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Brain tumors linked to dental X-rays
April 10th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Brain tumors linked to dental X-rays

A study published this week in the journal Cancer shows that people who have had dental X-rays are more likely to develop a type of brain tumor called meningioma than those who have not.

This does not prove that dental X-rays cause tumors. But it supports previous research about the connection. Dental X-rays have also been implicated in thyroid cancer. But there's still significant doubt about the existence of any direct relationship between meningioma and dental X-rays, and dental professionals were quick to call for more research, saying the study was less than perfect.

"It’s a cautionary tale ... we do know that radiation can cause tumors, and we have to be judicious with its use," said Dr. Donald O’Rourke, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the study.

Meningiomas are the most frequently occurring tumor in the head. They are located in the meninges, the tissues covering the brain. The vast majority are "benign" - or noncancerous - but, depending on their location, could cause blindness or other serious neurological damage. Those in the skull base are more difficult to remove in their entirety. Depending on the tumor, surgery may not be required.

Dr. Elizabeth Brooks Claus, director of medical research at Yale University's School of Public Health, led the Cancer study, which focused on patients whose tumors required surgery. The patients were mostly Caucasian because of the regions from which they came; Claus' group plans a follow-up looking at more African Americans, who have a statistically increased risk for meningiomas.

The average age of the 1,433 patient participants was 57, which means their exposures to dental X-rays were likely of a higher radiation doses because of older technology, Claus said. But they ranged between 20 and 79 years old, and came from select parts of the United States. Researchers also looked at data from 1,350 people with similar characteristics who had never had a meningioma.

The meningioma patients had more than a two-fold increased likelihood of having ever experienced a dental X-ray test called a bitewing exam. Depending on the age at which the exams were done, those who'd had these exams on a yearly basis, or more often, were 1.4 to 1.9 times more likely to have had a meningioma.

Four of these X-rays is about the same amount of radiation you're exposed to in a typical day: .005 .millisieverts, according to the American College of Radiology.

Panorex exams, which involve images of all of the teeth on one film, were also linked to meningioma risks. If study participants had panorex exams when they were younger than 10 years old, their risk of meningioma went up 4.9 times. One of these around-the-head X-rays carries about twice as much radiation as four bitewing X-rays.

"My impression is that people get more dental X-rays more frequently than the American Dental Association says," Claus said.

For an adult without cavities and no increased risk for cavities, who is not new to his or her dentist, x-rays are recommended every two to three years. For a child without cavities who's not at increased risk, the interval is every one to two years, according to this chart from the Food and Drug Administration.

There's currently a low threshold for dentists to order dental X-rays, says Dr. Keith Black, director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, who was not involved in the study. Even if X-rays are not necessary for a procedure, dentists often request them as part an annual exam. Black hopes dentists will pay attention to this research linking the X-rays to brain tumors.

There are important uses for dental X-rays in making decisions regarding certain procedures. But if the teeth are otherwise healthy, Black recommends against the radiation.

There is a latency period - a lag time - of about 20 to 25 years with meningiomas induced by radiation, O'Rourke said. Only about 1% to 5% of meningiomas are cancerous, but in people with known increased radiation exposure, that risk can go up, he said.

But Dr. Otis Brawley, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, which publishes the journal Cancer, points out that the study relied upon individuals' memories of how many dental X-rays they'd had, including in childhood, so there is room for error in that regard. And, again, it does not prove that X-rays directly cause tumors.

There are, however, estimates that up to 1% of all cancers in the United States are due to medical radiation, Brawley said.

In response to the study announcement, the American Dental Association also mentioned the study's reliance on individuals' memories.

"Studies have shown that the ability to recall information is often imperfect," said a written statement from the ADA. "Therefore, the results of studies that use this design can be unreliable ..."

The ADA also pointed out that the study included people who received dental x-rays decades ago from older technology that exposed them to more radiation. "The ADA encourages further research in the interest of patient safety," said the statement.

If you've already been getting annual dental X-rays, there's nothing you can do to mitigate whatever risk you already have. But Black said this research is important to keep in mind when making decisions in the future, and for children.


soundoff (394 Responses)
  1. j2011

    First thing any health care provider is taught is 'do no harm'. It is a careful balance between when and how often to take radiographs, and ADA recommendations are just that (recommendations). Each patient is an individual and must be treated as such, but as a dentist I would certainly be doing harm if i eliminated radiographs from my practice.

    April 10, 2012 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AnnPA

      Where in this article does it say to "eliminate" the use of dental x-ray's? I don't see it suggesting that anywhere. I read that the suggestion is to reduce and perform them when they are medically necessary. Exposing someone to unnecessary radiation for no reason is doing harm. Also, the American Cancer Society has published a lot of research connecting exposure to ionizing radiation (x-rays) to many forms of cancer including thyroid and different forms of leukemia.

      April 10, 2012 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
    • CM10

      Something to be considered. I bill the dental insurance everyday. The insurance companies require x-rays before they will pay for crowns, implant work, post and core build-ups, bridges, root canals, scaling and root planing, composite fillings that are larger then 2 surfaces, and most recently, x-rays to prove that a patient didn't have teeth before they would pay for a denture.

      April 11, 2012 at 20:04 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      I never did get 10 of my permanent teeth and thus when baby teeth finally gave way I ended up with only 19 teeth in my mouth. A full upper and lower crown system gave me normal looking teeth but the underlying support was not good so they were always re pairing or replacing. Now I have 5 implants which are great!! Why this story because I have had oodles of x-rays and at age 58 was found to have low testosterone. Otherwise I am healthy as a horse –never been in the hospital overnight in my life (age 74) The problem was my hypothalamous would not send out the FSH to initiate the production of testosterone. They thought I had brain cancer and did an MRI but fortunately I did not. Apparently my hypothalomous just quit working. I suspect the dental x-rays "fried" it. Thankfully Androgel ($350 per month) gives me
      the testosterone I need for bone strength, muscles, etc. Anyone else out there who suspects their hypothalamous has been damaged with x-rays please share!!

      April 11, 2012 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      X-rays are money makers–the tacit saying is "first do no harm" but the reality is–"get as many x rays,, lab tests and surgical procedures and prescriptions as you can to make a buck" MONEY is the bottom rule–those malpractice insurance, group practice dues, student loans and hospital visitation/practice rights at hospitals–DON'T pay for themselves.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse |
  2. Lucke

    Ahhh... The X-Ray!!! That's why dentists hide behind a lead cover!!!

    April 10, 2012 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dr.brad

      And cover the patient with lead except where necessary to see.

      April 10, 2012 at 21:30 | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      dr brad; ....and unfortunately a part of the patient left "uncovered" includes their BRAIN. go figure.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
  3. suzzi

    But people also get CT-scans done more often than not....Now has anyone looked into or accounted for the risks of getting cancer from those in addition to that from dental x-rays?

