Recently, there was a an article published about dental x-rays that drew media attention. The article suggests that ‘people who had certain kinds of dental x-rays in the past may be at increased risk for meningioma brain tumor in the U.S.” (Dr. Claus).
Unfortunately, this article lacked any concrete evidence and in fact has already been discredited by the American Dental Association based on its poor research methods and resulting faulty overall findings. There are good studies and there are poor studies. Surveys based on telephone interviews on what an individual remembers in their lifetime would be consider the very worst to base any valid conclusions from. The basis of this study was center just upon that, individuals recollection of how many dental x-rays they had throughout their lives. The results are suspect by the fact of the history of the Dental x-ray exposure put the time framework in the 1960′s, when doses were much higher that the fast speeds and digital x-rays of today. Here is a listing of overall radiation exposure from select sources in micro-sieverts.
1. Eating a banana 0.1
2. Single dental x-ray 0.2
3. Full mouth dental x-ray series 3.9
4. Cephalometric dental x-ray 9.0
5. One day trip to the Grand Canyon 10.0
6. Panoramic dental x-ray 10.0
7. Airplane flight from NY to LA 40.0
8. Chest x-ray 50.0
9. Living in a brick house for one year 70.0
10. Mammogram 3000.0
11. Medical radiation allowed per year 50,000.0
As you can see, dental x-ray radiation is among the lowest levels of any medical x-rays and when used judiciously is safe and valuable diagnostic tool to detect early dental problems and treat them at an early stage. It provides valuable information to intercept problems earlier and with less overall cost and maintain a high level of oral health.