Dental X-rays remain a valuable tool in detecting oral health problems
A study published in Cancer, the peer-viewed journal of the American Cancer Society, found that people diagnosed with meningioma, a generally non-cancerous tumor, are more likely to report that they’ve received certain types of dental X-rays in the past. There are several important things to understand about this study:
- This finding doesn’t mean that dental X-rays cause these tumors; much more research is needed.
- The results rely on the individuals’ memories of having dental X-rays taken years earlier. The ability to recall information is often imperfect. Therefore, the results of studies that use this design can be unreliable because they are affected by what scientists call “recall bias.”
- The study acknowledges that some of the subjects received dental X-rays decades ago when radiation exposure was greater. Radiation doses were higher in the past due to the use of old X-ray technology and slower speed film.
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