    April 10, 2012 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guest

      Suzzi, a CT scan is far more absorbed dose than a dental exam. However, what people need to consider it the life saving effect of using said scanner correctly. The problem that has come into existence is hospitals trying to turn themselves into corporations. That pursuit has had the effect of scanning people who likely don't need one just to ring the cash register. It's also true that the region being irradiated and the sensitivity of the surrounding anatomy can be different from exam to exam.

      April 11, 2012 at 07:37 | Report abuse |
    • gmsm520

      Yes!!!! That was all over the news about a year ago. There were studies showing that having a cat scan increases one's risk of getting cancer during the lifetime a significant amount. I can't remember the exact statistic. It was alarming!

      April 12, 2012 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
  4. KIm

    Interesting..I have had dental e-rays most of my life and had to have a meningioma removed at the base of my brain when I was 57. Coincidence?

    April 10, 2012 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chere

      I am in no way belittling the meningioma you had, but I know a number of people in their 50s', 60's and 70's that have had a lifetime full of dental x-rays and no meningiomas. Impossible to say if that caused your issue. I know a woman who never smoked in her life and died of lung cancer at 45 years old...my aunt has smoked for 70 years and is now 90 years old and is healthy as an ox. There is a lot of randomness from individual to individual for events we cant explain, mixed in with some luck. Being prudent, practical , but cautious should be the norm with x-rays.

      April 10, 2012 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • AnnPA

      Kim,
      I'm 31, and had braces from 9-15 and even jaw surgery at 14. I was diagnosed with a Meningioma last year, this research explains a lot to me. This makes sense. I've had SEVERAL x-ray's of my jaw at a very young age.

      April 10, 2012 at 22:04 | Report abuse |
    • gabbuhh

      How did you find out you had a meningioma?

      April 12, 2012 at 00:44 | Report abuse |
  5. Canadian RDH

    Is there a radiation technologist or expert that can tell me how many milliseiverts of scatter radiation are possible with standard hospital imaging ie., CT, chest, etc. or watching your popcorn pop in the microwave??

    April 10, 2012 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeanette

      From the American College of Radiology ...
      http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/index.cfm?pg=sfty_xray

      April 10, 2012 at 21:43 | Report abuse |
    • KF

      Microwaves don't use x-ray frequency radiation; they use microwaves...

      April 12, 2012 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
  6. Louis

    What happened to responsible journalism? Flawed research and a scare tactic headline. If the dental x-rays are the same amount of radiation as we are exposed to naturally in a day, that means natural radiation in a year is over 350 times the amount you get from dental x-rays. The headline should then read "Natural background radiation causes cancer"

    April 10, 2012 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      I'd have to say there's a large difference between getting 24 hours worth of radiation over a 24 hour period, and getting the same amount of radiation over a 30 second period. The energy density in the latter case is much higher.

      April 11, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
    • KF

      Think of it like friction. Theres a break point where stuff starts to "move". When you push something across the ground it takes a certain amount of energy to get it started moving, but once its moving it doesnt take as much to keep it going. Radiation works like that too. It takes a certain amount of energy to break the threshold where the cell is unable to maintain its integrity and the radiation causes mutation.

      April 12, 2012 at 08:49 | Report abuse |
  7. Catherine

    I wore braces for 4 years in the 1950s, requiring many dental Xrays. I was diagnosed at age 57 with a grape-sized meningioma, had successful surgery in 2004, at NY Presbyterian. Much support is available at http://www.meningiomamommas.org, which helps support Dr. Claus' research.

    April 10, 2012 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Adam

    You have to love "research". Especially the weakest type of research ... a questionnaire!!! Come on America. Use your gray matter in your head. 4 bite wings radiographs are EQUAL to a days worth of radiation!!! 1 CT scan at a hospital is equal > 100 bite wings. Do the math. That's 50 years worth of dental X-rays in 15 minutes!!! Lastly – when did meningioma become an epidemic ??? 5000 new cases each year! More people die from dental disease because NOT GETTING bite wings than meningiomas!!!

    April 10, 2012 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RunnerGirl70

    As a dental hygienist, these types of reports frustrate me. Depending on a patients memory of how many xrays they had-really? And with the new digital imaging, the radiation risk is greatly reduced. We do not take xrays because we have fun doing it, really its a PITA for me sometimes, but for patients with a history of dental disease-including periodontal disease, they are necessary. And we take the Panorex on children because we need to see the development of their teeth and if orthodontic care is needed. We base when to do a radiographic exam on each patients need, but more and more patients read these stories and refuse. Then they complain when something that was small and easily treatable becomes large and costly.

    April 10, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AnnPA

      When medically necessary, YES x-ray's make sense. To get routine x-ray's does not make any sense to me. I'm 31, and had a meningioma. I also had several dental x-rays, braces for years and jaw surgery all at a very young age. This research all makes sense to me. I have been declining dental x-rays the past 2 years (there is other research out there supporting the correlation of dental x-ray's and increased risk of meningioma). I've had 1 cavity my whole life, my teeth are in good shape.
      Anyway, I much rather have a dental infection that causes extraction than a brain tumor!! Also, there is research that supports that exposure to ionizing radiation causes other cancer such as thyroid and lukemia's. X-Ray's should be reduced and done when medically necessary.

      April 10, 2012 at 22:39 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      In response to AnnPA and the comment of rather having to face an extraction due to a dental infection versus have potentially harmful X-rays done for the necessary detection to avoid said infection, as a current dental student in a DMD program, the removal of a tooth due to infection is not the only untoward effect. Oral infections that would lead to the possible removal of a tooth have been linked to numerous systemic diseases including cardiovascular, cerebrovascular (stroke), and peripheral artery disease. Where cardiovascular disease is concerned, many instantiations of the disease due to orally nascent infections are seen, including infective endocarditis which is often fatal. Infections in the oral cavity can easily enter and disseminate in the blood stream and reach other organ systems. Any infection in the head/face has the potential to spread to the brain and cause infection in those very meninges that are being implicated as the site of tumor development due to X-ray exposure; a meningeal infection is extremely dangerous, and there is nothing benign about it. So while dentists should use precaution and discretion when prescribing X-rays, as we are taught to do (I promise you), there is no replacement for the value of these X-rays in the diagnosis and treatment of dental diseases that, when left untreated, can have tragic outcomes. Sometimes it's not just a matter of extracting a tooth in an infected pocket, but of side-stepping life-threatening correlates that go along with that infection.

