The American Dental Association recently responded to the results of a study published in the American Cancer Society’s online journal,Cancer, which associated yearly or more frequent dental X-rays with an increase in the risk of developing meningioma, a type of noncancerous brain tumor.
The ADA reviewed the study and responded in a news release stating that “results (of the study) rely on the individuals’ memories of having dental X-rays taken years earlier.”
According to the organization, studies have shown that the ability to recall information is often imperfect. Therefore, the statement added, the results of studies that use this design can be unreliable because they are affected by what scientists call “recall bias.”
Reiterating its long-standing position, the ADA says dentists should utilize dental X-rays “only when necessary for diagnosis and treatment” and referenced its recommendations, which are provided to help ensure that radiation exposure is “as low as reasonably achievable.”
These recommendations include using a digital X-ray or the fastest available film speed (E or F) as well as abdominal shielding and thyroid collars on all patients.
According to the ADA, its Council on Scientific Affairs will publish clinical guidance on the use of cone-beam computed tomography in an upcoming issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.