Hidden Dental X-Ray Danger

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist February 20, 2012

This Child is NOT Sufficiently Protected from this X-Ray Machine!

I don’t get dental x-rays very often, certainly not every six months like most dentists seem to recommend even for children.  I don’t buy the argument that “you get more radiation walking to your car than what you get from this digital x-ray machine.”

Doesn’t that sound like the hollow argument the TSA uses that you will get more radiation from the airplane flight itself than from the naked body scanners?

Oh, is that why there is a cancer cluster among TSA agents in Boston and why Europe has outright banned them then?

Oops, sorry.  Off on a bit of a mental tangent.  Back to the dental x-rays.

If dental x-rays were so harmless, why do they put a big lead suit over you and the technician is sure to step out of the room when the x-rays are taken?

The fact is that anyone who has taken a basic high school Physics class knows that radiation comes in many forms (can we say electromagnetic spectrum?).  You can’t compare the radiation from the sun with the radiation from an x-ray machine that takes pictures of your bones.

Completely different forms of radiation!

That being said, sometimes you really do need to get dental x-rays for whatever reason.

If you find yourself in a situation where dental x-rays are needed, be sure to insist that you or your child are given a thyroid guard when the x-rays are taken.

In the picture above, you will see that the child has a lead suit over his body in preparation for the dental x-rays, but where oh where is the thyroid guard?

Nowhere to be seen!

Most dental technicians don’t use one unless the patient specifically asks for it.   Given that thyroid cancer is on the rise and that there are so many assaults on this delicate, butterfly shaped organ in our modern life from processed foods and environmental toxins, it is very important that you insist on thyroid protection whenever you get any sort of dental x-ray.

Oh, and I know.  Snopes states that this claim is ridiculous.  Who crowned Snopes the King of rumor control anyway?

Snopes is for dopes in my opinion. Snopes has no credibility given its constant their defense of the food industry and Big Pharma.   I wouldn’t be surprised if Snopes is somehow in the food or drug industry’s pocket in some form.

Dental X-Rays a Risk to the Thyroid

Studies have shown that women who are pregnant and have dental x-rays are at a higher risk for having small babies.

Study participants who had dental x-rays while pregnant were at double the risk of having a low birth weight baby born prematurely and triple the risk of having an underweight baby born full term.

This study involved 4,500 women who had babies between 1993 and 2000 and was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Philippe Hujoel, a professor of dental public health services at the University of Washington, said that it is unclear how the radiation might be affecting fetuses but conjectured that perhaps the thyroid gland in the pregnant women was somehow affected by the dental x-rays. He went on to say that previous studies have found an increased risk of low birth weight babies in women with mild thyroid disease.

Insist on That Thyroid Guard!

It is very important to insist on a thyroid guard whenever you or a loved one has a dental x-ray taken. This simple device should also be used during mammograms, but I advocate not doing mammograms at all, but that is another story entirely!

Even Dr. Oz warns that repeated dental x-rays and mammograms can possibly contribute to an increase in thryoid cancer and that wearing one would be a wise move.

What’s it going to hurt to wear one, after all?  There is absolutely no downside to this extra safety precaution.

If, after asking your dentist for a thyroid guard, you discover that he/she doesn’t even have one available, you can safely assume that it is time for you to find a new dentist!

 

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  Dental X-Rays Might Lead to Smaller Babies

Thyroid Guards

Picture Credit 

 

Comments (132)

    • The x-ray industry has been around a long time. Adolf Hitler’s regime had “scientists” performing all sorts of experiments on Jewish people before, during and/or after they were killed. Hopefully nobody says the x-rays are harmless. I’d like to see the dental insurance industry demand fewer, not more x-rays, be they digital or otherwise. An x-ray is an x-ray is an x-ray is RADIATION.
      Madame Curie died a horrible death, and she sort of “invented” radiation…If you are old enough to know better, why would you subject your body systems to x-rays
      I’m confused. I was able to avoid x-rays the last two times I went to the dentist–that was 3 years ago, because they told me I would have to get full mouth digital x-rays. Oh, hell no. And I haven’t been back since. SHAME ON THE DENTAL INDUSTRY for insisting on routine x-rays.
      I have thyroid problems, and I have hydrocephalus, and I believe both were caused by dental x-rays. For a specific suspicion, maybe let your dentist take a bite-wing x-ray, but the idea of routinely burning your innards for the sake of paying off a machine that cost them a lot of money–the road to hell is paved with dental x-ray machine salespersons and the dentists who buy and use and abuse those machines.

      Reply
  1. This is such a simple and easy thing to do, I cannot understand why it is not required procedure.

