Shoul a pregnant DA be taking x-rays

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Smileysuzie in redwing, Minnesota

57 months ago

Don't nurses have unions or similar?

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington

57 months ago

Yes. My Husband is a strong active union member and has said the Unions would love to form new ones for people.

hggj in Lompoc, California

56 months ago

Bernice in Fresno, California said: Before i was working in the dental field i had two daughters.Now i have worked the dental field for 12 years,and i am pregnant again.I am worried because i work with nitrius oxide and i am exposed to radiation.I had a miscarriage 2 years ago and i believe it was because what i was exposed to at work.Should i be concerned for my baby?I am 7 1/2 weeks pregnant.

i would think so but miscarriage can also be due to stress too.

hggj in Lompoc, California

56 months ago

Lakeisha in Clinton Township, Michigan said: That is true. I'm actually a victim who works in a dental office as a dental assistant, and my boss told me that i can not come back to work until my boss order me a special apron. I told her I can still do my normal job, I just wont take x-rays. My boss replied sorry but there is nothing else for u to do. I think that that should be against the law too. I have rent to pay along with bills, plus a kid and one on the way. I need to make all the money I can. What should I do because when that special apron comes in I still will refuse to take x-rays.

find a different dentist to work for or go to a lawyer and see what they say u can do.

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington

56 months ago

Exposure to N2O has been believed to cause premature delivery.
You can not work in the operatory on the patient who is under N2O. The Nitrous units are to be inspected annually, and the scavenger must be utilized. Patients using N2O must breathe in and out through their nose. If they breathe out through their nose, the gas can be spread to the workers.

Kathy in Orlando, Florida

56 months ago

I read in an article, that cold sterilizers cause miscarriages, fumes from them. Honestly, statistics says that, by some reason, dental assistants have a lot of miscarriages.

Kathy in Orlando, Florida

56 months ago

There are some disposable staff, which is cheap. But some plastic staff is expensive, and dentists never let us throw that away. Dental equipment, materials and instruments are ridiculously expensive! I just don't understand what the reason is, if they are made of cheap plastic and metal. Cold sterilizers are in all dental offices. You would never find any, which doesn't have it.

mary in Carrollton, Texas

55 months ago

hey everyone ?
Does anyone know if to work in steril room and clean instrumnts with blod is safe while you are pregnent..i'm a dental assistant and as soon as i told my doctor that i'm pregnent he told me that i cant assist anymore coz of the N2O .
they put me in steril room and i had a miscarry when i was 11 weeks do you think its beacause of the cimicals ????
does anybody have information about it ..???
thanks alot

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington

55 months ago

I would be very leary of any gluteraldehydes. They are carcinogens and our facility has totally eliminated the use of cold sterilization solutions. Everything is autoclavable or discarded after a one time use as you should also be doing. Harvey chemiclave with the vaposterile is also toxic. I would discuss these chemicals with your physician if you have been exposed. I have never heard of these causing pre-term deliveries or miscarriages however.

mary in Carrollton, Texas

55 months ago

Kathy in Orlando, Florida said: I read in an article, that cold sterilizers cause miscarriages, fumes from them. Honestly, statistics says that, by some reason, dental assistants have a lot of miscarriages.

hey ...
where is the article that you read
i had a misscarriages while i worked in sterilization room at the dentist office i need to know if this is risky to work there while you pregnent .i dont want it to happend again
thanks alot

Smileysuzie in redwing, Minnesota

55 months ago

mary in Carrollton, Texas said: hey ...
where is the article that you read
i had a misscarriages while i worked in sterilization room at the dentist office i need to know if this is risky to work there while you pregnent .i dont want it to happend again
thanks alot

There is risk in a lot of things you handle. However, radiation ( esp. set for digital ) is ridiculously low- less than sitting in front of the tv or computer for 30 min! Cold sterile - but these have lids. You wear gloves and a mask most of the time so problems are minimal or non existent. The polishing stone - red "rouge" is also carcinogen so wear a mask when you buff down gold on the lathe.
If you are careful and aware, there is nothing to worry about.
You take Advil and don't bat an eye- have you ever read the entire warning label on those!???? - but let's face it the most risk you will incur today is in the drive to work D.A.'s

truthster7 in Memphis, Tennessee

54 months ago

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington said: Dental Assistants really need to team up and start our own UNION!! This is the only way we can be protected from things like this.

