Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

We had several questions from patients last week about a new study that was published linking frequent dental X-rays, especially during childhood, to an increased risk of a common brain tumor called a meningioma. This type of brain tumor is usually benign.

The study was published in Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society.

The American Dental Association (ADA) has reviewed the study and notes that the research relies on individuals’ recollections of having dental X-rays taken years earlier — not dental records. Individual recall is often imperfect.

In addition, the study’s authors explain that some of the subjects received dental X-rays decades ago when radiation exposure was much greater because of old technology and slower speed film. The amount of radiation in dental X-rays has decreased significantly over the years.

At Enlighten Dental, we follow the ADA recommendations that dentists should order dental X-rays for patients only when necessary for diagnosis and treatment. Dental X-rays are an important part of early detection and treatment of oral health problems, such as early-stage cavities, gum diseases, infections or some types of tumors. How often dental X-rays should be taken depends on the patient’s oral health condition, age, risk for disease and any signs and symptoms of oral disease that the patient might be experiencing.

Click here for ADA information about dental X-rays.

If you have any questions about dental X-rays or any other kind of dental diagnosis and treatment, talk to your Enlighten Dental professional. We’re ready to answer any questions you may have!