    Well, a reduction in the number of thyroid cancers would mean less drug sales, surgeries, and income for the medical industry and the drug companies.

    Oh yes, the only thing that makes the dopes at Snopes experts in anything is their own marketing. They are just a husband and wife team who used to work as reporters.

    Reply
    • The medical industry pays plenty of attention to it–thyroid cancer removal, I was shunted (Brain) for hydrocephalus–who knows what other innards are damaged or destroyed by dental x-rays…my mom used to be a dental hygienist, and now they say she has Alzheimers…but I think she doesn’t orient herself because she is deaf–maybe x-rays cause deafness as well…

      Reply
  2. Amanda McCandliss via Facebook February 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

    THANK YOU! I need to take my son for his first dental exam soon. I’ve read this advice before but I had completely forgotten about it. This is important so thanks again!

    Reply
  3. Ty-Megan Gross via Facebook February 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Should this be for ALL X-rays or just ones on the face? My little one gets lots of X-rays and I am always in the room with her (she’s only 9 months). Should I get one for myself instead of just the lead apron? And how do I even begin to protect her little body?

    Reply
    • If your precious little one needs x-ray frequently, protect everything on/in her body that doesn’t need to be irradiated. X-rays are harmful, not healthy. If you must hold her, ten protect yourself to the maximum extent possible.

      Reply
  4. Snopes does not claim this is false, but rather offers opinions from both viewpoints. I agree with yours, but always like to know the other argument.

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  5. I actually ended up not getting an appointment because of this issue. Most (actually all that were on my insurance) dentist won’t see you for a teeth cleaning unless you get an x-ray. Discrimination to me….
    Even that I am pregnant didn’t make them change their rule. And they used the exact same comment: “You get more radiation when you walk to your car.” Maybe this is what the companies (that sell the x-ray machines) teach them. I am originally from Germany and the only time I ever had to have an x-ray is before they took out my wisdom teeth. Sarah, thank you for the article, I couldn’t agree more with you!

    Reply
      • Where in creation can I get a better dentist? I use the Sonicare toothbrush, and the hygienist is constantly amazed at how clean and plaque-free my teeth are, But still–they want x-rays–55years ago, I had tons of xrays (at old-fashioned “lack of respect for radiation. I also eventually had my wisdom teeth out. Plus twice a year xrays for my teethcleaning exam. I have thyroid trouble–they haven’t called it cancer yet, but I have been on Synthroid (artificial thyroid hormone to treat slow-functioning thyroid) since 1980.
        I have to beg for the thyroid collar–this dentist has one. F*^% the whole dental profession, and the insurance industry if they will not treat you without xrays. Sonicare twice above and twice below morning and night and to hell with all dentists. Of course use fluoride toothpaste, but your body doesn’t need the unnaturall fluoridated water. Of course, floss once per day as well.

        Reply
    • I of course had two series of xrays for the wisdom teeth.
      Since early childhood (in the days before they published that xrays can kill people and other living tissue) I must have had 50 dental xrays for bad teeth and per- and post-orthodontia and many root canals (before, during, after)–back in those days nobody said anything about the dangerous effects of xradiation.. I don’t spend a lot of time outside walking to my car.

      and many CT scans of my head (because I have hydrocephalus.)

      MRI scans are more informative anyway for hydrocephalus anyhow for the last 15 years

      I understand that the negative effects of xrays are cumulative over a lifetime.
      They say that they don’t know what caused my hydrocephalus (for which I was shunted 15 years ago), but I m better than 50% convinced that it was caused by xrays in my childhood….in adulthood i have had approximately 10 CT scans of my head–now the ophthalmol;ogist tells me that I have glaucoma–maybe there’s a connection…I a;lso have hypothyroidism–maybe there’s a connection…oh, there’s a connection, but the fricking insurance companies require CT scans before they will authorize the 8 times more expensive MRIs which yield better data anyway.

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    • Me too…too little too late…they are much less radiation nowadays, but you still have to weigh the benefits vs. the harm to your brain and other neck and facial organs.

      Reply
  6. Did you know that the essential oil Super Blue Yarrow can help get rid of any effects of radiation? (has to be used daily for a few days)? Yup. It’s one awesome oil.

    Learn all you can about alternative care. We are in such desperate need of it.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for this information, Sarah. I never thought about it before, but then, there’s so very much to learn to protect ourselves these days! Now, though, I’m wondering, what about radiation and our brains? Shouldn’t we also be wearing a lead cap?

    Reply
    • Good point! a lead cap should be standard operating procedure–you are very close to the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, and God knows what other glands, not to mention the brain so close to the damned xrays. On the other hand, severe tooth decay can cause brain damage as well.