Your ADAA is like a union...join it!

truthster7 in Memphis, Tennessee

54 months ago

maddie in Littleton, Colorado said: My doctor put the tube in the high speed suction until its time to asst the we place the tube on the floor and n2o goes through out the office. and I am pregnate.

That is illegal!!!!!!!!!!

Smileysuzie in redwing, Minnesota

54 months ago

truthster7 in Memphis, Tennessee said: That is illegal!!!!!!!!!!

good gracious. Why the heck would the dr do that? I swear some dentists are complete morons sometimes.
my dds once prophy jetted a pt and there was no water going thru the tube and he didnt feel like unclogging it and finished anyway. The pts teeth were "etched- frosty". then he charged him additional for the procedure. Cheap, lazy b*stard.

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington

54 months ago

Truthster7 in Memphis, you obviously don't know what a Union is. ADAA can not protect employees from wrongful termination and hold employers responsible for "getting away" with unethical practices.

edith in Los Angeles, California

51 months ago

ive been taking x-rays during school...and iam pregnant...i take precautions i always wear a lead apron...but iam really scared because its my first bby..

redgreenteal in Fresno, California

51 months ago

hello .. i need some answers.. i am a osa and i take lots of PA's and i am 7 months preggo.. well today when i was positioning the cone my hand was on the cone part and the clicker was on counter, so when i was doing this the clicker snapped the x ray while i was in the room and while i was holding the cone... whats gonna happen to my kid?? im very concerned

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington

51 months ago

nothing will happen.

edith in Los Angeles, California

51 months ago

you should really take care of your self...i recommend you to not take x-rays while your pregnancy...especially putting your hand on the cone thats really bad...the dentist should make you take you take x-rays

edith in Los Angeles, California

51 months ago

edith in Los Angeles, California said: ive been taking x-rays during school...and iam pregnant...i take precautions i always wear a lead apron...but iam really scared because its my first bby..

same here iam doing my externship and iam really scared cuz iam 4 months pregnant :(

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington

51 months ago

Eight feet away...As long as you stay eight feet away from the patient when you expose the x-ray you have nothing to worry about. And wearing a lead vest is over kill. And NO dentist should allow you to stand in the room when you take the picture. The only time you will develop complications is if you actually hold the film in place for the patient. and this is after years of exposure. They should teach you in school how LITTLE radiation you actually get.

toothtutor in Memphis, Tennessee

51 months ago

It is actually six feet away and being concerned after several years of exposure is too late when radiation is cummulative in the body...

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington

51 months ago

I know it's six feet away...but people don't seem to grasp that concept and seem to push their limits and hold the film. I feel that before even attempting to take an x-ray, the assistant should pass a competency test. The bottom line is, never hold an x-ray while exposing it. Pregnant or not, it is completely safe when you follow the proper protocol. Most offices have the buttons outside to operatories that are a safe distance away. If you are using a hand held button the cord should be 6 feet or longer. If you dont follow the guidelines and your health is compromised, it's your own fault. If a patient is difficult and you feel that you need to hold the film for you, stop and think...is the film worth it, or is my health? An alternative solution would be to take a pano.

toothtutor in Memphis, Tennessee

51 months ago

RDA in Grants Pass, Oregon said: When I first was pregnant and didnt know, I stood in the room while my Dr. took aprox 4 - 5 xrays on an endo pt (which actually kind of upset me that he had me stand in there..)and my baby was born perfectly normal. She is now 5 months old and very healthy and adorable, if I do say so myself :> Hope this helps u feel better...but absolutly no more standing in the room!! By the way, its OK to take Xrays if ur prego, just stay out of the room and use normal precautions.

