“I am a 35 year old woman, and I come to you with a rather serious issue. Every woman in my family, on both sides has been diagnosed with breast cancer in their late forties. I am extremely worried, and am trying to cut back my exposure to carcinogens as much as possible. I have heard that bisphenol A, a major carcinogen found in many things, is also found in composite fillings. Is there anyway to have dentistry done without exposure to carcinogens? I have also heard that dental x-rays can cause cancer, are they absolutely necessary?”
Family patterns as to cancer, and particularly breast cancer should be taken seriously, and you are doing a great job at doing just that. Cancer is no joke at all, and doing your best to prevent it is a worthwhile effort, despite what some medical professionals would tell you.
I ams ad to tell you that your observations are correct; composite gradia tooth fillings, as well as amalgam fillings both are mildly carcinogenic, one of them releases bisphenol A, and the other a number of lead based by products. But that does not mean there is no solution to this problem. Mention your family history to your dentist, and tell them that you flat out refuse to get either of these fillings, instead, ask for a porcelain inlay for your carries. It will be much more difficult to make, and will also be more expensive, but there is no way that it will cause cancer. Getting an inlay for every filling you have is pretty much the only way to truly be carcinogen free in these matters. All other dental procedures do not have materials that are carcinogenic, as the porcelain of crowns and the anaesthetic and other materials used are not carcinogenic.
The x-ray is another problem. Thanks to modern day technology, this problem has all but been dealt with, but do not fool yourself! Dental xrays do give a burst of gamma radiation, but with modern, digital x-rays, the dosage has been kept so low that walking down Piccadilly circus in the morning will probably bring you in contact with more carcinogens. So while the x-ray does release gamma radiation, it is unlikely that it will trigger an immune response that will eventually become cancer, and yes, for certain procedures they are absolutely necessary. And not getting the procedure done is sadly not an option, as having an uncontrolled dental infection rage on and on is more likely to irritate your immune system than getting a dental x-ray.
The idea is to limit the cancer causing things you come into contact with, but be careful and do not overdo it, as neglect of certain things, like an x-ray may actually leave you in a situation that is much more taxing on the immune system, and thus much more likely to result in carcinogenesis than the immune response to a small burst of gamma radiation. Take care and do not eat unhealthy foods, do not smoke or drink alcohol, and keep going to your oncologist at regular intervals, so they can spot the problem if there is one. Meanwhile, make sure to go to your dentist appointment twice a year, as constantly fighting off low grade infections and bacterial cultures is also a tax on your immune system.