      April 11, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      Amy–don't go there. the FACTS are–empirical evidence shows the majority of people with a toothache or abscessed tooth recover just fine and many people have a lot of teeth pulled....an abscess vs a brain tumor? NO WAY are they even in the same league.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
  10. Gabor47

    It is sad (but realistic) that most medical research and related articles are for nothing, Yeah...yeah.,,I am a physician.
    Let's look at some of the items from the article.

    "The average age of the 1,433 patient participants was 57, which means their exposures to dental X-rays were likely of a higher radiation doses because......"

    Likely? In other words the study starts out with a huge assumption. But let's accept that got now.

    "Researchers also looked at data from 1,350 people with similar characteristics who had never had a meningioma."

    Now, wait a minute. The first group is based on an ASSUMPTION that they had higher radiation, BECAUSE they had meningioma AND dental x-ray. The second group is based on people who had no meningioma. Which is nice, but it wasn't measured (or written in the article) whether they had dental x-ray or not. The concept falls apart right here, but it gets worse.

    "The meningioma patients had more than a two-fold increased likelihood of having ever experienced a dental X-ray test "

    Do they mean that the meningioma patients were not even sure having had a dental x-ray? What do these researchers have researched? Likelihood compared with likelihood? Because other than pulling a huge assumption (the meningioma) the difference between the two groups could be literally ANYTHING which were never looked at.

    7.7 out of 100,000 people gets meningioma. Just how significant can virtually ANY relationship can be concluded? Ask me and I will claim that NONE. At least none which I would ever take seriously (no, I am not a dentist). Why did I write this down anyway? Because this kind of articles scare some people away from potentially needed medical tests without having ANY true and useful medical information in such articles.

    Dr. G.L.

    April 10, 2012 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chere

      Dr. GL,

      I even think the ratio is lower....3 to 100,000 as per neurosurgeon Keith Black, MD.

      April 10, 2012 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
    • AnnPA

      Regardless of whether you agree with this research or not... As a physician you should know that ionizing radiation is a proven carcinogen. Why would you expose your patients to it, when it's not medically necessary? Yes, if someone is having problems with their teeth, give them an x-ray! Though Dental X-ray's should not be routine.
      Read this site and educate yourself on ionizing radiation, "Doctor". http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/MedicalTreatments/radiation-exposure-and-cancer

      April 10, 2012 at 22:22 | Report abuse |
    • KF

      The problem, AnnPA, is that most people are stupid but worse than being stupid is that they believe that their doctors are also stupid and so they try to self diagnose and second guess everything their doctor tells them. Now don't get me wrong. I believe a little scepticism can be a good thing to keep mediocre doctors from doing something stupid, but lets be honest here. The average person isn't educated enough to make an informed decision about something like this. Even if they were they still won't do it because they let fear decide instead of logic. Which is the reason why you have medical personnel having to sit and argue with patients about routine tests.

      April 12, 2012 at 09:01 | Report abuse |
    • preposterious

      so ANNPA if a patient is having problems with tooth that's when you should use x-ray? by the time symptoms appear for a tooth ache its usually to late to save that tooth and will result in extraction or a root canal. where as using dental x-rays as a diagnostic tool to detect decay early can result in earlier detection and prevention of losing that tooth or having a root canal therapy and a crown which ie root canal therapy is your tooth already dying we are just helping it along so it doesn't hurt you anymore. just like every other form of science and medicine we have advanced in technology and have lowered the dosage needed to expose x-rays. which lowers your dosage. just like the person earlier that stated the effects that can happen if you let an infection in your mouth go can lead to other infections including those in your vital organs and blood stream. cancer is always a bad thing and no one wishes that on anyone but saying bitewing xrays causes this one soley is preposterous. Thank god for advancement. Early diagnosis is always the key in any form of medicine.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      How "necessary " would X rays be if drs could not charge for them? I'm betting all of a sudden the incidence of use would go WAAAAY down.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
  11. Carl

    Why do these news reports never have proper citations for the paper in question?

    And before everyone freaks out about the danger of x-rays, remember that problems with teeth can lead to infections which can kill you. Misaligned teeth can also cause nerve damage. X-rays can reveal problems not externally evident, which can then be treated before they become serious.

    April 10, 2012 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AnnPA

      Carl, "Why do these news reports never have proper citations for the paper in question?"
      I think in proper English you mean, "Why don't these news report ever have the proper citations" .

      Thank you.

      April 10, 2012 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
    • KF

      Actually, AnnPA, that would be what is called an opinion on proper sentance structure. While one way may be easier to read or have better flow it does not make it correct or incorrect. Besides which... does that really have any bearing on the article or the response? What does have an impact is the correctness of the statement. They routinely fail to cite their sources.

      April 12, 2012 at 09:07 | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      entire segments of the population live to ripe old ages–never taking care of their teeth and never or rarely going to the dentist–this is a FACT. Stop with the "scare tactics"

      April 12, 2012 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • vince

      queenbee10,

      While that is true it does not mean ignoring or not going to the dentist is right for everyone. If did not go I would probably would be having worse issues than I have today. Even going to the dentist, I still have problems but those problems are being monitored by my dentist and kept under control. Most people I know who dont go to the dentist have BAD teeth. How can I tell? All they have to do is flash a smile.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
  12. Jim

    Plain and simply if you don't have problems you don't need an X-ray every time you go to a dentist. Primarily X-rays are just a way for dentists to make more money. If you brush your teeth well you can go a lifetime without seeing a dentist and many never have a cavity. Of course once they drill you'd never know if there was a cavity unless you go back to look at the X-Rays. When I told my dentist I was leaving home for college he gave me the only 9 filings I've ever had and said with these fillings and my good teeth I'd probably be good for a long time. Now 62, those were the only fillings I've ever had. Talked to two retired military dentists and they both said it's not real uncommon for some people to never have a cavity.

    April 10, 2012 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chere

      Jim,

      Very presumptious of you. Just because people brush regularly doesn't mean they will suffer no problems! Some people do need x-rays every visit due to chronic problems...I am one of those people(x-rays every other visit) and I have taken care of my teeth all my life. Most people I know have a cavity or two or three....etc.

      April 10, 2012 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • karen shoemaker

      sorry jim you are wrong, i have been taking dental x-rays on patients for 23 years and money has never ever been the reason.

      April 10, 2012 at 20:26 | Report abuse |
  13. karen shoemaker

    Wow sanjay! thank you for spreading unfounded fear this morning. So when did you go to dental school and have you never heard of digital x-rays? They are used in most dental offices and have about as much radiation as standing in the sun for 10 minutes. I lost all respect for you this morning, I am very disapointed in you disservice to the public and fear spreading. Being a doctor you must know about all the dry mouth conditions the population is dealing with from medications and age, and our countries huge soda problem, decay can get out of hand in 2 years. I think you probalbly lost every fan you had that is a dental professional this morning with you inaccurate story about dental radiation. You should be ashamed. Would love to see you take these statements back and admit you are wrong, on live am tv!!!!!! and PS google digital radiation and get out of the 80's and 90's. It is 2012 and there is this awesome new technology called digital radiation, minimal radiation, excellent x-ray!!!!

