WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- According to a new study in the journal Cancer, the radiation that comes from frequent dental x-rays can possibly be linked to non-cancerous brain tumors. These tumors are called meningioma.
The study says those who received bitewing x-rays once or more a year had a 40% to 90% greater risk of a brain tumor. Researchers examined nearly 3,000 patients.
We consulted DC dentist Michael Kostrov, DMD, who says these results are based on higher radiation levels than patients are exposed to today.
Dr. Kostrov says, "The x-rays we take now for diagnostics contain much less radiation than the ones used in the 1960s and 70s when the people in the study would have been radiated."
David Brenner, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University told CBS News moderating use of x-rays for patients with healthy teeth is a good idea.
Dr. Brenner says, "When you come in for an annual routine exam, there's no reason to have x-rays at that point."
The ADA recommends dental x-rays for healthy Americans every 2 years. Every 1 to 2 years is recommended for children since their teeth growing faster.
Dr. Kostrov says, "Even though i'm concerned about dental radiation for me and my family, its something that is necessary in dentistry to diagonse things that you cannot see in a routine visit and prevent bigger problems later on."