Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Controversy over Dental X-rays and the use of Thyroid Shields

There was an episode on Dr. Oz recently that seems to have thrust the issue of radiation exposure and thyroid cancer into the spotlight. Having been in the dental profession for 20 years or so, I've heard many arguments about the effects of x-rays on the body, and not just dental x-rays....mammograms and chest x-rays surround the controversy as well. Many of our members have questioned whether dental x-rays are really necessary. The answer, absolutely, is yes! Now, at such a small dosage ,whether they pose a danger or not is questionable as there have been many studies done over the years and all of them provide a different outcome. An intelligent way to approach this issue is to weigh the evidence; consider that there is a minimal risk, but also consider the very small percentage of people who have contracted thyroid cancer that may be related to radiation from x-rays, then, if you feel you would prefer to minimize your risk, by all means ask for a thyroid shield prior to having your dental x-ray! The bottom line is that your safety and piece of mind should matter. When it comes down to choice, it is never unreasonable to err on the side of caution.
Keep Smiling!

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