November 8th is National X-Ray Day, bringing attention to one of the quickest non-invasive tools available in modern medicine. Although X-rays are used heavily in hospitals across the country, they are particularly important to dentists, who rely on radiographs to diagnose underlying conditions. Here is a little more information about dental X-rays, and how they could help you during your next appointment.

Learning More About Dental X-Rays

How Were Dental X-Rays Discovered? 

X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, who was experimenting with cathode-ray tubes. After placing positive and negative electrodes in the tube, the professor noticed that some crystals on a nearby table were fluorescing, which prompted Roentgen to theorize that the tube was emitting an unknown ray of energy. The professor noticed that the energy seemed to pass through certain materials while being absorbed by others, and he took the first X-ray image of his wife’s hand that same year. Within six months, the technology was being used on battlefields to determine the location of lodged bullets in soldiers. 

How Do Dental X-Rays Help Today? dentist

Although modern X-rays are founded on the same science as originally discovered by Roentgen, newer imaging technologies have paved the way for safer imaging techniques. Newer digital X-rays are capable of acquiring clearer images while exposing patients to 90% less radiation than traditional imaging. 

Because the energy emitted by X-rays passes through soft tissue and is absorbed by harder structures like bone, they allow dentists to check the underlying condition of the teeth and jaw. Dentists can check for cavities, abscesses, bone loss, canal problems, and even the presence of cysts and tumors. Dentists can also use X-rays to check the position of teeth, helping them to plan treatment efficiently. 


Although it might seem like a simple task, visiting your dentist for a round of X-rays and a preventive exam could help you ward off a long list of dental issues, including decay, discomfort, and tooth loss. To protect your smile, make an appointment with C.R. Sfeir D.D.S., General Dentistry today. As a trusted Lorain, OH, dentist with more than 20 years worth of experience, Dr. Sfeir offers state-of-the-art dental care, including digital X-rays. Schedule your next appointment by sending his office a message online or calling (440) 960-5200.