JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tooth decay and bone loss. Coloured computed dental radiograph (CDR) of the decayed teeth of an elderly patient showing bone loss. The teeth (green) are shown in the bone (brown and yellow). A large area of decay (blue) can be seen in the tooth at centre left. Around this tooth the bone has become eroded (triangular green area). Loss of bone is an advanced stage of gingivitis (gum disease) and causes the teeth to become loose in their sockets. 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, as is seen here, is coloured and viewed on a computer.
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