Dr Oz did a segment called “Oz Alert: Dangerous Radiation: Are You At Risk?” where he discussed a topic that all of us are wondering about – how much is too much radiation whether it comes from Airport Scanners, Dental X-Rays or CT Scans. Doctor Oz asked the question about whether or not Dental X-Rays are too much radiation.
Dr Oz: Dental Radiation & Thyroid Cancer
Dr Oz has previously spoken about the risks of Dental X-Rays with respect to getting Thyroid Cancer. You can read the Dr Oz Recap for that segment by clicking here: Dr Oz Thyroid Cancer. Dr Oz was joined by Ada Cooper who said that in dentistry you cannot see everything by visual inspection alone. The only way to treat and detect an abscess, tumor or some cavities are by taking x-rays. The ADA recommends Dental X-Rays only when necessary for treatment, but that varies from patient to patient. Every patient should feel comfortable talking to their dentist about it.
Dr Oz: Digital X-Rays Have Less Radiation
Dr Oz said that he would recommend pushing for a Digital X-Ray over a regular film X-Ray because it tends to expose you to less radiation. Ada Cooper did not deny this fact when Dr Oz said it, but she did say that some film X-Rays have lower radiation levels than other Film X-Rays because they are faster, such as X-Rays that use E Speed or F Speed film.
Dr Oz: Radiation Gown – Thyroid Guard + Lead Apron
Dr Oz said that you should never go into a dentist’s office for an x-ray without having a Thyroid Guard along with the regular Lead Apron. If your dentist does not have it or does not know where the Thyroid Guard is, then that is a warning sign, because all Radiation Gowns come with Thyroid Guards.
Dr Oz: Questions to Ask Before Getting X-Rays
1. Why Do I Need It? Mary Mahoney said this is really important and you should ask how will it help me to get better? If you are going to be treated with antibiotics either way, then you may as well skip a chest x-ray for example.
2. Is There Another Test That Doesn’t Require Radiation? The worst thing is for the patient to not get a necessary test like a Mammography, where the benefit of catching Breast Cancer early outweighs the negative of the radiation, but you should always ask about alternative tests.
3. Am I Getting The Smallest Dose Possible? Dr Oz said that people who weigh under 180 pounds can get a lower dose CT Scan without any issues, but most doctors do not even realize this.
4. Has This Test Been Done On Me Before? If the answer is yes, it is possible that you could just get a copy of the test rather than having it done again.
5. Can We Document the Dosage in My Medical Record?
Dr Oz: Medical Imaging History Chart
Dr Oz suggested making a My Medical Imaging History Chart that you keep with you and have your doctor fill out every time you have some sort of medical imaging procedure. This way you can keep track of how much radiation you have been exposed to and you can prevent having the same tests run multiple times if it is not necessary.