News stories in newspapers and on TV were talking about a study published by the American Cancer Society this week. The study linked frequent dental x-rays with a certain type of non-cancerous brain tumor called a meningioma. This type of tumor occurs in about 8 of every 100,000 people which makes it a rare disease although it is the most commonly diagnosed type of brain tumor. The Yale University study looked at more than 1400 people who were diagnosed with a meningioma. The age of the patients was 57 years on average.
The study showed that patients with the tumors were twice as likely to have had frequent dental x-rays since childhood. However, the study did not look at patient’s actual dental records to record the actual number of x-rays but instead relied upon the individuals in the study to remember how many x-rays they have had. Can you remember this accurately?
NBC Nightly News reported on this subject as well also noting that the subjects memories may not be completely accurate. NBC experts and others are reminding patients that due to the age of the study subjects much of the x-ray exposure occurred years ago when dental x-ray machines exposed patients to much higher doses of radiation. Modern digital radiography is now used by most progressive dental offices and offers very low radiation exposure.
We cannot completely avoid dental x-rays. A physical and visual examination by a dentist is not sufficient for us to detect all oral diseases – tumors, abscesses, cracked teeth, and decay all need x-rays for diagnosis. We do try to limit their use. You can rest assured that we order dental x-rays only when needed for diagnosis and treatment. Protective aprons and thyroid collars are used for the safety of our patients and we never use mercury based dental fillings. Your overall health is our highest priority.
Please contact StoneRidge Dental Care in Columbus, OH today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your next appointment.