Posted by Todd Welch – April 7th, 2011 in the Science of Dentistry
Recently you may have heard about increased discussions via email and social media networks about the safety of dental X-rays.
Much of the discussion stems from an unnamed individual who referenced a
Dr. Oz show that aired “last Wed” advising women to ask for a thyroid collar
when receiving a mammogram or dental x-ray to reduce radiation
exposure. The individual encouraged people to share this information,
and it has been spreading through social media networks and via email.
It is possible the individual is referring to a Dr. Oz program
that actually aired Sept. 28, 2010. The episode focused on thyroid
cancer, and during a portion of the show, Dr. Oz promoted the use of
protective leaded aprons and thyroid collars to reduce radiation
exposure, a practice the ADA recommends in The Selection of Patients for
Dental Radiographic Examinations developed by the ADA and the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration.
While the ADA believes the radiation exposure from dental X-rays is
low relative to other sources, every precaution should be taken to
ensure that radiation exposure is as low as reasonably achievable (the
ALARA principle). The ADA recommends that dentists use lead aprons and leaded thyroid collars (or
non-lead equivalents) whenever possible. This practice is strongly
recommended for children, women of childbearing age and pregnant women
who are especially susceptible to radiation effects.