      Reply
  8. I just called my daughter, who’s on her way to the dentist, after looking at the first part of the article in the e-mail. I told her I hope she declines the x-rays, which this dentist allows, but needs the thing that goes over her thyroid if she does get it. Now that I’ve read the article, I sure hope she doesn’t get the x-rays or that they have a thyroid guard. I’d heard this before, but it’s a good reminder. Thank you.
    Dorothy\’s last post: Small beginnings

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  9. I recently visited ER for severe dyhration. Iam a transplant patient and got strep and the noravirus.
    After my chest was checked to see if I had congestion and it was completely clear, someone from x-ray showed up to take me for a chest X-ray. I said what for and completely refused it. Not one dr. Ever said 1 word. They do it even when there is no reason. I also refuse x- rays at the dentist unless I am having a issue. We have to be our own advocates no one else will. I had too many X-rays when I had my transplant. It’s time to stand up for our selves..

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  10. Okay, I have two x-ray rants…

    In Korea (South), I had to get x-rays when I broke my foot. The machinery was clearly left over from M*A*S*H*, there was no lead apron provided, and the young women operating the machines did not leave the room for their own protection!! I felt self-indulgent worrying about my one-time exposure when I thought about their young bodies getting exposed on a very frequent basis.

    Rant two…I went to Harvard Medical for dental work a couple of years ago, through the dental student program which means you get reduced prices for getting work from 3rd & 4th year dental students. The x-ray tech, though, I don’t know how much training he had. He was to take a full machine-rotates-all-the-way-around-my-head set of x-rays plus static image shots. He had to retake one or two positions several times because he wasn’t getting a clear image! I tried to be understanding, but finally had to point out to him that he was zapping me with loads of radiation. “Oh, right…Sorry…”

    Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your rant about Snopes. I had to smile, as I was thinking just that the other day…”Who made Snopes the trusted authority?”

    Anyway, thanks for humoring me in my little rant!
    Karin\’s last post: Willie Nelson Joins 300,000 Activists in Suit Against Monsanto | Common Dreams

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  11. It never seems to be a comfortable situation to “refuse treatment”, as they put in their records. We do minimal ex-rays, and no flouride. I get the feeling they think I am very strange! Wait until I tell them about the thyroid guard.

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  12. Just demonstrated my device to an extraordinary woman who has stories about healing… One of them is about the time she was on a ferry in New York City, and saw something she’d never seen a before: a woman without an aura. She wondered how someone could live without their “space suit”, and approached her. Sores on hands & feet, etc.

    The woman was from Chernobyl. They pulled her aura back to normal with some simple technology from Radio Shack, and she still hears from her once a year or so.

    I wrote this page after that reactor in Japan broke down:
    http://radialappliance.teslabox.com/cayce-on-radiation/

    -James

    Reply
      • It doesn’t seem to make sense at first that there would be an effect produced by a disturbed physical system (cell death and DNA damage caused by electrons racing around from a very high energy/wave (the radiation) passing through the body tissue) into the energetic systems (meridians, chakras etc.) but the research is so very young at this time – in its infancy. There has been research on mediums to suggest that when they produce ectoplasm (the densest form of energy from nonphysical energetic systems, e.g, chakras) there is a reduction of body weight and also human cells removed and found in the ectoplasm. And also telekinesis shows energy affecting matter. Radiation is a high level physical energy bombardment, but future research may find it can have an effect on our nonphysical energetic system via mechanisms we have not discovered yet, even possibly causing unexpected changes in the human aura (if energies can affect matter, matter may possibly affect energies). Be patient, science has a long way to go yet in this area. It isn’t beyond reason, its simply beyond our current research.

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  13. A radiologist himself told me to insist on a thyroid shield with all x-rays because of radiation “scatter.” It makes perfect sense.

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  14. Thank you for this article. Our health and safety cannot be left in your dentists hands. Either he does not understand or does not want to. I once refused a mercury amalgam. The dentist (professional doctor that he was) THREW pamphlets, produced by the ADA defending their position on mercury poisoning, at me and stormed out of the room. This is what we are dealing with. Educate yourself and protect yourself. Thank you Sarah.

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  15. A dentist recently told me that the “new” digital x-rays are, yes, lower in radiation, but not nearly as low as what people are led to believe.

    Actually, Sarah, I have to side with Snopes on this one. I appreciate and agree with your view, but I wonder if you might have been a bit hasty to chastise Snopes. I looked up their page on the thyroid guard ( http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/thyroidguard.asp ) and find their results congruent with their style of reporting. They are not claiming to be the authorities, in fact, they are deferring to the authority of two doctors, Dr. Oz and Dr. Harpham. If you read Dr. Harpham’s excerpt, she mentions that some people might worry about annoying the x-ray tech by asking for a thyroid guard. Um, worry about protecting your thyroid vs. someone’s annoyance level? Seems a no-brainer to me as which argument has more ground.

