Ottawa, Ontario -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/20/2012 --A study published in the peer-reviewed journal "Cancer" has caused some discussion in the dental industry. The study advocated a link between dental X-rays and the commonly detected brain tumor called meningioma.
Ottawa cosmetic dentist Drs. David Bartos and Mark Northcott believe that not all study results should be blindly digested. Readers should examine a study's approach and conduct other research before reaching a conclusion on an issue.
Researchers hoped to find a link between meningioma and a history of dental X-rays, and their work suggests they did. The American Dental Association detailed its concerns not long after the journal was released.
One qualm was that patients were asked to remember their dental X-rays, including the type and the frequency. Dental records were not acquired for the study.
The ADA still believes that dental X-rays are essential in detecting certain oral threats, such as gum disease, budding cavities and certain tumors.
The head of radiology at University of Connecticut's School of Dental Medicine also voiced issues with the study.
"What happens is you're asking people to remember what kind of dental X-rays they had 10, 20, 30 or 40 years ago, and how frequently they had those X-rays," Lurie says. "It's anecdotal, and the argument is that it's just as anecdotal for the group without meningiomas as it is for the group with meningiomas. That is not necessarily true."
Lurie believes that patients who received surgery for meningiomas may be more apt to remember their X-ray history.
Otis W. Bradley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, says this study doesn't determine that dental X-rays cause tumors; much more research would be needed to prove their relationship.
"The dose of radiation given in a bitewing or panoramic X-ray is lower today than it was two decades ago," Bradley says. "Nonetheless, X-rays should be done only when necessary."
The ADA agrees, maintaining their position that dental X-rays should be used only when vital.
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