Wokring at Dentist Office While Pregnant, Is It Safe?

Updated on June 10, 2010
N.T. asks from Cleveland, OH
11 answers

I am in my 1st trimester and working at a dental office. I don't do the x-rays, but they do occur in just the other room from where I am. Is this safe or am I harming the baby?

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answers from Pocatello on

I worked for an orthodontist while I was pregnant with my first. It was totally fine. I just didn't really do x-rays while I was pregnant. Once in a while I did but there was a wall that divided me from the machine and my doc. said that was fine. So I still only did them once in a while just to be on the safe side. And yeah no nitrous but it was easy to just have someone else take the pt's that needed stuff like that. I think you will be fine to continue to work there.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi N.,
Congrats on your pregnancy! I am a dental assistant, these are some things to consider. Is the wall near you lead lined to prevent rays from exposing you? Also is nitrous oxide used in your office? Make sure that they have a good scavenger system so you dont inhale any leaks of gas. Some materials may upset your sense of smell during your pregnancy: i.e wipes that are used to clean hard surfaces, eugenol, some acrylic materials even the smell of coffee. If you are far away from these items and there is good ventillation you should be fine.



answers from Albany on

From what I have been told, you shouldn't be near the xrays (are you going to wear the apron every minute you are there?) AND you can't be around the nitrous if someone is getting a filling. I know about that because when our hygienist was pregnant, they had to schedule fillings so that she could be gone during them.


From what I have been told, you shouldn't be near the xrays (are you going to wear the apron every minute you are there?) AND you can't be around the nitrous if someone is getting a filling. I know about that because when our hygienist was pregnant, they had to schedule fillings so that she could be gone during them.



answers from Omaha on

As long as you are not in line with the x-rays you should be fine. I worked as a dental assistant for the first 5 months of my pregnancy with my oldest. I didn't do x-rays and I didn't assist on procedures using the nitrous. Just remember your SOPs and be safe!



answers from State College on

Dental xrays usually don't give off much radiation except at a very specific point. I would make sure you are not near the machine when they are taken and if possible behind a wall. You should probably stay away from gas anesthesia also. Check with your Dr. and see what the recommendations are. You may be able to talk to the company that made the xray machine and see how far out radiation is when it goes off.

In vet's office I have worked at when girls were pregnant at one they were not allowed in the xray room or near sx when there was gas. We had animals entubated and they were not allowed to extubate, incase there was leftover gas. At another clinic I knew girls that would take the dental rads and just step back farther and they still did everything with the gas, since it is supposed to be a closed system ( not sure I would take that chance, but the babies were all fine). Some of them would also take regular xrays with gowns on by their choice, in which case you are close to the radiation.



answers from Chicago on

Xrays travel in a straight line, so as long as you are perpendicular to the path of the cone, you should be fine. My kids are 26, 23, and 19, and none have any physical problems. Back then, the film was a much slower speed(the new stuff is 60% faster, so you get less than half the exposure than from the old ones). I worked full time during my first pregnancy, and 3 days a week for the later ones, taking xrays all day long. Don't take chances, but you don't have to worry. By the way, do you wear a monitor to measure your exposure? When I did, the readings always came back zero.



answers from Kansas City on

definitely no nitrous! Causes birth defects and miscarriages. Don't let the dentist convince you that the scavenger is taking care of it. I know of plenty of hygienist who had miscarriages b.c the scavenger wasn't working properly. The xray question is up to you. I took them during my pregnancy and just made sure I stepped out of the room completely. I would make sure if you are in the next room, that you are not in the direct line of fire so to speak. good luck and make sure you do plenty of stretches and yoga. Don't stay in one position for too long. Helps so much. I would also recommend a belly band. Are you assisting or doing front office? I got horrible sciatic pain the last three weeks of pregnancy and couldn't walk. Was immobile until my daughter was born.



answers from Chicago on

go onto Dr. Hal Huggins website, and you will find the answer.
You not only have to worry !! about xrays but the amalgam MERCURY
fillings and exposure in the air to these TOXIC chemicals.

I know because I almost died from Mercury poisoning via dentist treatment.

Beware of Mercury , in fillings, and non mercury fillings have to be bio compatible to you or they are toxic also.

Good Luck Get another job, Better safe than terribly sorry!




answers from Peoria on

As long as they have lead lined walls and you keep your distance ( over 10 feet) then you should be fine. I would also say to not be walking the halls when they do the xrays. I am an xray tech and have many years of experience working around radiation. Hope this helps!



answers from Cleveland on

I would ask your doctor but while I was pregnant I actually had to get a tooth pulled and have x-rays done. They doubled up on the protection across my belly. I would think that as long as you aren't the one doing the x-rays and exposing yourself (since it is even in the other room) to that then it should be fine. But again this would probably be a question for your OB so you can get a peace of mind.


answers from Chicago on

First of all congratulations on your pregnancy!! I am an x-ray tech and wanted to assure you that you can safely work around x-rays while pregnant, if you take the proper precautions. The amount of radiation emitted by dental x-rays is small, but you should always be cautious. Someone already posted about asking if the walls are lined in lead. I would definitely ask if you don't already know. If the walls are not lined with lead I would see if it is possible for you to work as far from the x-ray machine as possible. If you happen to find it necessary to perform x-rays yourself be sure to step behind a lead wall or wear a lead apron and step as far away as you can to shield yourself and the baby. Hope this helps you. Blessings to you and your little one.