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  16. Ho, that just shows you how ignorant I am. I had a dental xray about two years ago and the dentist didn’t say a word about a thyroid guard nor did the technician. I even wonder if they had one? Of course this is the same person who told me not to worry about the mercury in the amalgams as there wouldn’t be enough to do harm. Well, I’ve got a mouth full of the stuff, is that enough to do harm?

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  17. Yes, do insist on a thyroid shield, and the big shield that also protects your reproductive organs. In dental school, we were taught to always place both on the patient, but some dentists will get lazy on insisting the dental assistants always place both.
    Digital x-rays produce considerably less radiation than the older machines, I’ve ready anywhere from 80 to 95%. That is a huge improvement, but I still wear my shields whenever having x-rays taken, it is just the smart thing to do. Are x-rays needed every 6 months? If you take care of your teeth, and are currently not at high risk for decay, then probably not. If you are a patient that comes in with periodontal problems, have a history of a couple of cavities every time you come in for your recall exam, then anyone can understand why we would want to see some x-rays. In x-rays, we can find if there is decay underneath a filling, decay in between teeth that can’t be seen clinically, if a root canal is going bad, and many more things. A good dentist will study the patient’s history well, and decide if x-rays are needed or not. Now, when a new patient comes in, and I have no idea what I am dealing with, I like to have a full set of x-rays. If I miss decay, or a cyst, or a source of infection because I didn’t have x-rays, I am held liable, and with reasonable cause, for not looking at the whole picture. If the patient turns out to be in great oral health, will I subject them to more x-rays in 6 months? Probably not, unless they have a symptom or concern.

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  18. Oh, and Jamie, any doctor that throws stuff around and storms out of a room is a jerk, and you shouldn’t allow him to work on your mouth anyways.

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  19. So many of us have been trained to trust the doctor, trust the dentist. Obey them.
    Truth is, they are just people, not gods. Their professions have been structured to make money, not heal people. Many times they just apply a standard protocol without any regard for your individual needs or situation. Many times, they do not know what to do and are just guessing. Every one of them has a financial conflict of interest with every patient who comes to see them. Many of them get money from drug companies as a reward for prescribing certain drugs. Many of them get financial rewards from insurance companies for prescribing certain treatments and tests, regardless of the individual needs of the patient.

    Despite this, there are a few doctors and dentists who are good people and sincerely want to help. How can you tell? The ones who listen to what you say, who treat you with respect, who do all they can to comply with your wishes, who carefully explain what they are doing and why, who will adjust their actions to your individual needs, who try to do no harm – those are the ones to listen to. The ones who bully, do not hear you, threaten, try to make you obey them because, after all, they are “the doctor”, are, in my opinion, not worth seeing.

    I once had a dentist who respected my wishes, and never tried to give me an x-ray after I explained to him why I did not want them. And my teeth, were, and are, fine.

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  20. I really appreciate this post. I have been wondering for some time about the safety of dental x-rays. The last couple times I went to the dentist I chose not to have x-rays at all. Next time I will ask about thyroid guard. I never heard of it. I have a feeling my dentist doesn’t have it.

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  21. Why do they make a thyroid guard if not to protect the thyroid?

    I ALWAYS have to ask and have done so for years. They NEVER offer it up.

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  22. My friend had X-rays before she knew she was preg. While the baby was born “healthy” and full term, he is still very small for his age at 9. Interesting considering the study you cited.

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  23. Wow, I just had a dental cleaning today and I had to get lots of x-rays of my teeth. If I had only known sooner I would’ve definitely requested this. I go to a boarding school so whenever I come back home I usually have a lot of appointments. Today I had 3. In the dental examination, there was a large revolving x-ray machine that took x-rays and it’s done every 5 years… It felt weird as it swirled around my head. My pediatrician wanted to give my a 2nd shot of coccal meningitis, a booster of sorts to make sure that the 1st one worked. I refused. My mom also kept insisting (and told me that I read too much online) I get the shot, but at 17 years of age I’m glad that they didn’t try to hold me down and inject me. They were also persistent but in the end my doctor respected my wishes. I told her that I believed in holistic methods to prevent sickness and she used some twisted logic to explain how vaccines are holistic.
    I had a CT at the beginning of last year… I can’t go back and change the fact that I have had vaccines and a lot of x-rays done to me, but I am living my life right now where I don’t take part in things I don’t believe in.
    Leslie\’s last post: Exam Week

