In a recent article in the journal Cancer, the American Cancer Society published study findings linking dental patients who had dental X-rays in the past with a certain type of brain tumor.
The Wealthy Dentist decided to conduct a survey asking dentists if the findings and news reports would change how their practices use X-rays.
“No!” remarked one dentist, “The cancer study shows the ignorance of a biased uncontrolled study and how to increase needless fear in our dental patients. Intellectual idiots for neurosurgeons.”
66% of the dentist respondents answered no to making changes based on the report, while 9% answered yes. 25% are watching the study closely and taking it into consideration.
Most of the dentists tend to believe the study is flawed “nonsense” and have quite a bit to say about the subject.
Here are some of the comments from dentists:
“The study is very flawed. It has no hard proof. It inferred that it was do to radiographs taken a number of years ago when exposures were much higher than today’s digital images. Another example of the media not telling the whole story and sensationalism at its best.” (Michigan dentist)
“Those who reported on it must have a brain tumor! What about risk of not X-raying and the benefit of treatment? What about cell phone, color monitors, flying radiation — not to mention medical ct, chest X-ray, mammograms, ultrasounds, fluoroscopes etc.?” (Illinois dentist)
“The report was more hearsay than science. Let’s have some good double-blind, peer review studies.” (California dentist)
“How much more destructive can a bogus study be to the profession? This has been supposed for years. Yet, how can other factors be excluded? Radiation from airline travel? Radiation from other sources? Genetic predisposition? Seriously? You would think researchers from Yale, of all places, would be more responsible!” (Arizona orthodontist)
“Yesterday, I already had a patient deny X-rays due to this article. Let’s publish going to the dentist causes tumors, cancer from fluoride, and blood problems from amalgams. Put us all out of business so we can join the Obama handout brigade, pay no taxes, and let the country and all its liberal thinkers rot away with rotten teeth!” (General dentist)
“It appears to be questionable science. I’ll wait for more studies.” (Texas dentist)
“It took over ten years for things to settle down after Ralph Nader’s mouthing off about things he knew nothing about. I think this neurosurgeon was irresponsible. Look up the tumor in your pathology text book. There is a lot more to this. X-rays are a theory as per the cause. The tumor in question has a progesterone receptor, so pregnancy is an issue.” (Virginia dentist)
“Has there been a similar study on television exposure? How about computer monitors, or maybe the sun? Life is full of cost-benefit decisions. After 32 years in practice I haven’t had a patient with a brain tumor. Four bite wings every year and a pan every five years causing brain tumors? How do you do a study where the only exposure to radiation is from dental radiographs, if radiation is all around us?” (General dentist)
“This study is flawed by design. He relies on peoples’ recollection of facts, which has long been shown to be inaccurate. In addition, cancer takes 20 years to develop, and the equipment used 20 years ago is long gone. Radiation levels with digital radiography are much much lower. The benefits of radiology outweigh any possible risks.” (New York prosthodontist)
“The study is so poorly designed as to be laughable. Unfortunately the press got hold of it and presented as if it were real–sells corn flake ads I guess!” (Washington dentist)
“From what I’ve seen, this study was very poorly done, relying solely on patient’s recollection of specific x-rays taken and when. Most dentists know that their patients can’t remember what they had taken, when, or by whom. How can BW’s be a problem, but FMX isn’t? I’ll wait for a real study to be done.” (General dentist)
Of the small percentage of dentists that are taking the study into consideration, several plan to use the study as an opportunity to raise dental patient awareness about the types of X-rays they now use and the safety of digital radiography.
All the dentists agreed that dental patients have nothing to fear.