The effects of radiation exposure may not be seen until several generations where the mutations may take place. Just because your baby is okay, you do not know what if any mutation has taken place in the "gene" pool for the next generation or the next.

jewels in Grants Pass, Oregon

51 months ago

You are right. My only complaint/ or frustration is when you work for a dentist that expects you to get the xray perfect or will allow his assistants to hold the film in the room and even push the button for them! A dentist knows the dangers just as much as the assistant.Beings that he is the Doctor and your boss, he should make sure staff is safe.But that doesnt always appear to be the case.

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington

50 months ago

That's when you get your local Labor and Industries department involved. Never hold or accomodate someone else holding the x-ray.
Dentists who encourage this practice have no regard to anyone else except his/her pocket book.

Dental GURU2009 in Genoa City, Wisconsin

50 months ago

My personal fav was when I was temping for a rude doc "Common!!! Take one for the TEAM" he'd say.

truthster7 in Memphis, Tennessee

50 months ago

mslips in Wenatchee, Washington said: The law states you must be 6 feet away from the source.. If there are doubts or concerns, wear a lead apron. The dentist you work for knows what is acceptable.
Refusing probably isn't an option unless you have a note from your physician.
I have worked with many pregnant women through the years who use this as an excuse to not do a procedure.

You are making an assumption that the dentist KNOWS what is the "right thing" and that is not a correct assumption to have. Most dentist either ignore what is right or depend upon the dental assistant to make sure proper guidlines are in place and followed. Also, some dentist know, and don't care....they feel it is their practice and no one is going to tell them how to run their office.

TRINA in Roseville, California

50 months ago

Kathy in Orlando, Florida said: There are some disposable staff, which is cheap. But some plastic staff is expensive, and dentists never let us throw that away. Dental equipment, materials and instruments are ridiculously expensive! I just don't understand what the reason is, if they are made of cheap plastic and metal. Cold sterilizers are in all dental offices. You would never find any, which doesn't have it.

I AM A RDA AND HAVE BEEN FOR 4 YEARS AND WE TOSSED OUR COLD STERLIZATION AFTER WE FOUND OUT HOW BAD IT IS FOR YOU. IF YOU ARE DOUBTING ME CALL OSHA!

toothtutor in Memphis, Tennessee

50 months ago

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington said: Truthster7 in Memphis, you obviously don't know what a Union is. ADAA can not protect employees from wrongful termination and hold employers responsible for "getting away" with unethical practices.

It is the closest thing we have....and we are fighting to get a national standard for dental assistants.

toothtutor in Memphis, Tennessee

50 months ago

Doc in Jackson, Tennessee said: Wrong. The affects of dental x-rays are quite minimal. In fact, in offices that use digital x-rays there is a 70-80% reduction in the amount of radiation a patient is exposed to compared to conventional dental x-rays. Even the conventional x-rays pose virtually no risk. A lead apron is not even mandatory with digital x-rays. EVERY ob-gyn that we have requested a faxed sheet from has given permission to have their pregnant patients have dental x-rays taken at any time during pregancy. Having said that, I would still minimize the number of x-rays taken while pregnant. The real question concerns whether or not they are really needed at the time. If they need to be taken, take them. If there is no suspicion of any problem I would wait until after pregnancy.

do not forget about the cummulative affect of radiation....minimal exposure may apply to the patient, but the DA and other staffers are exposed all day everyday....If there were no risk there would be no precautions given by OSHA and other regulatory agencies.

chedstrom in Wenatchee, Washington

50 months ago

This comment is for those who are using gluteraldehyde "cold sterilization" in their office: QUIT USING IT!! There is no way to clean the inside of the saliva ejector or HVE...OSHA recommends dental workers NOT scrub instruments because the scrubbing motions release bioburden aerosols into the air (and also result in poking yourself) There is no way to monitor or test to see if your "disposables" have been disinfected either. This is why they are classified as DISPOSABLE! I find it surprising that many offices are so behind-the-times that they are still practicing this way. It does not surprise me that the dentists only are pocketbook-motivated- I suggest you contact your Dental Quality Assurance Board if you really have concerns.