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  24. As a dental hygienist, I feel I’d like to add some information to this conversation. Yes, thyroid collars should be protocol. We only have aprons in our office that have the collar attached. Digital xrays have about 1/3 the amount of radiation as the standard fast film. That does help. In our office we do not take any xrays of children under the age of five unless we see something in the mouth that we are concerned about. We also hold off on films for most people for at least two years in between exposure. If people have a higher decay rate, we sometimes take the film within a year just to check to make sure they have the decay rate under control with proper diet and home care. For people who have never had a cavity in between their teeth (which is the area xrays are used to diagnose) we postpone the films even longer.
    The xray machine that goes around your head does not diagnose decay well. This machine is useful for oral surgery and for orthodontia. I definitely would not see a dentist who used this panograph regularly because of the limited diagnostic abilities. They are expensive machines to buy and insurance does cover the pan every three years or so, depending on the policy. Because of this, many offices take them even though they don’t learn much from it. They do help in the diagnosis of cysts, tumors and abscesses. In our office we usually look for symptoms before taking any extra radiographs at all.
    One other note, as a profession we hygienists often have the difficult task of carrying out the orders of a dentist even though they do not fall into the recommendations of the ADA. If you look at the ADA web site and click on xrays you will notice how infrequently they are recommended. This is a good tool for any patient…..bring this to the office next time and you have wonderful credibility.
    As long as we are talking thyroid and dental health, if anyone has a compromised thyroid make sure you are not using fluoride products. Fluoride attaches to the iodine receptor sites in the thyroid. Hope this helps some people. Most of us in the profession really do try our best. Go in and tell your professional that you floss daily, brush after every meal and limit your sweets along with eating lots of vegetables and they may just be on the same page as you when it comes to limiting films and eliminating fluoride recommendations!

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    • Thank you for this info. I go to a dental hygienist school for my cleanings because we don’t have dental insurance. I was told by the student I would need x-rays again, and I told her I had them done last year. She said something about doing bite wings every year. I’m just not comfortable with that. I haven’t even had a cavity in about 10 years, and my diet is way better now. Just seems like overkill to me.
      Lisa C\’s last post: Spiritual Sunday: Made to be Perfect

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      • If you go to the dentist version of the radiograph guidelines on the ADA website, an adult with no evidence of clinical decay and good diet should have xrays taken between 24-36 months. If you have not had a cavity in 10 years, I would go longer unless you have periodontal disease and are monitoring your bone level. Diet is so important! Limit snacks is my number one recommendation.

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  25. I took my kids to the dentist today. After reading your post I requested no x-rays. The nurse told me that the dentist is required by law to take x-rays every six months. Does that sound right to you? The standard vest includes the thyroid guard but still. They kind of acted weird about the no fluoride before but never threatened to not provide services. They did tell me the do the whole mouth age 5, 10, 15. Is that what you are referring to?

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  26. About a month ago I took my younger son to the dentist. I informed her of our beliefs about unnecessary x-rays and said if it looks like he has a cavity we can x-ray that tooth. She refused to clean his teeth without x-rays.This is not ok I told her the only reason to x-ray was so that she could charge the insurance company and left the office. I am assuming inorder to have his teeth cleaned without x-rays is to find a natural dentist, ridiculous. Since then I have researched how thyroid problems can exist from x-rays. we have a family history of thyroid problems. I have been x-rayed many times for dental purposes. No MORE!

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    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Good for you Jennifer. I have walked out of a dentist’s office more than once. Whatever. You do what you have to do. Don’t ever get bullied into doing something to your body that you feel is not in your best long term interests.

      Who is paying who, after all? You are in charge, you are the customer. Doctors and dentists forget this much of the time and run their offices likes little dictatorships. Choose to take your business elsewhere.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Hidden Dental X-Ray Danger

      Reply
      • Monica Le Jeune, RDH February 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm

        You are the paying patient – that is true – however, the DDS is the licensed professional and the owner of the business that YOU must have chosen at some point. You can always choose to take your business elsewhere, and your dentist will be happy when you do. Here’s why: “supervised neglect”. When you, the patient, dictate your own treatment, as in delaying radiographs for years on end, and harm comes to you as a result of that delay, your dentist can lose his or her license. Yes. Even though YOU insisted on no xrays. Or, you could sue that dentist, and win. The idea is that you, the patient, are not qualified to make those decisions under the dentist’s supervision. You are his responsibility. He is the one with the years of training and education. Not you. No reputable dentist will not allow patients to continue in his or her practice under these circumstances. Sarah, I know you hate to have others shine a light on your half-truths and nonsense, so I bet my comment will never get posted. But at least you’ll see it. Nobody’s bullying you. If your dentist says “you have to have xrays with reasonable frequency in order to be a patient here” and you don’t want to, then walk away.

