How toxic are dental x-rays?

Radiation exposure builds up over time, so people should avoid excessive x-rays if possible. Annual dental x-rays are not dangerous. If a patient has a medical condition that requires frequent x-rays, they should notify their dentist. X-rays are a type of ionizing radiation and ionizing radiation has been shown to cause cancer.

Ionizing radiation, when passing through the body, removes electrons from atoms that this energy passes through. The resulting protons, known as free radicals, can damage the body's cells. Although these cells return to normal most of the time, the cells rarely heal with some abnormalities. These abnormal cells can then develop into cancer.

From this alone, people believe that dental x-rays can cause cancer. Second, this study showed evidence that the increased risk of head and neck cancer due to exposure to low doses of dental diagnostic x-rays cannot be ignored. In addition, the articles report inconsistent statistical significance on the X-ray exposure of dental diagnosis and health effects, depending on topics and research design; therefore, related studies should be organized systematically. In 4 of the 5 thyroid-related studies, there was a significant correlation with dental diagnostic x-rays.

Diagnostic dental x-rays for certain types of exams, such as bites, whole mouth series and panoramic views, are commonly used. In four of the five studies, there were significant correlations between diagnostic dental x-rays and thyroid cancer. For example, researchers argue that dental x-rays are the main artificial source of exposure to ionizing radiation in the United States, a form of radiation associated with an increased risk of brain tumors. However, there are some studies on exposure to low-dose dental diagnostic x-rays and health effects, except with respect to some parts of the body.

Summary of studies on the association between dental x-ray exposure experience and thyroid cancer, tumors in the head and neck areas, and other health outcomes. A study classified the types of dental diagnostic x-rays and examined correlations with low birth weight (LBW) and showed that only the types of panoramic exams had a statistically significant correlation with LBW. Dental x-rays are an important part of every dentist's toolkit for detecting cavities and other problems in a patient's mouth. Patients are certainly exposed to diagnostic dental x-rays, and dentists may also be exposed.

Repeated exposure to dental x-rays can cause several health problems, including head and neck tumors and several systemic problems. Among the twenty-one articles that reported a correlation between dental diagnostic x-rays and overall health, eighteen articles evaluated the correlation with the head and neck areas. However, we can identify trends in radiographic dental diagnostic studies through this systematic review of the literature.