JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Impacted wisdom tooth. Coloured computed dental radiograph (CDR) of an impacted wisdom tooth next to a healthy molar. The wisdom tooth is at right. It has become wedged against the root of the adjacent molar, preventing it from erupting normally. The wisdom tooth may penetrate the gum incorrectly or push other teeth out of alignment. Surgical removal may be necessary. An area of decay can also be seen (blue) on the tooth at far left. Computed dental radiography is a new (in 1997) X-ray technique that uses little radiation, requires no film and allows an image to be seen almost instantaneously. The image, such as is seen here, is coloured & viewed on a computer monitor.
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