Dental X-Rays

Could dental x-rays be bad for your health?  A study published in Cancer, a scientific journal of the American Cancer Society, associates yearly or more frequent dental x -rays with an increased risk of developing meningioma, the most commonly diagnosed brain tumor.  This type of tumor is usually not malignant.  The study has received widespread media coverage, and a number of the stories cite the ADA’s dental x ray recommendations that help dentists determine how to keep radiation exposure as low as reasonably achievable.  In addition, the ADA has also published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, recommendations on dental radiographic procedures. These include; the use of barriers and now digital x rays to significantly lower exposure by up to 90%.   The ADA issued a press statement about the study, noting that the findings were based on patient’s memories of x – rays taken years ago as to when and how many were taken; making the study inaccurate. The ADA has a long standing position that dentists should order dental x- rays for patients only when necessary for diagnosis and treatment.