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        • Yes, that’s right, you have just given us the REAL REASON many of these X-rays are given. It’s NOT for the patient’s benefit, it’s for the Dentist’s- so they don’t end up getting sued! Who cares that the patient is being exposed to harmful radiation just as long as the doctor doesn’t get sued for malpractice. A doctor confided in me that one of the reason for many CT scans is exactly the same thing- not because they’re always really needed (in fact, many times the Dr. doesn’t think they are!) but just in case, so the patient can’t come back later and sue.

          And yeah, these people really are bullying us. What else do you call that heavy pressure or refusal of service if I don’t want to have the X-rays? What? You can’t even clean my teeth without doing full mouth x-rays? REALLY???

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  27. Wow, thank you. I’m going in for an exam and cleaning next month. I’m thinking of actually opting out of the x-ray since I don’t think I should need one every year when I eat such a good diet and have no tooth pains. But still really glad to know about this. It makes so much sense!!!
    Lisa C\’s last post: Spiritual Sunday: Made to be Perfect

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  28. My dentist told me recently that a digital x-ray has as much radiation as the regular x-ray. He says that the only difference is that with the digital one you can see the results on computer (digitally) as opposed to a film. It is not the case, is it? The dentist is holistic!

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  29. I had thyroid cancer when I was 26. I had a thyroid tumor (not cancer) when I was 13. I had dental x-rays twice a year with my cleanings that my mom religiously took us to. My cancer doctor (who is the head honcho) at MD Anderson (The number 1 cancer clinic in the world) said NEVER get dental x-rays withOUT the thyroid guard and took it a step further and said do NOT get dental x-rays that are not digital. In other words, if your dentist still uses traditional x-rays, RUN!!!!! He said the level of radiation is MUCH higher with the traditional x-rays compared to the digital. We never get dental x-rays now without the thyroid guard. In fact, our new dentist has a lead bib with a thyroid guard already built in.

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  30. Pingback: Hidden Dental X-Ray Danger | CookingPlanet

  31. maybe you should go to a dentist office that is up to date. Digital xrays have less radiation. I am a dental hygienist, and we do NOT step outside the door to take the xrays. I stay in the room for every xray I take. I had a patient today that declined xrays for 2 years, then when we took them, we found 2 cavites that needed crowns. If she would have gotten them sooner she would have spent less money fixing the cavities. You need to do more research on digital dental xrays.

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  32. Let me start by saying I am a dental hygienist. Dental x-rays are a very low form of radiation and digital x-rays are extremely minimal. To answer a few of your questions, I think thyroid covers a good idea but unnecessary. I have no problem covering someeone’s thyroid gland if it makes them feel better, but I doubt it makes a difference. Most dental insurances cover bitewing x-rays (the set of 4 you normally take) once a year-some cover 2 x yearly. Insurance companies would never cover x-rays at this rate if they didn’t find them important or if it would cause medical issues down the road (which would cost them money). A periapical (PA) is similar to a bitewing but shows the tip of the root (need to rule out an infection of the nerve) in teeth which are cracked, decayed or hurting. Not taking a PA is substandard care, illegal and lazy. Would you want to go to the ER with chest pain and not get an EKG to rule out a heart attack? Panoramic x-rays (the big thing that spins around your head) is more radiation but extremely important. Insurance companies cover every 3-5 years (I think every 5 years is fine). It shows a big picture of the jaw and shows if anything is going on in the jaw that is not producing symptoms. I think it’s easy to say these are not important until you find out your child doesn’t have most of his/her adult teeth under her baby teeth, your mother has cancer in her jaw she couldn’t feel, or that car accident you thought was fine actually cracked your jaw in half. As a practicing hygienist, if a patient refuses x-rays I educate them on why they are important and note the information in their chart so if something happens in the future I can legally say I’ve done my ethical duty. I do not take offense at all, but if you were my family member, you’re getting them :)

    Reply
    • as a practicing hygienist, I agree with most of your statements. In our office we used to take bitewing xrays every 2 yrs. As we audited our patients and compared xrays we started to notice that the size of interproximal (between the teeth) decay was much larger on those that were xray’d every 2 yrs as compared to those once a year. The reason being that we could catch and diagnose decay before it became so big that you needed to have a larger filling, crown, root canal or even extraction (pulling it out). As we have started to xray once a year we are finding decay at such early stages we can recommend preventitive treatments to avoid a filling, and no that doesn’t mean fluoride. flossing, brushing and using remineralizing pastes can arrest early decay. I was getting upset by the neglect we were impossing on our patients by only radiating twice a year. I personally would rather have the minimal intervention if possible and unfortunately that involves using xrays to diagnose what the naked eye cannot see. In our office we monitor radiation exposure with dossimeter badges that are analyzed by the government. We have been assured by our xray company that the literature and studies show the radiation to be minimal. If you want to refuse xrays I will not belittle or be rude, I am all for personal advocation, just think about the possible long term consequences. We do need to document any refusal of treatment due to the increasing amount of lawsuits and to show that ethically we have provided you with the best preventitive care possible. Many of us in the dental world still care about your overall health and still find this to be a health profession not a money making buisiness, unfortunately there are offices out there that are driven by the almightly dollar and that taints us all.

