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A 41-year-old member asked:

Do you think that me getting an x -ray done at the orthodontist would show of any possible brain tumors?

6 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
Doubtful: Dental radiographs are for the teeth and jaws, including the sinuses. A lateral ceph will image part of your skull, but is not intended to image the brain. Even if it did, i sincerely doubt that your orthodontist would be qualified to read the film and diagnose a brain tumor.
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology 29 years experience
Extremely unlikely: Perhaps a very large tumor (likely already causing symptoms) could be suggested on a lateral radiograph of the jaw, but never on bitewing x-rays.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Probably not: While the majority of the brain case is viewable on an orthodontic cephalometric x-ray, density is adjusted to show the bone around the brain, not the brain itself.
Dr. Randy Feldman
Orthodontics 43 years experience
Possibly: Normal xrays will not, however, if one gets a computerized axial tomotgraphic scan -that can pick up pathology.
Dr. Soren Singel
Neurosurgery 29 years experience
No: Most tumors would not show on any xray done at an orthodontist's office. Different imaging techniques are needed to visualize brain tumors.
Dr. Hilary Baskin
Orthodontics 28 years experience
Likely not: There are more detailed, higher resolution scans that are typically done for this-- and the people looking at the x-rays are not looking for this. That said, its not impossible and if someone thinks they saw something unusual, its definitely cause for following up and seeing a specialist.

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Last updated Jul 4, 2015

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