Dental X-Rays and Brain Tumors – What To Say To Patients

As you may know, recently the journal Cancer published a study linking dental x-rays to brain tumors.

If you have not read the study, you may check it out by clicking here. If you have ADD like us, a great summary (or “greatest hits” as we like to say) can be read here.

And while the issue got a quick media splash and is already fading away, it is good to have an answer if a patient brings it up.

One thing we as dental people tend to do is talk way too much and paint ourselves into a corner. But the fact is, most questions, no matter how difficult, can be answered succinctly and effectively.

So when it comes to this study, there are really only a few important points your patients need to know. Let’s cut to the chase and do a sample dialog.

“Hey Doc – I saw on TV that dental x-rays cause brain tumors.”

“Gladys – I’m glad that you brought that up. I read that entire study as soon as it came out. It actually tracked x-rays done in the past. These days we use digital x-rays, which are not only more accurate but give off up to 90 percent less radiation. But most importantly, our office philosophy has always been to do only x-rays which are absolutely necessary for your dental health. We do the same x-rays on you that we do on ourselves and all of our family members.”

That should satisfy just about every single patient who brings up this study. And if someone still refuses x-rays, don’t ostracize them – just document like crazy!!

As with most issues, keep it simple and to the point and you’ll be okay!!

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