Dental X-Rays and Cancer Study

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

Disturbing news is coming out of a Yale University study which seems to draw a connection between dental x-rays and the most common type of brain tumor.

But some experts argue the connection has not been proven.

The Yale study is drawing a lot of attention today because for years we've been told X-rays are an important tool dentists use for our overall dental health. Now this study seems to indicate we may be in more danger from the X-rays. But Dr. Douglas Benn says the study doesn't carry the weight of scientific proof.

Dr. Douglas Benn says, "This is a self reported survey so you are dependant on the accuracy of the reports."

Dr. Benn is a Professor of Dentistry at the Creighton Dental School.

One of the most important lessons dentists, actually all medical professionals must learn is risk versus reward. In other words how badly do you need an x-ray or other medical procedure?

Dr. Douglas Benn says, "I don't think there is any question you have to have dental x-rays, the real question is making sure they are appropriate when you do them and there is no problem justifying them."

People with gum disease, or a history of tooth decay or other problems need x-rays more often then people with healthier mouths.

Dr. Douglas Benn says, "If you haven't had any tooth decay in the last 20 years then having x-rays every six months probably isn't going to benefit you."

If anything the Yale study could promote more communication between patients and their dentists and teaming up to ensure we get the proper dental care and understand exactly what is necessary for our health.

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