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Radiation? 10 year old son due to have head ct tomorrow - should I pull out?

(11 Posts)
fredfortoday Fri 02-Sep-16 21:25:05

I wish I had more thoroughly researched this before now. My son is due have a head ct tomorrow due to some significant orthodontic treatment he is due to have and the fact they want to make sure they don't hit nerves etc when extracting teeth. I have just started looking at this ( mainly because I wanted to make sure I had told him correctly about having dye inserted) and am horrified to read about radiation risk from head ct ("highest radiation risk") and increased leukaemia risk etc. Anyone knowledgeable about this on here? Are there any alternatives to this or does anyone think ct may be unnecessary? Thanks very much.

Danglyweed Fri 02-Sep-16 21:27:19

No don't pull out. The radiation is minimal, especially compared to the risk of nerve damage.

BlackSwan Fri 02-Sep-16 21:34:14

I would ask why it's not an MRI. Perhaps they get a better image? I wouldn't stress too much about one CT scan though.

MayhemandMadness01 Fri 02-Sep-16 21:35:04

I had teeth out which severed a nerve. It affected half of my tongue, I would bite my tongue/cheek and not realise (no pain) until blood was pouring out of my mouth. It happened several times and was very distressing. I dont know how I would coped at 10 yrs old.

I got to the stage were I only wanted blended / liquid food due to the sores/scabs in my mouth. Please let him have the CT, I'm sure the risks are low compared to this happening.

CMOTDibbler Fri 02-Sep-16 21:38:10

CT scans in children aren't done lightly, so the person who has requested the CT has to show that the potential risk is outweighed by the benefit to your son of doing the scan, and that there isn't a way of getting that information in another way. It will also be considered by the radiographer (who does the scan) and possibly also the consultant radiologist as to whether its appropriate.
Modern CT scanners use less radiation than previously, and are easier to set up for children, with changes that have been made to give the minimal dose possible while getting the required image quality

ImYourMama Fri 02-Sep-16 21:38:22

A CT is equivalent to 6 months spent in London, as there is continuous background radiation. It's a one off and for a good medical reason, they don't do them for the sake of it.

fredfortoday Fri 02-Sep-16 22:01:30

Thanks. Just v annoyed with myself as I am normally thorough with this sort of thing and just not thought about this until tonight and received no literature etc just been texted the appointment time. I wonder if they are doing ct rather than MRI as it is cheaper and quicker - but would rather have found the money for MRI somehow and forgone the radiation.

quicklydecides Fri 02-Sep-16 22:03:36

No it won't be a money issue, it'll be whatever the radiologist advised is the most appropriate for looking at the nerves.
You're just panicking, it'll be fine

CMOTDibbler Fri 02-Sep-16 22:04:43

An MRI is unlikely to be appropriate as it doesn't show bony anatomy very well - it's great for soft tissues, but the way it works means seeing the interface of teeth and bones isn't so easy as with CT

Danglyweed Fri 02-Sep-16 22:58:23

They use ct scans to gauge bone density for implants...

IAmSeriousAndDontCallMeShirley Fri 02-Sep-16 23:15:26

A one off CT isn't going to be a problem, yes it's not good to have unnecessary scans, but it really is the best image for this kind of orthodontic assessment.

My DD has a condition that has required her to have 6 CT scans in the 1st 10 months of her life, and she'll have at least 3 next year and many more past that. But we still give consent as its in her best interest due to the complex Craniofacial surgeries she needs. If they don't have the images they need then the risk of irreparable damage is much higher

(I'm medically trained if that helps)

It will all be ok. smile

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