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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Can Dental X-Rays Cause Tumors?

In light of a recent article on Yahoo, suggesting that bitewing x-rays may be dangerous, here are some facts from the American Association of Orthodontists on Radiographs...

Why does we need this x-ray?
X-rays are recommended so that dentists and orthodontists can gather information about a patient's condition that cannot be seen with a visual clinical evaluation.  It allows specialists to see the placement and development of teeth that have and have not come in and the relationship of teeth to bone and gum tissue.  Special x-rays have allowed us to see how the jaws are related to each other and help plan for proper treatment.

Can diagnosis and treatment be effective without x-rays?
The information gained through x-rays help doctors know how to move teeth based on where they are now and where they need to be at the end of treatment. Only through x-ray images can we figure out the precise placement of teeth.  X-rays aid the diagnosis and treatment plan, allowing doctors to deliver the best results possible.

Which type of x-ray will provide you with the information you need with the least amount of radiation exposure?
A cone beam CT provides far more information for diagnosis than routine dental bite-wing x-rays, a panoramic x-ray or a cephalometric x-ray alone.  However, not all patients requre a cone beam CT. The recommendation for the type of x-ray needed is based on each patient's individual needs.

In our office, we take digital panoramic and cephalmetric x-rays. The x-rays are about 80% lower in radiation and are convienent for the purpose of orthodontic treatment diagnosis.  Because the x-rays are digital, we don't have to send our patients to labs to get them done and can send our x-rays to their general dentist should he/she need them.

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