    April 10, 2012 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Honey Badger

    Fellow dental professionals........Don't get worked up. Teeth were not meant for everyone. Take care of the patients that understand the requirements we have to help them keep their teeth. Radiographs being one. The rest of the population that refuses can just lose more teeth. Lessons are learned hard sometimes. Actually if you look at there will be more extractions possibly from this study, resulting in more crown & bridge or implants. Then they can do a study on hysteria hype and the link to tooth loss.

    April 10, 2012 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dental Professional

      LOL! Great idea for another paper!! I love it!!

      April 10, 2012 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
  15. NoDentist

    Funny how all these dentists and doctors are making comments that argue with the article. It says right up there that the recommendation is to give the x-ray every 2-4 years, but dentists these days give them every year. That is not necessary without an explicit reason.

    April 10, 2012 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • right...

      congrats on your online DDS degree. do you idiots understand how much radiation you get from the sun vs digital xrays?! I pity your dentist.

      April 10, 2012 at 22:22 | Report abuse |
    • abc

      http://www.aapd.org/media/policies_guidelines/e_radiographs.pdf. Read this article and educate yourself NoDentist. It is 2-3 years for Adult Recall patients that go every 6 months with NO caries or caries risk factors/periodontal conditions (which I am certain you do not know anything about) Infact, this article is misleading because it does not state the fact that it is actually recommended 6-18 month intervals for bitewings for adult patients that have certain risk factors for dental disease. Feel free to ask a dental professional and they will happily explain why films are necessary for YOU specifically. Again every patient is different. Waiting until you have "symptoms" or pain means more invasive treatment, higher expense, and higher toll taken on your overall health. Dental professionals, believe it or not, care about you. We don't want your money at the expense of your health, infact, we would rather have you take an x-ray and see a cavitiy that can be restored, rather than wait 2 years without an x-ray until you need a root canal and crown (thousands of dollars difference). If dental offices really wanted your money, they wouldn't practice prevention.

      April 11, 2012 at 00:16 | Report abuse |
  16. AnnPA

    This research does not surprise me one bit, in fact it all makes complete sense to me. I'm only 31 and was diagnosed with a Meningioma last year. I had SEVERAL dental x-rays at a very young age. I had braces from age 9-15 and even needed jaw surgery at 14 to prevent TMJ. My meningioma was located in the left CPA (left lower part of the brain), it would make sense that part of the brain was exposed during the full panoramic dental x-ray's. Anyway, regardless there is research that supports that ionizing radiation causes cancer, add a benign brain tumor to the list of other risks associated.

    April 10, 2012 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cht

      And how can you be so sure that was the cause of your meningioma? Not possible to correlate. I had NUMEROUS dental x-rays in my childhood up until today....and I am 83 years old...no meningioma yet.

      April 10, 2012 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Cht,
      There are several other studies that correlate exposure to ionizing radiation (X-ray's) to Meningioma's. I'm 31. Also, if you read the actual study, there is a correlation between Dental X-ray's at a young age (before 10) and Meningioma's. I've had several x-ray's at a very you age. I also have a Masters Degree, and took many Stat classes and Research Methods courses, in other words I know how to read medical research. Not all smoker's get cancer, but we know it can cause it, right? Just because you've had several dental x-ray's does not mean you will get a Meningioma. This makes the most sense out of my own personal history, so I support this research.

      April 10, 2012 at 23:42 | Report abuse |
    • vince

      CHT is correct....you CANNOT correlate your meningioma with your dental x-ray exposure. I don't care what the stats are. I'm not saying they are not A cause, but you cannot say that this was YOUR cause.

      April 11, 2012 at 19:54 | Report abuse |
  17. P.T. Boater

    Let's see Dentist's make money charging patients for these X rays
    it's a business decision and profit to be made. Seems dentists love
    to Xray us .

    April 10, 2012 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • this is old news.

      Let's not be hypocritical. Every job and occupation is a business decision. Yes, dentists xrays patients so they can diagnose and treat their patients... for a profit (you don't say!?! blasphemy!!). I don't work for free, do you? You get 3 mSv per year from background/sun radiation. You get .001 mSv from one digital xray. Do the math, unless you can't.

      April 10, 2012 at 22:36 | Report abuse |
  18. Ann

    My question for all you Dentist? What do you offer your patients that have a history of Brain Tumor's, Leukemia, Thyroid Cancer, or other types of cancer? If you've experienced such a diagnosis, you'd understand that it is much more severe than having a tooth pulled. You have to understand why someone with this history would request no x-ray's... But, do you offer an alternative to your patients? It's something to think about... Also, reread your ignorant responses and put yourself in the position of someone with this diagnosis or any Cancer diagnosis and think about what it's like to be exposed to something that may possibly harm you. Also think about how you responded. I've read a lot of ignorant responses on here. Brain tumors whether they are malignant or benign are devastating, as well as any cancer diagnosis.

    April 10, 2012 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cht

      I dont think anyone here has said that they would request a cancer patient to do x-rays. Everyone's situation is different. What happens if you a had a cancer patient with dental disease? Would you have them forgo dental x-rays? Remember, therapeutic radiation for cancer treatment is on the order of MULTI-THOUSANDS of times higher than any dental x-ray you could ever imagine, especially to the brain. And the brain has a remarkable resistance to radiation...it is one of the most non-radiosensitive organs in the body.

      April 10, 2012 at 23:39 | Report abuse |
    • slide

      Ann...you are truly out of your mind. Your argument is that a cancer patient needs to be concerned with dental x-rays...when they are most likely doing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. I think dental x-rays are the least of their worries or dangers. Please re-think what you have written...seriously.

      April 10, 2012 at 23:49 | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Cht,
      This is something that any Brain tumor patient or Cancer patient has concerns about. I threw this question out to dentist, are you a dentist? Also, how do you know that the brain is the least resistant to radiation? Where did you get that info? Where is the research to prove it? Radiation Therapy can be a very effective tumor and cancer treatment and there if research to back that up. But exposure to unnecessary radiation VS radiation therapy are two different things.

      April 10, 2012 at 23:49 | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Slide,
      You obviously don't get my point. I had a brain tumor. I also had radiation to treat my tumor. Do I want to expose myself to more? No. Again, a lot of ignorant responses on here. Necessary VS Unnecessary exposure. Get a life threatening diagnosis at a young age, and you'd understand what I'm talking about.

