So my 6 mos dental check up came along and I needed a letter from my OB to have my dentist treat me since I am 8 mos pregnant. I got that and went over to the dentist's office and the staff told me that if I did not get X-rays then they could not do my cleaning. I would just have to wait until after I have my baby. I thought that was kind of ridiculous -- I mean this is a preventative visit. If I had some issue then I would have agreed to the X-rays. I know dental X-rays have minimal risk, but why would I want to take any risk for a preventative measure? I know I could just wait until after I have my baby but life is so crazy already I doubt I would get in any time soon with 2 little ones in tow. I called a couple different dentists and they all had the same policy that they needed an X-ray in the last 6 mos (sorry, but I was prego 6 mos ago as well) to do a cleaning or exam-- that they wouldn't see me otherwise. X-ray or nothing! So I'm just curious why dentists require this-- anybody have any ideas?
I think it's crazy that your dentist wouldn't accommodate that. I went to my dentist while pregnant. I got my cleaning while pregnant and came back right after I had the baby for my x-rays and exam. So it was 2 trips, but a way shorter trip for the exam, which is nice when you have a newborn.
For a new patient I can see that. They would want to do an exam in your first appointment, and there is no way to do a full dental exam without x-rays. For just a cleaning at your regular dentist's office, though, they should be able to do it. Maybe they are thinking you would have to come back anyway to get your exam and they don't want to split it up?
Unless the question is why they won't do an exam without x-rays. I used to be a dental assistant, and so much of the exam is based on the x-ray that there is no way you could call it a full exam or bill it that way without.
That's ridiculous. From my read, the data supporting routine use of dental xrays without a specific indication is actually pretty crappy, and not for lack of trying. Have you tried a local faculty practice, if there's a dental school around?
I know that nowadays the old rule to avoid X-rays during pregnancy unless it's urgently necessary, thas changed. Diagnostic X-rays, including dental X-rays and chest X-rays, are considered safe for pregnant women.
Moreover, the recent studies have proven that the amount of radiation that reaches the baby during a standard X-ray is very low.