When you stop and consider it, X-rays are a modern marvel — they allow doctors and specialists to see inside the body without opening them up. With November 8, 2018, as National X-Ray Day, there’s no better time to learn about this ingenious medical tool, especially as it relates to dentistry. To attend your next dentist appointment with a bit of knowledge in your back pocket, consider this guide to the history of X-rays as well as an explanation of their importance to routine checkups.
A Brief History of Dental X-Rays
X-rays were first discovered in 1895 by physicist Wilhelm Röntgen, who noticed crystals glowing near his cathode-ray tube. Upon further experimentation, he discovered that X-rays can travel through all the human tissues — except bones and teeth. The first use of X-rays in a dental capacity was carried out by a dentist in New Orleans named C. Edmund Kells. After years of improvements and modifications, dental X-rays became a mainstream medical tool in the 1950s.
Why They Matter
Before X-rays were discovered, the only way for dentists to do their job was to make an educated guess about the internal conditions of a patient’s gums based on their symptoms and a visual observation. X-rays allowed dentists to look inside the gums without cutting them open. Even though it may seem like a run-of-the-mill part of your routine checkup, the images produced in the X-ray room allow your dentist to locate issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer. This way, you can begin treatment while such issues are in their earliest stages — when there are no external symptoms.
If you’re due for a biannual checkup, have your X-rays performed at Alaska’s Anchorage Dental Center. This family dentist treats patients of all ages and offers everything from dental implants to standard teeth cleanings. To schedule your appointment today, call them at (907) 278-2521. You can also learn more about their offerings by visiting the website.