      April 10, 2012 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
    • Honey Badger

      Ann, contrary to what you may think, we Doctors of Dental Medicine do not take unnecessary xrays just to profit. An xray of a single tooth is charged out at about $13. We are concerned about your health and safety. We need the radiograph to make sure we Do No Harm. If there is a metastatic lesion surrounding the tooth of concern we need to know that. We do know more than you think and consult with the physicians if we see a possible problem. Shall I send you radiographs of what appears to be a simple need of an extraction and underneath lies life threatening and disfiguring pathology? We don't take xrays because we get rich off of them. We take them because we need the info. The dose is very low and I don't know any of my colleagues that take xrays that are unnecessary. This hype is aggravating and beating a dead horse. WE ARE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS and contrary to what you think care about our patients. I was a professor once and personally know that they can skew their studies rational to make it fit their conclusions. Uncloud your prejudices against us and try to realize that we do not try to do you harm, contrary to what the populace thinks, and only try to help you. Think of where you would be and what you might look like if your dentist had not intervened. But if you want to continue to blame us for your undetermined neoplasm then do so and my advice is to stop going to your dentist

      April 11, 2012 at 00:36 | Report abuse |
    • TexasMD

      Honey Badger – I'm sorry but you are just dead wrong. You mentioned you were in academics which has a different culture entirely, and I do believe that you personally do not order unnecessary XRs. I'm glad – you are practicing dentistry as you should. You are the exception.

      It is possible I am just very unlucky, but in my entire life, I have not been to a single dentist who was not a crook. Every single visit, the dentist demands that they need XRs to make sure nothing has changed. I am a doctor (an MD not a dentist), I can assure you that this is far from necessary. You guys have a reputation for a reason. I'm not saying everyone is like this; but reputations are started for a reason.

      April 11, 2012 at 01:19 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Brian Hoffman

      TexasMD – HOW DARE YOU! First off, with how you write, and the allegations you levy erroneously, I seriously doubt you are a Medical Doctor, and if I happen to be wrong, God help your patients. To try and paint an entire group of doctors with a broad brush like you try to do is irresponsible at best, and completely ignorant at worst. Most Dentists have stellar reputations, and for you to try and make it seem otherwise is unconscionable.

      April 11, 2012 at 10:02 | Report abuse |
    • TexasMD

      Sorry to offend you, buddy. Wasn't saying that every dentist is money-grubbing, just relaying my experience–which seems to be commensurate with those of my colleagues, friends, and even the other people posting here.

      I'm glad you don't consider yourself to be one of the bad guys, but I'm just relaying my anecdotal experience which is that the dentists who I've seen have all been much more interested in my wallet than in my teeth. I'm not really sure why that is..as I mentioned, maybe I'm just unlucky; but I don't think that's the case. Usually there is at least some truth to most stereotypes. Maybe it's just the type of people who are attracted to dentistry. There's a reason dentists decide to go to dental school and not medical school, and it sure isn't because teeth are so fascinating...

      April 11, 2012 at 23:28 | Report abuse |
  19. Ann

    Slide,
    You obviously don't get my point. I had a brain tumor. I also had radiation to treat my tumor. Do I want to expose myself to more? No. Again, a lot of ignorant responses on here. Necessary VS Unnecessary exposure. Get a life threatening diagnosis at a young age, and you'd understand what I'm talking about.

    April 10, 2012 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • slide

      When we are making comparisons to radiotherapy and what a cancer patient has to go through...no...I don't get your point and I don't mean to be disrespectful. I am not arguing for unnecessary exposure..on the contrary. My best friend had a brain tumor and he still gets his dental -xrays when necessary and he uses a cell phone.

      April 10, 2012 at 23:58 | Report abuse |
  20. slide

    How do I know the brain is the least resistant in the body? I teach anatomy at the university level....I can provide you with research if you'd like. We are talking about individual risks here....even unnecessary exposure to dental x-rays CAN NEVER equate with radiotherapy...come on here.

    April 10, 2012 at 23:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ann

      Slide,
      Ironically, I'm also a College Professor myself. Though I trust my own judgement. I've read enough medical research that supports causes as well as treatment options for my Meningioma brain tumor. Ironically the samething that caused my tumor may have cure it.

      April 11, 2012 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
  21. TexasMD

    Meningiomas are NOT the most common tumors in the head. I stopped reading after that line because obviously the author has no idea what he is talking about and didn't do his research. I haven't read the rest of the article, but I would suggest the public ignore this completely. Go look at the original research in Cancer (the journal).

    -TexasMD

    April 11, 2012 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fran

      From the American Brain tumor Association...."Meningiomas represent 32% of all primary brain tumors, making them the most common primary brain tumor"...sorry TexasMD...go back to medical school

      April 11, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
    • TexasMD

      fran – if you are going to post something in a vain attempt to correct someone who does this for a living, please at least attempt to intelligently research the issue before spouting off things like 'go back to medical school'.

      As you said, meningiomas are the most common PRIMARY brain tumor. They are not "the most frequently occuring tumor in the head" as is mentioned in the article. Metastatic tumors are far more common.

      In response to your 'go back to medical school' comment, I should say something to the effect of 'go back to high school', where presumably, you were taught to read and think critically.

      April 11, 2012 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
  22. Dr. Green

    Seriously? Another attempt to sensationalize a theory on how people get cancer. As a dentist I know the radiation exposure that we administer to our patients when we do periodic x-rays. It's minimal and about the equivalent of walking 9 holes on a golf course (or 2.5 hours of UV exposure). Perhaps next time they'll do a study on the correlation between cell phone use and the development of cranial tumors. I can guarantee you'll get more radiation and electromagnetic energy from daily use of your mobile phone than with dental radiographs every 18-24 months. How many kids carry (and are on) cell phones these days. Just sayin.....

    April 11, 2012 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe S

      I suppose you are a cancer specialist, right? No? Proctologist maybe?

      April 11, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
  23. Lue-jones

    I was just given 5 to 6 X rays at one time shortly before having a tooth pulled and this news is unsettling.

    April 11, 2012 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. carolae

    And they know this how???? Why not publish these so-called findings AFTER PROOF has been found that this happens. These people do nothing more than speculate but then again, that is what the media has been doing for centuries.....speculating on everything.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. DrBrad

    I'm an orthodontist, and my assistants just told me about the news last night. I know it has been beaten like a dead horse. You can make statistics say anything! Here's a statistic for you. Are you ready? 100% of everyone who has died has ingested.....water. I know I was shocked too. Also, everyone who has eaten bread will die. You can twist things around until all the lemmings, who don't think for themselves, take it as fact. People need to exercise their brains every now and again.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah

      I hope you have more clue about teeth than you have about this subject. We are not talking of dying from natural causes, we are talking of dying of cancer.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
    • Joe S

      I won't be going to "doctor" brad anytime soon.

