Dental x-rays are a key part of orthodontic treatment. They help to provide a complete picture of your teeth, including any that haven’t erupted yet. A dental x-ray can also help to rule out certain conditions and ensure you are a good candidate for realignment treatment.
How much do you know about dental x-rays? We’ve shared five little known facts about this very clever technology.
1. Dental x-rays have been in use for over a hundred years
The first x-rays were used in 1895, the same year they were discovered. The first person to systematically study the rays was German physics professor Wilhelm Rontgen, who was later awarded the first ever Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery.
2. X-rays were once believed to be caused by paranormal activity
In the Victorian era, when x-rays were first discovered, there was a great fashion for paranormal theories. Because of this, it’s probably not surprising that many publications denounced the newly discovered ray as proof of the occult. Many theories linked x-rays to telepathy!
3. Eating five Brazil nuts or seven bananas gives off the same amount of radiation as having one dental x-ray
Though it is important to take precautions when using x-ray technology, the radiation emitted by an x-ray is far less than you may think. In fact, we are exposed to all kinds of radiation in our every day lives. Having a dental x-ray exposes you to a comparable amount of radiation as eating five Brazil nuts or seven bananas.
4. Digital x-rays require only 10% of the radiation of traditional film x-rays
Dental x-rays have come a very long way from early film x-ray machines. Digital machines are smaller, faster, more convenient and considerably safer. In fact, digital x-rays give off only 10% of the radiation that film x-rays do.
5. X-rays can investigate and diagnose a wide range of orthodontic and dental complaints
This includes checking for cavities, ensuring tooth roots are healthy, checking the health of the bone surrounding the teeth, checking for gum disease and investigating the progress of developing teeth.
Want to know more about some of the technology we use in our specialist orthodontic practices? Read all about the intraoral scanners used by our orthodontists.