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Dental Radiation Exposure Of Children Essay

1271 words - 6 pages

In the dental setting the main concern is the dental radiation effects on children. Panoramic dental x-rays can cause DNA damage and cellular death in oral mucosa cells of these children. Cone-beam CT scanner, which was claimed to be the safe, is harmful on children due to them being more susceptible to radiation effects. Children are by far more susceptible to changes in their cells from a given dose of radiation compared to adults because they are still growing, developing, and changing. Radiation protection is needed to protect all children and adults from the exposure, the less the exposure the less problems later in life.
Children are more susceptible to changes in their cells if given adult doses of radiation. Primary risks to children from these scans are increased risks in them developing cancer and changes to their genes in later life. There was a study done in Brazil at the Sao Paulo Metodista University, which consisted of 17 healthy children. 8 of the children were boys and 9 of them were girls, around 7 years of age who had had panoramic dental radiographs as outpatients at the Department of Pediatrics. All the panoramic dental radiographs were requested and performed by the dentist. This study was approved by the Human Ethics Committee of UMESP. Prior to the x-ray exposure oral mucosa was collected and then 10 days after the exposure from the x-rays they were collected again. After the oral mucosa is collected post exposure to x-rays the levels of radiation were tested showing very little effect change. The statistics of this study are, prior to exposure 17 children had micro nucleated cells of 0.04-0.06 and after the exposure to the x-rays they were 0.05-0.06 cells that were micro nucleated. Very little change showed that the dental radiation with proper settings for children were not harmful. (Ribeiro, 2007) Basically the study showed results that could suggest that dental x-rays can induce cytotoxic effects in oral mucosa cells. All though no specific group of children showed extra issues caused by the x-rays we cannot say that they will be fine later on in life. With the potential to harm and give problems in later life panoramic scans should only be used when completely 100% necessary in anyone especially a child. Also this study goes to show that even the most minimal of doses of radiation exposed to any given child can result in change, even if it doesn’t show at the time of concern.
Cone-beam CT scanners are claimed to be the most “technology safe way to obtain highly detailed images” of people’s mouths. (Aker, 2010) These types of scans are even more controversial for children, due to children being more susceptible to the effects on radiation. These scans can put children at greater risks due to their bodies being smaller than adults, plus their bodies are still in the developing stages. The earlier they are exposed to radiation the more likely to have effects or problems over their lifetime. (Aker, 2010) The concern is...

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