      Reply
    • Kathryn,

      You sound very sincere and I have no question that you’re a caring person, but do you apply the same logic to the rest of your body? Do you go in every year or so and get a full body CT scan? And why not? Because I can safely assume your answer is “No, I don’t CT scans every couple of years.” But is your mouth the only place you might have hidden problems? Why aren’t you treating your whole body with the same amount of care as your mouth and getting CT scans to search out possible trouble before it gets worse?

      You say you think a thyroid cover is “a good idea but unnecessary.” You then go on to act like you’re willing to treat it like a little sugar pill for the patient “if it makes them feel better”. Really? You don’t think it’s a bad idea radiating someone’s thyroid? You do realize what an important gland your thyroid is, don’t you? You seem very nice, but honestly, you scare me! When I go to the Dentist I want the person giving me an X-ray to protect my health as much as possible.

      Reply
  33. You people are all idiots. You know and understand nothing about physics, certainly not anything you may have learned about in a high school class 20 years ago. You also know next to nothing about oral health, teeth and the risks of radiation.

    Everything in life, including dental x-rays, comes with risks. It the cost benefit analysis that determines whether or not you should do them, not your personal notions of when it is appropriate to have or not have x-rays taken. While the TSA screening protects you against an extremely small risk of terrorism with a rather high dose of radiation each and every time you fly (many times per month for some people), dental x-rays help you to discover early the most common bacterial infection in humans, that’s right tooth decay.

    Anyway, large cavities which are found late cost more to repair and make dentists more money, so by all means, refuse the x-rays. And when you return with you tooth ache and need a root canal, guess what, not only will the dentist still take xrays (average of 3 for just one root canal) but they’ll also make more money off you as well. Idiots!

    Reply
  34. So thankful for the information Sarah! I dont EVER recall having my throid covered and I am 48. My daughter does have another dental appt in March and I will keep an eye out.

    Question…….Do you also need to look for this for other xrays? My daughter who is 10 has been and will continue to be xrayed for a LONG time. She has scoliosis which will be operated on probably next year. She has been getting xrays which include bone age and complete spine since she was 7. Last year alone she probably 15 or more xrays on her hands and arms due to broken bones or sprains acting like they were broken bones.

    Reply
  35. I worked in a dentist office for a few years & the shields had the collar attatched. I made sure to cover the thyroid up well, while the older assistants were more laxed.

    Reply
  36. So it appears you like to research your “scientific” evidence throughout the article, except for the beginning. “I don’t buy the argument that you get more radiation walking to your car than what you get from this digital x-ray machine.” Good for you, you don’t buy it. I guess that extensive and ongoing evidence done by physicists on this is just pulled out of their ass right? Wrong. As someone who studies this, I find you extremely ignorant and I think you should not counteract your “research” with assumptions like this. You know nothing on this, and if you would have looked hard enough, instead of writing this in 15 minutes more than likely, you may have been able to find research papers done by professors and researchers on this subject.

    Reply
    • Haley,

      You’re the one that’s wrong. Getting an X-ray is not the same as walking to your car. You know what the difference is? FOCUSED RADIATION. You are concentrating the radiation on a very small area so that area gets a nice concentrated dose. That’s way different than walking outside and being exposed to background radiation that is not focused on a small area of your body.

      The TSA tries to tell you the same kind of thing… “Yeah, you get more radiation flying across the country.” Nope, not the same thing at all.

      Grade school example: My morning newspaper’s not going to burst into flames as I read it out in the sunshine sitting in my lawn chair, but take a magnifying glass and focus the sun’s light and you can start that same paper on fire.

