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Dental x-rays may be associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer

Exposure to large amounts of radiation is commonly associated with a higher risk of thyroid cancer. Cancer patients who received radiation near or close to the thyroid often develop thyroid cancer as well. Even smaller amounts of radiation have been linked with cancers. A recent study suggested that dental x-rays are associated with greater risk of developing thyroid cancer. Additionally, according to other studies, dental staff and x-ray technicians are at a greater risk for thyroid cancer due to their daily exposure to radiation.

As dental x-rays occur near the neck, the thyroid comes under radiation exposure. Moving forward, it will be beneficial to gain greater understanding of how much dental x-rays may be negatively impacting public health. This reinforces the importance of following American Dental Association recommendations that dental practices shield the thyroid during dental x-rays.