The SA Dental Association (SADA) reassured the public that dental X-rays are safe.

Johannesburg - The SA Dental Association (SADA) reassured the public on Thursday that dental X-rays are safe.

It was responding to a United States study which suggested that people who had regular dental X-rays were more likely to suffer a common type of brain tumour.

SADA dental ombudsman Dr Jeff Michelson said the scare was unfounded.

“It is important for people to know that the brain tumour meningioma, which the US study was referring to, is a benign 1/8non-cancerous 3/8 growth which is extremely rare and very slow-growing.”

He said dental radiographs, using modern X-ray equipment, used much less radiation than previously required to obtain images.

“A typical dental X-ray image exposes a person to less than one percent of the total radiation that he or she would be exposed to during normal daily activities.”

SADA warned that by shunning dental X-rays, many dental conditions could be missed.

“This could result in damaging and sometimes irreversible harm to your teeth or the supporting structures in the mouth,” Michelson said.

SADA agreed that dental X-rays should not be done indiscriminately and that patients had the right to ask the dentist if the imaging was really necessary. - Sapa