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The Premier Dental Radiology Experience

Radiology Fun Facts

Dr. Barett Andreasen, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist

Radiology has had some pretty strange moments in history, especially when the deleterious effects of radiation were not as well understood within the general public. Here's a few highlights:

Hair removal with X-rays!
In the 1920's, the Tricho machine was being marketed as a solution to rid women of unwanted facial hair. Women would undergo 20+ treatments that would leave their skin hairless, without any effort on their own part. The trick was that the women were being exposed to large doses of radiation, which had the unfortunate side effect of pigmentation, wrinkling atrophy, keratoses, ulcerations, and carcinoma.

X-ray shoe fitting machine
In the 1940's and 50's, a new shoe-fitting device was hitting the market. This machine produced images of the customer's foot to ensure proper fit of the shoe with viewing ports for the customer, salesman, and one other lucky participant. The only problem is this device was essentially a fluoroscopy tube that exposed the surrounding individuals to significant amounts of radiation. One of these devices was found still operational and in use by a department store in 1981!

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