      Reply
  37. You can also use melrose essential oil to clear radiation (www.youngliving.com/cheryljazzar). I have a FB group focused on holistic dentistry (how to find a dentist who won’t poison you, dangers of amalgam fillings, signs of mercury poisoning; etc.) https://www.facebook.com/groups/368162849890018/#!/groups/368162849890018/ I’ll be sure to add this article to that group.
    I recently cleared a tumor from my thyroid. I had been nourishing it with Thyromin from Young Living for a few months. That supplement contains oils of myrrh and myrtle, which are great for the thyroid. When I added iodine a big, red tumor came off of my gland! My naturopath confirmed it was not a blemish or a boil. I’m so glad I took a picture when it was really big. I used Sacred Frankincense to reduce it in size by about 90%. Sacred Frankincense is used in cancer protocols and is being studied in the US and Oman.
    My good pleasure is sharing essential oil protocols with others and posting the truth about dentistry on Get the Lead Out! group. Feel free to join it and suggest it to friends. :)
    Sarah, you sure hit a nerve with this article, judging from the number of comments! Well done!

    Reply
  38. Thyroid guard is mandatory for x-rays. However, many professions, not just dentistry, don’t always follow board regulated rules as they should. Dental x-rays are a great way to measure attachment loss and medical conditions such as abscesses, as well as monitoring adult teeth as they enter the mouth. X-ray should not be taken solely on the basis of “it’s been awhile since you got them”, they should be taken to confirm conditions suspected by dental professionals. This article has a lot of opinions but not a lot of facts.

    Reply
  39. Of course Dentists want every one to get X Rays every six months! The film probably costs $4.00 and they charge you $130.00 – great source of income, besides they want you to pay for the X Ray machine they had to buy for their practice at the expense of you being fried. Besides, if you get get any type of cancer, tumor or anything else caused by radiation exposure, how could you ever prove that it was caused by all the X Rays you got at the Dentists? – they will blame it on your cell phone! – but that is another story, since the same argument goes for them as well. Madame Curie was the one who pioneered research in radio activity and got killed by it as well. So if you asked me what is the safe amount of radiation exposure? – NONE if at all possible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie

    Reply
  40. If you are concerned about your teeth, look for Ramiel Nagel’s book “Cure Tooth Decay” and also consider that obsessing about fluoride and electric toothbrushes isn’t where the battle front really is! Fluoride is poison, can cause dental fluorosis, as well as harm your bones. Adequate nutrition really plays a part in good oral health! You can look up and learn about who Weston Price was easily on the internet. Dental decay is supposedly the most common childhood disease, according to posters on the subway here. It is certainly due to poor dietary choices, and due to consuming lots of sugar which in turn upsets the bodies ability to metabolize properly.

    Reply
  41. Sugar is bad news, and not for the reason you have heard before:

    From William Dufty Sugar Blues page 198,199

    The avant garde of dentistry has rediscovered that the body and the teeth are not two separate entities; the teeth are part of the body. There was an entire period during which the teeth were thought to be “inactive organs”: tooth decay was taken to be a local development on the surface of the teeth. Dentists were considered in the league with the barbers, as mechanics, cosmeticians, tinkerers. If a dentist talked to a patient about anything except cavities or the choice of a filling, he was treading on the jealously guarded terrain of the medical man.
    All that is over. Dental researchers have proven that the teeth are subject to the same metabolic processes that affect other organs of the body. The entire body is one.
    By adapting a technique originally developed to study movement of fluid within organs like the liver and kidneys, two researchers from the Loma Linda School of Dentistry have found that subtle changes in the internal activity of the teeth, caused by sugar, can be an early sign of later decay.
    In their report to a Chicago meeting of the International Association for Dental Research, Doctors R.E. Steinman and John Leonaora showed that the principle change,caused by sugar, is in the movement of fluid within the teeth. Hormonal chemicals are carried from the pulp to the enamel through the channels in the dentin.
    Resistance to tooth decay involves the health of the entire body: complex physiological processes are involved in maintaining and protecting the health of the teeth.
    The two researchers found that:
    – high sugar diet can slow the rate of transport of hormonal chemicals by as much as two thirds even in one week.
    – Teeth with sluggish internal activity have a high incidence of decay.
    – A hormone released by the hypothalamus stimulates the release by the salivary
    gland of a second hormone. The second hormone increases the rate of fluid flow
    through the teeth.
    – A high sugar diet upsets the hormonal balance and reduces the flow in the
    internal system. This weakens the tooth and makes it more susceptible to decay.
    - Healthy teeth are normally invulnerable to the microbes that are always present in your mouth.
    Who wants to get rid of friendly germs in the mouth except those crazy people selling mouthwash?

    Dufty’s source for this information is in an endnote that says “Medical World News”, January 14, 1972, March 16, 1973

    (Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions quotes this page Dufty : page 417 of NT)
    -

    Reply
    • Off topic? my two previous posts might appear to be off topic here, and perhaps even irrelevant, but if you are concerned about your teeth, your health, dentists, and dental x rays, I do not believe they are off topic.

      Reply
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