Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dental X-rays and Cancer, In the News and Over Hyped

Major media outlets have been covering the recent report in the Journal of Cancer that dental x-rays may be linked to a certain type of brain cancer. The study found that some adults with brain cancer were 2-5x more likely to have had repeated dental X-rays as children than those that did not have X-rays. The study could NOT prove however that the X-rays caused the cancer, just that those with the cancer were more likely to have had dental X-rays as children.

A major flaw with the study was the fact that the participants were asked to remember if they had a lot of X-rays as children as opposed to actually checking their dental records for the facts. This can lead to data which is not entirely factual as its based on the participants memory. As well, those already diagnosed with cancer may be more likely to "remember" having numerous dental X-rays as children as they try to place the cause of the cancer on something tangible.

Another issue is the fact that dental X-ray equipment has improved drastically over the last 15 years emitting 1/10 of the radiation now, than it did in 1999. That means most of the participants in this study, whom are now adults age 20-79 had dental X-rays with less sophisticated and more dangerous equipment than we have today.

The fact of the matter is, that the less exposure you get to radiation, the better off you are. We in the dental profession have been well trained on the risks vs. rewards of using dental X-rays. They should be ordered when necessary for diagnosis and treatment planning and we should ensure that radiation exposure is as low as reasonably achievable for every patient.

At Barnett Orthodontics, we will make every effort to keep X-ray exposure to a minimum and only order X-rays when needed for diagnosis and treatment planning. We have state of the art equipment and we strive to provide the best care possible in the Akron area. Should you have any questions or concerns about X-rays at our office, please don't hesitate to ask. 

The overuse of X-rays can absolutely be dangerous, but the current study out of Yale University has some major flaws. The take home message is; be responsible and X-rays will do more good than harm. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Akron Organization Donates $160,000 Annually for Braces...

Akron's Barnett Orthodontics is proud to partner with The Beacon Journal Charity Fund to provide braces to area families whom otherwise could not afford orthodontic treatment. 

Accepting a significantly reduced fee, Barnett Orthodontics (along with other area practitioners) provide the orthodontic treatment funded by the Charity Fund.  This partnership has allowed over 500 children in the past 10 years to get an amazing smile and healthy bite--thus increasing their self-esteem and self-worth by giving them a smile they can be proud of.   

The Beacon Journal Charity Fund was set up to make orthodontic services available to families with teens age 13 to 18 who reside in the five-county circulation area of the Akron Beacon Journal. These families don’t earn enough to pay for braces, but earn too much to be eligible for government aid. The fund fills the gap to provide orthodontics to a population which would otherwise have to go without. 

 Please let us know if you'd like more information on eligibility and or making donations to this great fund.