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"Guidelines for Diagnostic Imaging During Pregnancy"

"... In fact, most diagnostic radiologic procedures are associated with little, if any, known significant fetal risks. Moreover, according to the American College of Radiology, no single diagnostic X-ray procedure results in radiation exposure to a degree that would threaten the well-being of the developing preembryo, embryo, and fetus. In summary, fetal risks of anomalies, growth restriction, or abortions are not increased with radiation exposure of less than 5 rad, a level above the range of exposure for diagnostic purposes. (editor's note: all dental procedures are measured in millirads, one thousandth of one rad!) The following guidelines for X-Ray examination or exposure during pregnancy are suggested: 1. Women should be counseled that X-Ray exposure from a single diagnostic procedure does not result in harmful fetal effects. Specifically, exposure to less than 5 rad has not been associated with an increase in fetal anomalies or pregnancy loss. 2. Concern about possible effects of high-dose ionizing radiation exposure should not prevent medically indicated diagnostic X-ray procedures from being performed on the mother."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG Committee Opinion, No. 158. September 1995

"Answer to Question #292 Submitted by Richard Greenan"

"Our National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) recommended that management of current illness should take precedence over the possibility of pregnancy--specially considering the small doses from most diagnostic exposures (including dental) and the remote possibility of adverse effect....Dental x-ray exposures for the pregnant patient should be limited to those required for treatment to be rendered immediately (while pregnant). If treatment is to be deferred to term, then x-rays should also be deferred. Radiation dose to the pelvic region from a full-mouth series of dental radiographs, done properly, is about 1 microgray (0.1 mrad)...This should be compared with the average annual genetically significant dose to the U.S. population of about 0.8 milligray (80m mrad) per year, from natural environmental sources. Thus, the dose from typical dental exposure is equivalent to about one-half day of unavoidable natural background--hardly a concren".

Health Physics Society, Specialists in Radiation Safety, S. Julian Gibbs, DDS, PhD, Professor of Radiology, May 3, 2000

"Updated Quality Assurance Self-assessment Exercise in Intraoral and Panoramic Radiography"

"...Although leaded aprons are no longer used in Europe because they do not reduce the already low gonadal dose, they continue to be used in the United States for legal reasons."

American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Radiology Practice Committee, OOO Journal, Vol. 89, No.3, Pgs. 369-374, March 2000

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