      April 11, 2012 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
  26. Elena

    I have lived in other countries and I was shocked to see how many xrays dentist and docs ask here. It seems like they can use their eyes and knowledge only to read xrays and not to see what is going on in patient's mouth.

    April 11, 2012 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chere

      Dentists dont have x-ray vision....that's what x-rays are for.

      April 11, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • Elena

      A skilled dentist is able to see the cavities. The only place they can't see is between teeth. I still don't think it is necessary for Xrays every 6 months. Especially when your teeth are healthy.

      April 11, 2012 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
  27. Brigit

    I left my son's dentist over this issue. She wanted to do X-rays every six months and was always recommending this or that procedure. Not every spot or shadow is a cavity. The less X-rays the better. This is also a problem in orthodontics.

    April 11, 2012 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Survivor

    I keep warning people. The medical profession is going to destroy or severly damage the human race.

    April 11, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fran

      Give me a break!!!! If there were not health care professionals there would be less of the human race.

      April 11, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
  29. Chris

    As a meningioma patient I would ask everyone to just slow down a bit. The research did not call for the elimination of dental x-rays. I did find it interesting that my personal dentist had me scheduled for dental x-rays during my last visit, but when I told him I had just undergone surgery and radiation tretament for my meningioma he told me he could wait on taking his x-rays. I wonder if that would have been the case absent the meningioma.

    April 11, 2012 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chere

      Did you ask your dentist why? Maybe he has a practical but cautious side to the way he practices dentistry. If that is the case then I think you are lucky to have such a great dentist. And that should be what we are all talking about...being practical, prudent but cautious.

      April 11, 2012 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
  30. Survivor

    Some dentests need to be jailed and they are. My first dentist that my parents sent me to did not have a licence. My teeth did not hurt but after lots of X-rays he convinced them that I had a lot of "hidden cavities"... It is funny that when I switched dentists, there suddenly were no cavities......And this is just the first of my personal gripes against the whole medical system.....PS: I will never go to my last dentist again either for other reasons that have convinced me that he is a quack too.....but he at least has a licence.

    April 11, 2012 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. Brian Hoffman

      Survivor – IF you have had so many issues with Dentists, then continue looking until you find one you like and trust. Trust is everything, without it no doctor (notwithstanding specialty) can properly treat their patient. Once you find that person, develop the relationship and ask questions about the things you fully do not understand. ANY good doctor should be able to answer those questions on the spot, and to your satisfaction. You can also Google "Scholarly Articles" if you can decipher what they say, and do your won back-up research. Bottom line: Doctors are here to help you, never hurt you!

      April 11, 2012 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
  31. jenny

    Dentists are unbelievable. So what that the exposure is equivalent to the sun. Why add at all??? Plus you are obviously incompetent as you claim that you cannot find a cavity without an x-ray. Funny how in different countries they are capable of this. I was kicked out of a dentists office for refusing to get an x-ray for my 10 year old. She has never had a cavity in her life, yet they insisted that she have x-rays every year!!!! She has had enough in her short life along with a panorax twice from the orthodontist. You are all about the money. I have worked for a dentist and have a friend who does as well and the dentist she works for fills in teeth that do not have cavities!!! All to make a profit. Yes "This Is Old News" you obviously fit this category of dentist!! You are in a medical profession. If you wanted to make a huge profit you should have chosen something different. Obviously you are not concerned about your patients. People do put a little more stock into those in your type of jobs – I guess we are dead wrong to do so. Ann, I completely agree with you!!!!!

    April 11, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • chere

      You obviously found the wrong dentist...look for another one.

      April 11, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
    • Holy Cow

      I bet you will get her a cell phone...

      April 11, 2012 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
    • jenny

      Holy Cow, I bet I won't. She is 13 now and she still doesn't have one!!!

      April 11, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Brian Hoffman

      Jenny – While I understand your ambivalence toward x-rays, you must understand that "...In other countries..." they are trying to see things they cannot possibly see without the aid of an x-ray. An x-ray allows you to see THROUGH the tooth and INTO the tooth, you cannot do that with your eyes, it is impossible. Also, there is a balance between the correct amount of radiation to properly detect cavities and other periodontal problems and overexposing a patient to unnecessary radiation. New Patients will ALWAYS be asked to have a full set of dental radiographs, because we do not know what could be lying in wait below the surface. Once you have been established as a patient of record, the radiographs will be taken based on the condition of your oral health. Meaning, if you have extensive issues, expect more radiographs. If you have no issues, you will get the minimum amount required by law.

      April 11, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
    • jenny

      Dr. Hoffman, I can fully respect what you are saying. I have unfortunately come across too many dentists in my life who do not subscribe to your approach. I am in favor of an x-ray when needed (ex. root canal or a few when one is a new patient), however that is not what I am encountering in the dental profession. It is insane to be rejected as a patient who refuses annual x-rays simply for the heck of it. What is required by law? Who creates the law? It's funny that when my friend's dentist knew that her insurance covered x-rays every 6 months he required them. Now that the insurance has changed to annual coverage he is ok with it once per year. I currently have a dentist who is quite sensitive to the unnecessary exposure of x-rays and luckily he uses digital technology. He was incredibly difficult to find!!

      April 11, 2012 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
  32. fran

    Some doctors do surgery when it ins't needed, some mechanics "repair" cars when it is not needed, etc. You present a very generalized argument and it is a joke. Like Chere said, go find another dentist you can trust instead of bashing all of them.

    April 11, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jenny

      Yes, and those doctors are wrong to do so and so are the car mechanics. What are you saying??? Your argument is a joke! Just because there are cheaters in the world we should continue letting them cheat us? Especially when it comes to health???

      April 11, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • fran

      Oh Jenny...so sad. You obviously have no trust in ANYONE....so very sad. Not everyone is a cheater.

      April 11, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
    • jenny

      Oh fran, not saying they are. Just responding to your lame argument that some docs perform unwarranted surgery and some mechanic "fix" cars that don't need to be fixed. All unethical behavior is wrong. That doesn't mean I believe all people are unethical.

      April 11, 2012 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
    • fran

      Maybe you should have said that in your original post! What a waste of words!

      April 11, 2012 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
  33. HBar

    Ever get a root canal? XRays galore. No connection. Yeah. Right.

    Then there was the cardiac stress test my doctor suggested. My insurance company told me it wasn't indicated in my case and OBTW, you get as much radiation as 150 chest XRays. Hmmm... My doc didn't mention that detail. No sense worrying my little head by informing me.

    April 11, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Joe S

    They will give you as many x-rays as humanly possible because insurance requires them. It's all about money. Always was.

