History of X-rays – Since their discovery by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen in 1895, History of X-rays have played an important role in helping dentists study structures invisible to the naked eye.

On 8th November 1895, while doing research work on the electric discharge procedure in diluted gas, which at that time was very popular in form of cathode ray research in every [aboratory research, Roentgen (1845-1923) discovered a “new kind of rays” which had been unknown to the other physicists so far.

It took Roentgen only six weeks to finish his first scientific work on this research. In the beginning, X-rays were called Roentgen rays. The news of his discovery spread with the speed of lightening in the History of X-rays. Surprise, laughter and speechlessness frequently culminated in the utterance “we must have such an apparatus”.

Nevertheless, in addition to a lot of fantastic visions, which were uttered in the discussion, several surgeons warned of an overestimation of the possible applications in medicine. The doubts pertaining to the medical application of X-rays was impressively contradicted by the surgeon from Vienna, Dr. Albert von Mosetig-Moorhof (1838- 1907) in the History of X-rays.

On 24th January, 1896, Mosetig-Moorhof presented a radiograph of a gunshot injury and a radiograph of the foot of a twenty year-old female patient with a hammertoe to the medical society in Vienna during a meeting.

The necessary operations were performed according to the radiological results. During this meeting in History of X-rays, Mosetig-Moorhof emphasized that the X-rays are need to be used in surgical practice, too, and that they were by no means ‘a toy’. Due to the quick spreading of the news about these sensational rays and the fascination about the first X-rays of hands, research work began to fan out widely on an international level.

After Roentgen’s discovery in the History of X-rays, even dentists very quickly recognized the diagnostic advantage for their own special medical field. Especially in dental surgery, significant progress was achieved through the new possibilities of a radiological examination. This development was introduced by the attempts of the dentist Otto Walkhoff (1860-1934).

In the middle of January, 1896, Walkhoff asked the physicist, Professor Giesel in Braunschweig, to take an X-ray of his back teeth. Small pieces were cut from the commercial plates and subsequently again wrapped light-proof. Walkhoff received the first intraoral X-ray in the History of X-rays after an exposure time of some 25 minutes.

Some time later, the physicist, Professor Walter Koenig (1859-1936) also published the radiograph of front teeth in upper and lower jaw along with 14 photographs with X-rays.  In the  History of X-rays, Koenig emphasises that the X-rays of the teeth are not only able to show the position and the form of the fillings in the teeth but also help to examine parts of the teeth that are sticking into the jawbones.

In the History of X-rays, The discovery of the rays led to experimentation. Scientists did not believe that the invisible rays could be harmful. They repeatedly exposed their own tissues to the rays, and soon sores and burns appeared; many became ill and died.