NYTimes CBCT Hit Piece

by Larry Emmott on November 23, 2010

in General,Radiography

The Nov. 22 New York Times included a hit piece on Cone Beam CT linked below. The article’s tone and message is summed up well in this quote.

But there is little independent research to validate these claims. Instead, the cone beam’s popularity has been fueled in part by misinformation about its safety and efficacy, some of it coming from dentists paid or sponsored by manufacturers to give speeches, seminars and continuing education classes, as well as by industry-sponsored magazines and conferences, according to records and dozens of interviews with dentists and researchers.

via Radiation Worries for Children in Dentists’ Chairs – NYTimes.com.

Two items of interest. The article makes the perfectly reasonable point that it is improper for dentists to be taking random CBCT scans for no clinical benefit. Of course. Then it rambles off in typical NYT fashion assuming dentists will take excessive scans just because they can collect a fee. That is so insulting to the profession and in my experience so wrong as to be utterly mind boggling.

While they are at it the NYT reporters also make this statement,

Not only do most dentists continue to use outmoded X-ray film requiring higher amounts of radiation, but orthodontists and other specialists are…

They use this line to set up the hit piece part but there is another hidden issue there as well. That is that dentists who use film are needlessly exposing patients, especially children, to radiation. Again the reporters don’t let facts get in the way of sensationalism. Never the less reduced radiation is a benefit of digital radiography and increasingly your patients will be noticing.

Update: ADA talking Points here: ADA Radiation guidelines here:

Update 2: Jeff Rohde of Dental Compare reponds. and Imaging Sciences (i-Cat) responds.

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