In large doses, x-rays are harmful: they can break down cells and aggravate an immune response that can become malignant, and if you are subjected to enough of this kind of radiation, you run the risk of developing cancer. Dental x-rays are considered very light and not very carcinogenic. Although they certain tumours are associated with dental x-rays in particular, it is only at extremely high doses that these tumours develop, and very few people ever get them. Read on to find out more.
Dental x-rays and cancer
There is a link between dental x-rays and certain kinds of brain cancer, specifically meningioma, and this link is real. Bitewing x-rays that target the side of the face can lead to this kind of brain tumour. But the cases of these that occur independently of any other carcinogen being present are so negligible as to be completely insignificant. If you get one x-ray a year even, you will not have to worry about this contributing to your risk of developing cancer, and it is very rare that dental x-rays are required.
Why do we need dental x-ray?
Dental x-rays are an absolutely necessary, indispensable part of diagnostics and analysis. Without it, dentists cannot hope to find the roots of teeth without making the tongue or the face go numb from nerve damage, they would not know where the wisdom teeth that are not entirely erupted are located, and dental implantation would be absolutely impossible, and even basic treatments like root canal treatments would become a hit or miss kind of endeavour, one that doctors are legally liable for. So in order to make sure that you get dental treatment that is good for you and will not cause problems later on, you need to get a dental x-ray.
Reducing the amount of x-rays that touch the person is a great first step in eliminating the carcinogenic nature of this necessary procedure, and dentists have already started doing just that. New and up to date machines emit much less of the cancer causing gamma rays, and soon may be emitting none at all. So when it’s time to get a dental x-ray, don’t be afraid, just know that you cannot get them to frequently.