A: One of the most flawed studies ever to hit the medical journals surfaced last week, scaring people into thinking that dental X-rays contribute to forming brain tumors. According to John Graham DDS, MD (dual degrees) and Mathew Massina DDS of the ADA, the study by Dr. Elizabeth Claus, an epidemiologist, is so fraught with troubling variables, that the validity of data “degrades the veracity of any of its findings. Absolutely no cause and effect link was found”. This single study was useless and only instilled fear in the public.
The biggest flaw is how the data was gathered. They made phone calls to 1433 patients, age 29 to 79, with a certain, benign (non-cancerous) brain tumor and simply ASKED them to recall how many X-rays they have received over lifetime. They never checked the actual dental charts, which would have shown exactly how many X-rays were truly taken.
In my research, one hundred percent of all dentists surveyed stated that when they “ask” a patient: “When were your last X-rays, what type and how many did you have?, most patients answer incorrectly, compared to what the patient’s dental chart from their previous dentists actually shows”. There is no way I could possibly answer this question myself! Also, they did not take into account how many CAT scans, chest X-rays and sun exposure these patients had; all creating significantly more radiation than digital dental X-rays.
Avoiding safe DIGITAL dental X-rays used with lead aprons will only result in missing dental problems, which rarely cause pain, leading to extremely expensive and extensive dental treatment.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Cosmetic, Implant and General Dentistry in Palm Beach and hosts “Tooth Talk” on WBZT AM1230 (www.radiotoothtalk.com) Dr. Josephs is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry and completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.
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