Summary Case control/Dental radiography

Evidence-Based Dentistry (2012) 13, 37–38. doi:10.1038/sj.ebd.6400852

Can dental x-rays increase the risk of meningioma?

Question Can exposure from dental x-rays increase the risk of meningioma?

Elliot Abt1

1Department of Dentistry, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago, USA.

Claus EB, Calvocoressi L, Bondy ML, Schildkraut JM, Wiemels JL, Wrensch M. Dental x-rays and risk of meningioma. Cancer. 2012 10. doi:10.1002/cncr.26625.

Address for correspondence: Elizabeth B. Claus, MD, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College Street, PO Box 208034, New Haven, CT 06520-8034; email:



Case/Control Selection


Cases consisted of individuals who had histologically confirmed intracranial meningioma form the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina and 6 counties in the state of California. The control group were selected using random-digit-dialing and matched to cases by 5-year age interval, sex, and state of residence. Information was collected from consenting participants by telephone interview. The sample that was used in this analysis included 1433 cases and 1350 controls.

Data Analysis


Descriptive statistics were used to examine associations between the risk of meningioma and independent covariates. Conditional logistic regression was used to assess the odds of meningioma associated with risk factors.



The authors reported an odds ratio of 2.0 (95%CI 1.4-2.9), meaning patients with meningioma (cases) had double the odds of reporting ever having a bitewing x-ray as compared with non-disease controls. Individuals who reported receiving bitewing x-rays on a yearly or more frequent basis had an elevated odds as age increased. An increased risk of meningioma also was associated with panorex films taken at a young age.



Exposure to some dental x-rays in the past, especially when radiation exposure was greater than it is currently, is associated with increased risk of meningioma. As with other sources of ionizing radiation, limiting its use may be a benefit to patients.