Dental Radiographs

Radiation exposure is extremely low during dental radiographs. Patients and their unborn children are generally at higher risk from the oral disease affecting the pregnancy than they are from radiation exposure.


  • Radiation exposure to the fetus from dental x-rays is so low that it cannot be measured by conventional techniques.


  • X-ray as necessary to reach an accurate diagnosis
  • Proper radiographic techniques can minimize radiation exposure:
    • Utilize lead apron shielding
    • Avoid retakes when possible
    • Use rectangular collimation
    • Use a long cone to focus radiation only on mouth
    • Newer digital Xrays have 80% less radiation


Oral Health Care During Pregnancy Expert Workgroup. 2012. Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement-Summary of an Expert Workgroup Meeting. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center. View site here.

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy and Early Childhood Practice Guidelines. New York Public Health Department. 2006. View site here.

Abbott P. Are dental radiographs safe? Aust Dent J. 2000; 45:208-213.

CDC Radiation and Pregnancy Fact Sheet