Dental X-rays: Be Cautious

New research suggests we should think carefully before consenting to annual dental x-rays. The odd one here or there may be fine but regular ones should be thought about carefully if this research is to be believed:

DENTAL X-RAYS TRIPLE RISK OF BRAIN TUMOURS

Routine dental x-rays can triple the risk of meningioma, a type of brain tumour, so annual check-ups should be urgently reconsidered, say researchers.

The cancer risk from dental X-rays varies according to the type of technology used, the age of the patient and frequency of X-rays.  Children given a panoramic X-ray – also known as a Panorex or full mouth X-ray (FMX) before age 10 are 4.9 times more likely to develop meningioma later in life.

The common ‘bitewing’ X-rays – which show upper & lower teeth in a single view – increase the risk by 1.9 times among 20 to 49-year old age group.

Those given annual X-rays were at greater risk, which throws into question the benefits of routine screening.  Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine, profiled 1433 meningioma patients, aged from 20-79 years & compared them with a similar group of 1350 people without the brain cancer.

(Cancer, 2012; doi: 10.1002/cncr.26625). Source: What Doctors Don’t Tell You” journal, June 2012, vol 23 no 3.

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