    April 11, 2012 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. nizete walsh

    the difference beatween dentist office X-rays and the sun X-rays are simple to understand. The X-rays from the sun are naturally created and w edo need the sun to survive opposite to dental X-rays that are machine man made, anything like that have bad consequences, like cancer and other type of diases. the sun doesnt give anybody cancer..its has been hot since the birth of our mother earth. what does give pople cancer is the amount of sunscreen they load they face with , i blieve the chemical reaction between sunscreen and sun rays might lead to cancer. in this industry its all about money..they create sunscreen to give people cancer thenpeople need to go get treatment ,otherwise doctors wouldnt make nay money. all natural its better! watch out people.

    April 11, 2012 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex2

      That has to be one of the most moronic posts I have ever seen. You must be a first grader who accessed a computer and typed this brilliance up.

      April 11, 2012 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
  36. Alex

    Now that has to be one of the most moronic posts I have ever seen. You must be a first grader who accessed a computer and typed this brilliance up.

    April 11, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. rebecca

    since ive had about 15 of these..mostly the pan xrays..in about a 4 year space..i have to say i am concerned. i have had 2 major orthognathic surgeries. the 2nd involving revision of the first with tmj total joint replacements..i have had 2 different orthodontists as we had to start all over again after the failed first surgery..two separate oral surgeons...each dr orthodontists and oral surgeons..taking their own films..,i can say..i have been through the xrays. thats not including the two orthodontists i had as a child and the xrays taken then. i am still in braces as we speak for the 4th time. i dont think this article is trying to bash dentists..just state the correlation between dental xrays and meningiomas. the dental profession should not be taking it personally. however..i have to say..i am not impressed with the dental profession overall...at least not in the area of orthodontics and what they are currently and have in the past been teaching. i would not be in the position i am today had not the orthodontist when i was a youth made an honest but grave mistake in my treatment. it haunts me to this day..and i have believe me dealt with the consequences both financially, and medically..and in many other ways. they need to stop treating medical cases as simple orthodontic cases..and get the whole picture. they are ruining peoples lives..causing sleep apnea..tmj disease...horrible appearances..all in the name of straitening teeth. they are missing the point..the airway..and the facial growth..that should be treated properly early on..not by extracting teeth and making peoples mouths smaller..but by expanding and developing the arches..and referring the patients for surgery..when the case is right in front of their eyes.. as to wether or not they take too many xrays ..i dont know..i just know i have had to have them..bc of the work ups i have needed to help fix the problems that i experienced as an adult.

    April 11, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Albert

    I would seriously question the results of any study that relies on patient memory of events that occurred 20-30 years ago.

    April 11, 2012 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Walter Audubon

    I guess I'm part of that population referred to. I've had regular tooth x-rays and recently had a tumor removed from my brain. The 8-hr. operation was performed by a team of neuro-surgeons led by Dr. Mitchell Levine at N.Shore hospital,L.I.
    on Sept. 28, 2011. The only after-effects are poor balance and a dizziness when my head moves circularly. Recovery will probably take a long period.

    April 11, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • van

      But really, how can you be sure that was the cause of your tumor?

      April 11, 2012 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
  40. Sue

    Thinking about all the routine X-rays in the 1980s and 1990s and now because dentist keeps wanting to do it as routine.
    At one point, I did decline them but then I thought it was digital so probably no problem over a lifetime. This news is upsetting to hear. Also, my children also have been exposed to routine X-rays as well as one for potential braces which did not come to be. I hope they will not get a brain tumor because I was not well informed about this tumor risk. I will no longer have
    x-rays done on a routine basis unless a cavity is suspected even that I don't know if I shoud. These dentist refuse to fill the cavity unless an x-ray is taken. Terrible.

    April 11, 2012 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alexis

      The study is a load of crap. Your kids have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting an x-ray taken. Do your research. Don't believe every study that's out there. Statistics can be manipulated to say whatever they want to say. Your kids get more radiation walking to the car from school than they do from x-rays.

      April 11, 2012 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
    • alb

      I would hardly say the study is a "load of crap" just as I would hardly say it is accurate at all. Alexis, are you a scientist? A medical physicist? A radiobiologist? An epidemiologist? Let the study go under scrutiny by peers in the scientific community first and then we will see. As a lay person, I can see some flaws in the study but that is from my non-professional point of view after hearing other scientists bring up their arguments against the study.

      April 12, 2012 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
  41. steven

    I have had a orofacial pain condition ...nerve damage in my mouth for 4 years and have had over 100 x-rays and will have more to come. Nothing I can do about it as it is a condition I have been dealt with and I need to move forward to resolve or get under control. I can drive myself crazy with all this news but I look at it with a certain perpspective. I know many people that happen to have had x-rays all their lives and they are not walking around with a brain tumor. I just have to keep that in perspective. Some of the x-rays I took were repeats and not necessary, but most of them were necessary...at least in my situation. I will not do routine x-rays anymore which I think is fair in my situation and the dentist will have to understand that, but any necessary x-rays...bring them on...pain sucks!

    April 11, 2012 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. mike

    Dentists are not real doctors.

    April 11, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vince

      And some dentists are actually MDs....what are you getting at?

      April 11, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
  43. Ron

    When I was in college I went to an elderly dentist. I think he only once gave me dental x-rays over several years. I asked him once why he did not perform more dental x-rays. He looked me in the eye and said, "a dentist, a good dentist, doesn't really need to take x-rays." How refreshing: an honest man.
    I work at a research facility that uses gamma radiation, and I have read about the dangers of small doses of gamma radiation. The author of the article more or less said that gamma radiation is far more dangerous (damaging) than the accepted norm. Young girls, especially their breast tissue, are affected by gamma radiation, and he recommended that zero x-rays be performed (unless absolutely necessary) on very young girls.
    Please don't trust what your dentist says about x-rays. He has drank the cool aid. Someday this foolishness (liberal use of dental x-rays, especially the Panex x-rays) will come to an end with a gigantic class-action lawsuit. I hope that day is soon.

    April 11, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alexis

      You know what they call people who refuse x-rays?

      Edentulous.

      April 11, 2012 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
  44. Alexis

    The study is a load of crap. First, modern dental x-rays are focused so the radiation only hits the area of the mouth being scanned. Second, the type of tumor they are discussing is a) benign and b) multifactoral, with a heavy genetic component. How do I know this, because a lady at my work had the same tumor studied. She is rabidly upset about this study.

    Third, cancer, and any type of cancer, is caused by a number of different factors, not just one. And the rate of incidence of this cancer is .0001%. Yes, that's right. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than getting this cancer from a dental x-ray.

    Leave the BS for the tabloids.

