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Dental Hygiene

Pregnant Women

05/24/2010

Question:

I am assisting the dentist with an emergency patient that a 35 yrs. old women that is five months pregnant. She becomes reluctant about having the radiograph take because of her pregnancy. What information can i give her and make her appreciate the importance of aquiring the film and the safety precautions in place to minimize exposure to her and her fetus???

Answer:

Doses below 200 mSv are not expected to cause any damage to newborns based on studies of groups such as the survivors of Hiroshima. There is a 4% chance of mental retardation per 100 mSv at 8 to 15 weeks gestational age, so the first trimester of pregnancy is at highest risk. However, dental Radiography exposures are quite small. Exposure to the fetus from dental radiography is in the 0.002 mSv with rectangular collimation and with a leaded apron, the exposure drops to 0.001 to 0.003, which is practically zero.

Source: Olaf E. Langland , DDS, MS, FACS and Robert P. Langlais, DDS, MS, FACD Principles of Dental Imaging Williams and Wilkins, 1997

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