As happens every now and again, x-rays are in the news. Concern has been expressed about the safety of "routine" dental X-Rays and their linkage to brain tumors. Here is a link to one of the stories. It's been on TV, online and in conventional written press all week. And here is a very good and short response from one of the dental associations I belong to, the American Academy of General Dentistry.
Basically the "controversy" is about a study, that links a benign brain tumor to the use of diagnostic dental xrays. They asked people if they remembered as long as decades ago, getting dental xrays, and the number and type of xrays. Were people with the benign tumour being studied having more dental xrays? They didn't look at dental records, just for peoples recollections. Not exactly scientific data collection.
When I read these type of stories it always makes me, as a dentist feel that the public thinks we dentists don't take xray exposure seriously. Even though dental xrays are the lowest dosed diagnostic images taken in medicine ( yes, dentistry is a form of medical care...) and they help diagnose and treat real disease, it's dental xrays that get the bad rap.
I had to smile today though, when after a check up a patient he asked if he could talk to me. He has been having quite a bit of difficulty with a hip replacement ( obviously not my field) . He has had many MRI's and radiographs and wanted my advice. Was he being exposed to too much radiation? These questions need to be directed to his orthopedic surgeon and radiologist. It's lots more than I will every expose him to in a lifetime. But the fact that he recognized my care in prescribing xrays shows that people do understand we dentists are careful with dental radiation.
Talk to you dentist, ask us about the treatment you are receiving from us, we love to explain stuff.
Great things start with a smile!