RDH in Presque Isle, Maine

45 months ago

Tina in Penn Valley, California said: I am quite sure the N20 is to blame we have been doing a lot of investigating on this issue and we are overwelmed at the amount of miscarrraiges and illness that we are finding in the dental offices that use N20 .

I work in a dental office as an RDH and it is very surprising how many women in my office have had miscarriages and/or preterm births.

pooja in Pune, India

42 months ago

hey, i am 6 weeks pregnant & i took 8 to 10 xrays in the last month. i was wearing a lead apron but was holding the film for the patient so was in direct line of the xray beam. what should i do now? is my baby safe or has the harm already been caused?
i am very very concerned now?

truthtester in Memphis, Tennessee

42 months ago

You should NEVER hold the film, pregnant or not.

pooja in Pune, India

42 months ago

truthtester in Memphis, Tennessee said: You should NEVER hold the film, pregnant or not.

i have understood that now, but what about the exposure i have already gone through! have i harmed my baby?? what are the chances?? all gynaecs are giving me diffrent opinions, some say its ok while some suggest a termination? what should i do?

truthtester in Memphis, Tennessee

42 months ago

You can work safely in an office during pregnancy and you seem to be doing that. To hear that you are HOLDING FILM DURING EXPOSING RADIATION is the issue today. Your lead apron is protecting you...but what about your hands and standing next to the PID?
If you look in ANY radiolofy book, the safe distance for exposing radiographs is 6ft. and it states that you NEVER hold the film for the patient.

Brandi in Bentonville, Arkansas

41 months ago

I am a nursing student and I'm not sure if I'm pregnant or not. (I should start my period today or tomorrow if I'm not)Anyway, the other day we were in the cath lab with a patient who was getting a heart cath done, the dr wasnt in and I didnt realize they had radiation going to mark placement. I walked in to ask one of the nurses a question when she immediately shielded me with herself (she had on lead). Say I am pregnant, could that have caused any damages and how much? It was a very short time and the head of the x ray machine was on the guy's pelvis. Thanks!

Li in Owen Sound, Ontario

41 months ago

lynn said: There are those little badges that you can wear that monitor how much radiation you are exposed to. If you are that concerned you should check with your employer about getting these and wear one for a while to see how much radiaton you are exposing your self to. Otherwise just keep using the normal precautions and you should be fine.

yes it's very helpful to find out after the fact how much radiaton you have absorbed during your pregancey...its the equivallent of writing down how many glasses of wine you drank for those 9 months...informative but usless. PS you shouldn't have to talk to your employer and ask for them in most provinces and states they are manditory.

Mary in Pine Bush, New York

40 months ago

I just had a miscarriage this week and I believe it was caused by NO2 being used in my office. We do not have a scavenging system in our office and I used it once before I knew I was pregnant and another time the gas leaked in my room that made me feel sick I took out the gas tank and taped up the wall but I guess that didn't help because I lost the baby 2 weeks later. This was my first pregnancy.

Gabriela Rivera in Falls Church, Virginia

40 months ago

I a front desk at dental Office and im concern about the radiation in the office. I don't go back there as much specially when they take Xrays, But Im scared that something could happen to my baby Im 9 weeks Preg and really scared. It is safe and what can happened ?

Sandy in Danville, California

40 months ago

I was a dental assistant back in the 80's and 90's. Back in the 80s we didn't even wear gloves or masks! OSHA? Ya right. I became very sick and had to quit however the health problems have continued throughout my life since then. It scares me to think about all the mercury vapors, Harvey Chemiclave vapors, and cold-sterile carcinogens that I was exposed to....I realize now after being sick what an occupational hazard it is to work in a dental office. Throughout the years I've had debilitating fatigue, ongoing heart palpitations, brain fog, dizziness, and all kinds of weird things. Now I'm in my 40s and I'm having all new symptoms.....I really believe all that exposure to such highly toxic substances for so many years was so bad for my kidneys, heart, lungs, and brain. For those of you still in school, I urge you to think of something safer to do for a living. It's not worth it!

