Dental X-Rays and Brain Tumors: Understanding the Research

Friday, May 4, 2012 - 3:21pm
Chair, Department of Neurosurgery and Director, Neuro-Oncology Program

A recent study in Cancer, a journal published by the American Cancer Society (ACS), reported a correlation between certain types of dental X-rays and a common, benign brain tumor called meningioma. In general, the study found that those with meningioma were twice as likely than those without meningioma to recall having a bitewing X-ray at some point in their lifetime. A link was also found between the brain tumor and another type of dental X-ray called a panorex X-ray, which is less commonly used.

While the research should be taken seriously, it’s important to understand the findings and how the study was undertaken before you refuse dental X-rays. In the above video I explain a few considerations to keep in mind when interpreting the results, and I urge everyone to not panic and be sure to discuss any concerns with your dentist or physician.