Dental X-Rays

October 18, 2019

The Discovery of Dental X-Rays

Who can we thank for the discovery of X-Rays?

The entire medical field has one person to be grateful to because of his discovery of radiography. This one discovery changed modern dentistry. 

Wilhem Conrad Roentgen, born March 27, 1845 in Prussia, was a physicist. In 1895, while experimenting with electric current flow he observed that a chemical called barium platinocyanide gave off light when his tube was in operation. He theorized that when the electrons struck the glass wall of a tube, some unknown radiation was formed that traveled across the room, struck the chemical, and caused the fluorescence. Not knowing what the reaction was, he called the phenomenon X-radiation. Roentgen is credited with taking the first x-ray on November 8, 1895. He took the first X-ray photographs of the interiors of metal objects and of the bones in his wife’s hand.

Photo of Roentgen with the first X-ray photograph

Now back to dental….In 1896, shortly after the discovery of radiography, Dr. Edmond Kells was the first dentist in the U.S. to take x-rays of a living patient. His experiments with x-rays were dangerous, though, causing him health issues later in life. But his work has still helped save many, and is something the entire medical community can be grateful for. 

Photo of Dr. Edmond Kells, the first dentist in the U.S. to take X-Rays

Practicing radiography is one of the most important skills that a dental assistant can possess. The state of Oklahoma even requires expanded knowledge of X-ray taking before assistants can perform the duty. If you would like to learn more about becoming a dental assistant and what it takes to learn dental radiography please contact us at 918.610.0027 or on our website at:

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