Krysten in Arroyo Grande, California

40 months ago

Lana in San Francisco, California said: I was wondering how safe or unsafe is to take x-rays wile being pregnant? Is it ok to refuse?

Personally, I wouldnt want to take Xrays while pregnant but my co workers say the radiation is so low it wont affect you or the fetus. I just think you never know

Concerned in Roseville, Michigan

40 months ago

I am currently working in an office where we frequently (3-5 weekly) hold the (digital) x-ray film attached to the holder for patients who cannot do it themselves. I don't like this. How harmful is this?

mslips in Wenatchee, Washington

40 months ago

It's VERY harmful! If your dentist practice suggests you do this technique, you need to report it. He may not be aware though. Sometimes assistants hold films because it's quick and easy. It sounds like you are not informed of the harmful effects that long term exposure to radiation can do to you. Although a the dose from a single x-ray is very low (especially now that many practices are digital) long term exposure is very harmful. You should also be wearing x-ray dosimeters that indicate how much radiation you get in a specific amount of time.

toothtutor in Memphis, Tennessee

40 months ago

You should NEVER hold the film in the mouth. If it is a child, have the parent hold it.

toothtutor in Memphis, Tennessee

40 months ago

mslips in Wenatchee, Washington said: It's VERY harmful! If your dentist practice suggests you do this technique, you need to report it. He may not be aware though. Sometimes assistants hold films because it's quick and easy. It sounds like you are not informed of the harmful effects that long term exposure to radiation can do to you. Although a the dose from a single x-ray is very low (especially now that many practices are digital) long term exposure is very harmful. You should also be wearing x-ray dosimeters that indicate how much radiation you get in a specific amount of time.

You are right about all you commented on. However, be aware that the AMOUNT of radiation is NO different for digital xrays, it is the length of time of the exposure that is less. BIG difference. I had a rep from Schick explain this to our DA association meeting.
Also radiation is cumulative to the body.
Also, dosimeters are no longer recommended or required in dentistry.

Concerned in Farmington, Michigan

40 months ago

Thanks. I just don't understand why my coworkers do it so often. Some of the doctors do it too! I've only done it maybe three times and will not do it again. Any suggestions for elderly patients who cannot hold or gaggers? Also any suggestions on how to tell my employer I will not handle hold?

Jessica in San Francisco, California

39 months ago

Concerned in Farmington, Michigan said: Thanks. I just don't understand why my coworkers do it so often. Some of the doctors do it too! I've only done it maybe three times and will not do it again. Any suggestions for elderly patients who cannot hold or gaggers? Also any suggestions on how to tell my employer I will not handle hold?

100% HECK NO to holding an X-ray for a patient. For gaggers, or elderly I hope that the DDS would take a pano OR refer them to another office for a pano to be taken if necessary. I will not hold the X-ray for anyone. I do believe that if a parent or guardian brings a patient and wants an X-ray to be taken and we are unable to get an X-ray, that the parent or guardian may hold the film (given they are wearing an apron) We are not responsible for holding the X-ray sensor.

I would simply tell your employer that you are completely uncomfortable holding the X-ray especially since you are constantly taking X-rays everyday and taking chances of being exposed to scattered radiation as it is. I would be very clear that it is something you are very uncomfortable doing, and that your health is something you care about. They should understand that, if they don't I would be very very very concerned. Radiation isn't a new discovery, and asking us to take chances by holding a sensor in a room borderline abusive, maybe even illegal if they force you (I will have to do research on that.)

Just remember your heath is the most important thing. Good Luck!

Jessica in San Francisco, California

39 months ago

The only way I would take an X-ray while being pregnant is if I was wearing a lead apron. No exceptions, I would not take the chance.

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