    April 11, 2012 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jenny

      No one is saying it's a sole contributor of cancer, but it can potentially increase your odds. Why take the chance if an x-ray is not necessary ? There is absolutely no need for a person with relatively healthy teeth to get yearly x-rays. It is about the money, like everything else seems to be in our society today.

      April 11, 2012 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
    • mac

      I think the problem is that many people on here responding to this article are completly against x-rays. I think some other people on here do not believe in unnecessary x-rays, but they also do not believe in the accuracy in this study....and this is my belief as well. I am not for unnecessary x-rays, but just accurate research and responsible reporting so that the public will not get paranoid.

      April 11, 2012 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
  45. John Thomas

    Why is it when you go to a physician, they examine you first then order x-rays if needed...but when you go to a dentist, they always do x-rays first, needed or not, then examine you? I've just been to a new dentist for a cleaning and a couple of fillings. I told them I had no other problems and didn't want x-rays, but they refused to make an appointment unless I agreed to x-rays. Several dentists told me the same until I finally just chose the one closest to my home. I understand they make money on x-rays, but don't any of them care that they're unnecessarily risking harm to those who come to them for help?

    April 11, 2012 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GK113

      Boy, I'm glad you have x-ray vision and know whats going on under your gumline. The reason for x-rays once a year is to see whats potentially developed since your last visit. When I go to the dentist I WANT X-RAYS!, I want to see if there is something wrong before it develops into something worse! I don't understand what the hell is wrong with you people that are freaking out over this. The people who don't want x-rays, are the same people that will come back a try to sue the dentist a couple years later when they've developed periodontal disease(which leads to heart disease, kidney disease, low birthwieght babies) or need a root canal, has a chronic silent abcess, major bone loss, etc, etc...It's amazing to me that all you people take a study like this and are going to walk into your dentist office on your next visit, and try to dictate you treatment to the doctor...unbelievable!!! Megan Kelly should be ashamed! Maybe we should do a study on Lawyers, to see how many business's and lives they distroyed to make money...Don't blame the dentist's, blame the lawyers. The dentists are trying to protect the patient and themselves. Worried about radiation? You better put down that cel phone you have permanently stuck to your head all day...about 1" from you brain! And yes x-rays cost money...just like everything else in this world, or do you want that for free too.

      April 12, 2012 at 02:54 | Report abuse |
  46. MCFitz

    I have never taken a statistics class, but it seems obvious to my uninquisitive mind that a retrospective study like this would have to consider the subjects excessive exposure to cosmic rays, ie sunshine. Is it possible that the same set that receives the miniscule mSv from annual bitewings might be the same set who would spend more time than average in the sun annually. They should really log their time in the sun from memory too. Something CNN and Dr. Gupta could ponder before pronouncing a single flawed study as gospel. Tell me the verdict, should I drink caffeine today. Your studies might suck. Just sayin"

    April 12, 2012 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. OSHA Inspector

    P.S. Half drank water bottle next to monitor is OSHA violation.

    April 12, 2012 at 04:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. larry5

    Dr. Elizabeth Brooks Claus, director of medical research at Yale University's School of Public Health is a trained neurosurgeon that specializes in brain tumors. So she found what she was most familiar with, some brain tumors. That's like sending a carpenter into Home Depot to find a hammer and some nails. There's a high probability of success.

    April 12, 2012 at 05:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JeramieH

      To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:04 | Report abuse |
  49. Spearski

    Just another smoke screen to cover the damage cellular phones are doing to the human brain ! The facts are , you recieve as much or more radiation from sun exposure than bitewing xrays. What a waste of research funds!

    April 12, 2012 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Frago101

    NEWS FLASH: Being born causes death

    April 12, 2012 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • queenbee10

      queenbee10

      How "necessary " would X rays be if drs could not charge for them? I'm betting all of a sudden the incidence of use would go WAAAAY down.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
    • Piranha

      Frago101.....Consider yourself lucky

      April 12, 2012 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      Err, no. Being born does not "cause" death. At most it's a requirement "to die" because "to die" you must have "lived".

      April 12, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      queenbee, how often would dentists provide checkups if they weren't paid for them? Your comment makes no sense, just like my question doesn't.

      April 12, 2012 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
    • Ashleigh Kirk

      Hmmm... they concluded there was a connection between number of dental xrays and a brain tumor. And they relied on people's OWN recollection of how many xrays they'd had in their life????? Hey, does that include all the xrays I had during alien abductions? I have amnesia for the whole thing so I can't EXACTLY say how many they did. Hell I can't even remember how many times I've been abducted!!!
      Why does CNN continue to publish endless junk science?

      April 13, 2012 at 01:44 | Report abuse |
    • DerekA

      Study based on the recollection on how many x rays people had during their lifetime sounds as sloppy as it gets but I am not surprised that CNN would publish such junk science and with the "rat race" going on among the academics to publish or perish I am also not surprised hey concluded there was a connection between number of dental xrays and a brain tumor. And they relied on people's OWN recollection of how many xrays they'd had in their life?????

      April 13, 2012 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
    • CM10

      your dental insurance company requires x-rays before they will pay for crowns, root canals, scaling and root planing, pulpotomy's, core-build ups, bridge work, composite fillings that are more then 2 surfaces, implant work, onlays, and extractions. I had a mother who would not allow x-rays on her children. Her son went missing several years ago. They found a body they think might be his. However, the only way they can make an identification is through dental x-rays. How tragic it is that we don't have any. If you are in a car accident and your teeth are injured you will want dental x-rays to prove in court what your teeth looked liked before the accident. They only way to check the bone, in between teeth, and the roots of your teeth are with x-rays. As for money, Dentsit will make a lot more if you don't have x-rays and wait until it hurts. A root canal and a crown will cost you around $2000 if your lucky. compare that to a small filling that around $130 to $170. By the way, the dentist have to pay for the x-ray film. They are not making very much money. They are trying to save you from having an infection in your body. Why don't you read about periodontal disease and what that can do to your heart.

      April 13, 2012 at 23:16 | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      Au contraire,

      You have a 100% rate of people born dying. To prove this, you would also have to show a large number of people that have not been born, and do not die. Otherwise, your logic is not complete. For all you know, everyone dies whether they are born or not... 😉

      April 14, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • mikejdc

      Queenbee's point is RIGHT ON!!!!!!!!!!!
      Plus keep in mind dentists coming out of school with large loans to repay may be more inclined to take an x-ray (or 2 or 3) and charge accordingly, rather than consider the true value the x-ray will provide in evaluating the patient's treatment.

      April 15, 2012 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
    • fulton hoang

      A qigong master with 24 years of rejuvenate mediation technique can help control and relieve the brain tumors an other tumors patients.

      April 15, 2012 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.