Perhaps you haven’t paid much attention to all the warnings of radiation that affect us daily, coming from most common sources. But a new study should make you think twice about the matter, as scientists have found that a common procedure in dentistry might be linked to brain cancer. Remember that you don’t have to live nearby a nuclear reactor or atomic bombs to be subjected to radiation. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the study that claims you might get a brain tumor from dental X-rays.
This Tuesday, Cancer, the American Cancer Society journal, published a study that might seem a little bit farfetched or initiate a mild panic. Scientists with Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut have reached the conclusion that the radiation emitted by some types of dental X-rays can be linked to the development of common brain tumors.
According to the study, dental X-rays rank as the most common source of ionizing radiation which has been linked to the development of meningiomas several times in the past. However, before calling your dentist and blame him or her for radiation or schedule an urgent consultation with your physician, you’d be happy to know that the study looked at people who were exposed to atomic bombs or radiation therapy.
The researchers had 1,433 intracranial meningioma patients and 1,350 people without the tumor take part in their study. They were particularly interested in three types of dental X-rays: bitewing, full-mouth and panorex films. Researchers then looked at each person’s history of dental work, number of times they had the above procedures as well as family history of cancer, medical record and demographic details.
Their conclusions were as follows: people who had bitewings dental X-rays taken yearly or even more frequent had a 40 to 90 percent risk to be diagnosed with a common brain tumor at some point. Panoramic dental X-rays or panorex films have been associated with a higher risk of meningioma of 5 times, when taken yearly or more frequent before age 10.
Dr. Alan Lurie is president of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. He said that patients “should ask why are (dentists) taking this image and what is the benefit to me” related to dental X-rays, but said the study presented is not consistent.