dental technology. Radiation from dental X-rays is extremely low and likely had no lasting harm. Though there is no way to be a 100%, the lead apron cover and the small field of view of the X-rays significant lowers any potential risk. Going forward just simply minimize any additional risks or exposure by limiting your care to emergency or simple hygiene visits only.

Dr. Maxwell Johnson
(520) 975-4965
Thanks for your question! Hearing words like radiation can be scary, especially if you're pregnant and only want the best for your baby! The latest studies from the American Dental Association have found no evidence that routine dental care is harmful to a pregnant mother or her child. As always you want to reduce any radiation exposure and the shield should've been plenty of help! Congratulations on your new baby!
First off, Congratulations on your pregnancy. This is an exciting time for you, and one fraught with extra concern. The amount of radiation in4 dental x-ray films is the equivalent of about 15 minutes in the sun; about 150 dental x-rays is the same as one chest x-ray. Digital dental x-rays use about 1/3 of the radiation. As long as a lead shield was over your belly, the baby should be fine. Dentists started using a double shield (one in front and one in back) back when the x-ray machines were the old black nos-cone type because radiation came out all along the cone and scattered. The nose-cone machine hasn't been made in decades. The tubes (that are pointed at the face) are called collimated, meaning that radiation is directed straight down that tube and no longer scatters. If you have any other concerns, please talk to your dentist, and in the meantime, try to relax and enjoy your pregnancy.
Hi! The standard cover has lead in it and does not allow xrays to penetrate. No additional shield is necessary. Also, the amount of radiation you get from a dental x-ray is so negligible and the beam is very concentrated which means it does not spread to any other areas except where it is aimed at. If you have further concerns, visit your ObGyn and discuss them with him/her.
As long as they covered you with a lead apron, then you and your baby would not be affected.
Great question! It is recommended that you consult with your OB-GYN regarding dental treatment during your pregnancy. However, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists indicates dental x-rays while pregnant are safe. Proper universal precautions should be taken and if you were wearing the X-ray covering, you were properly protected. I recommend you inform the office that you are pregnant.
I'm sure you will be fine. You were shielded. Usually, we don't take X-rays in the first trimester, but in certain cases we have to. I wouldn't worry about it. I would inform and tell your pediatrician though for reference.

Hope this helps.

Darryl Burke DDS
Dont worry. Your baby will be fine and beautiful. Dental xrays are no where near where ur baby develops.congratulations!
Typically except in emergencies x rays are avoided in the first trimester
but that is done only to avoid any risk whatsoever. However, since they
can be used for emergencies so long as it is not excessive, one or two
radiographs taken are not likely to have any adverse effects.
This should not be a concern especially if you had a lead apron on and they use F speed film or digital x-rays. Also the amount of radiation is very low compared to other health related x-rays. Please see the link below from the American Dental Association regarding "Radiation Exposure in Dentistry" and their statement on "Dental Radiography and Pregnancy."
dental xrays are safe, in moderation, during pregnancy. Most dentists are
using digital radiographic images now which have a much much LOWER
radiation. Dental radiographs have very little scatter and are usually
concentrated only in the area of the xray(towards your mouth). It has been
said that you get more radiation walking to your car in the sun then you
would from a digital image.
Baby will be fine nothing can get past that lead aperon.
Since you reported that a lead apron was used, you have nothing to worry about. With today's modern X-ray machines and digital systems, there is virtually no scatter to the rest of the body anyway.
Not all x-rays are the same, but most pose little exposure to the uterus and developing fetus. With routine dental x-rays there is hardly any exposure to any part of the body except the teeth, especially when an apron is worn. You should be fine.