X-rays use electromagnetic radiation to view the inside of the body, including the bones and other insides of the body. They are used in the modern medical world for a wide variety of examinations, from viewing broken bones to determining if a person needs dental surgery.
X-rays were first invented in 1895 by inventor Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. He was experimenting with cathode ray generators, and accidentally discovered that the rays could penetrate beneath the skin and view the bones and solid objects under the skin. His discovery was able to completely revolutionize the medical industry as we know it today.
The Benefits of X-Rays
X-rays offer a number of benefits to medical professionals. X-rays save a doctor time, because within a few seconds, the doctor can see if anything is wrong in the body. Without an X-ray, some diagnostics would be impossible, or very difficult to determine. Although we now have live cameras and other technology that can see into the body, X-rays are still necessary for identifying broken bones, teeth problems, and much more. A dentist will use X-rays to view the positioning of the teeth and to identify if any tooth surgeries or fillings are necessary. A family doctor may need to use X-rays to view the interior of the body to identify infections or anomalies.
Side Effects of X-Rays
It is definitely true that too much X-ray exposure can be harmful. The biggest risk from X-ray exposure is DNA mutation. The rays interrupt the normal functioning of cells and cause cell suicide, mutations, or random cell division. Too much X-ray exposure can also increase your chances of getting cancer. For women, X-ray exposure can cause birth defects or negatively affect the reproductive system. X-rays can also cause anemia and a weakened immune system. Prolonged exposure could result in rashes, hair loss, and damaged skin.
How Doctors Minimize X-Ray Risk
Every doctor knows that X-rays can be harmful. However, the benefits of X-rays usually outweigh the potential side effects, especially with the protection measures that are offered by medical professionals. Hospitals and dentists offer led blankets and covers to protect the body from the X-rays. The blanket is used to cover the vital organs of the body to limit the exposure. Usually, the X-ray exposure lasts just a few seconds, or as little as possible, so that you do not remain exposed to the damaging rays for long.
If your doctor or Houston dentist recommends an X-ray, there is no reason to be scared. Most people only have a few X-rays in their lives, and the exposure time is extremely limited. X-rays are useful tools that allow doctors to quickly see what is wrong with the body without invasive surgery. However, there can be risks involved, especially if you have had many X-rays in the past. If you are worried about X-ray exposure, ask your doctor if they offer alternatives that have lower radiation risks. This is especially beneficial for someone who has had a lot of X-rays in the past. If you believe you have had too much X-ray exposure, discuss detox methods with your doctor to ensure you remain as healthy as you possibly can.