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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 94-98

The history of dental radiology in Turkey

1 Erciyes University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Kayseri, Turkey
2 Ondokuz Mayis University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Samsun, Turkey

Date of Web Publication7-Feb-2014

Correspondence Address:
Emin Murat Canger
Erciyes University Faculty of Dentistry Department of Maxillofacial Radiology, Kayseri
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2321-3841.126677

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Reflections of the invention of W.C. Roentgen reached Turkey in a very short period of time. In the field of medicine, Captain Dr. Esat Feyzi and Captain Dr. Rifat Osman were the first who utilized X-rays in Turkey. Just after the invention of X-rays, the first intraoral radiograms were obtained by Otto Walkhoff and Wilhelm Koenig in Germany and by Frank Harrison in England. The first dental radiology department in Turkey was founded in the Istanbul Darülfünunu Dişçi Mektebi (Istanbul University Faculty of Dentistry) in 1927. Also, dental radiology education started at that time. The first book about radiology was written in 1928, which also was contained information about dental radiology. The first dentist whose profession was radiology was Galip Abdi Rona in Turkey. Rona also presented a paper and made radiology presentations in the first Turkish dental congress between 1 and 5 November 1932. In the beginning of the 1980s, radiology became an independent dental department. Today, in Turkey, there are about 45 dentistry faculties who have radiology departments. A lot of state-of-the-art devices are used not only in faculties but also in private clinics.

Keywords: Dentistry, history, radiology, Turkey

How to cite this article:
Canger EM, Çelenk P. The history of dental radiology in Turkey. J Oral Maxillofac Radiol 2013;1:94-8

How to cite this URL:
Canger EM, Çelenk P. The history of dental radiology in Turkey. J Oral Maxillofac Radiol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Mar 21];1:94-8. Available from: https://www.joomr.org/text.asp?2013/1/3/94/126677

  Introduction Top

X-rays were applied in dentistry for the first time only a few months after their discovery in 1895. In this article, on the 118 th anniversary of the introduction of X-rays into medicine, we give an account of the history of dental radiology in Turkey.

The discovery of X-rays is one of the most revolutionary events in the history of medicine, and the honor of this discovery belongs to Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. [1],[2],[3]

Two weeks after Roentgen's discovery, Otto Walkhoff obtained the first intraoral radiogram with an exposure time of 25 min. One month later, Wilhelm Koenig obtained 14 radiograms from his own teeth using an exposure time of 9 min/tooth [Figure 1]a and b. [1],[2] In the United States, the first radiograms were obtained by Edmund C. Kells in the early spring of 1896. [1],[3],[4] In England, utilization of X-rays was concurrent with Germany. Frank Harrison was the first dentist who used radiology in England. Harrison published the first article about the adverse effects of radiation in July 1896. Also, William H. Rollins was among the first to warn about the adverse effects of radiation. [1],[2]
Figure 1: The first dental radiograms obtained in Germany by Otto Walkhoff (a) and Wilhelm Koenig (b)

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The first commercial dental radiographic apparatus was introduced in 1905 in Germany. Howard R. Raper introduced radiology into dental training in 1909 and wrote the first text book about dentistry in 1913. [1],[2],[3],[4]

  Beginning and the Development of Dental Radiology in Turkey Top

Word of Roentgen's discovery reached Turkey in a very short period, and numerous articles on X-rays were published even in daily newspapers. Physicians and photographers were among the first to be interested in X-rays and tried to produce the new rays. [4]

In the field of medicine, Esat Feyzi and Rifat Osman were the first who utilized X-rays in Turkey [Figure 2]a and b. On 29 January 1896, they obtained the first radiogram in Turkey, a hand radiogram of one of their friends. They also used radiograms during the Ottoman-Greek war in 1897, which was declared as the first employment of radiograms during a war [Figure 3]. [4],[5],[6]
Figure 2: The pioneers of Turkish radiology. Dr. Esat Feyzi Bey (1874– 1901) (a) and Dr. Rifat Osman Bey (1874-1933) (b)

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Figure 3: The hand radiogram of a Turkish soldier obtained by Esat Feyzi Bey and Rifat Osman Bey. This was the fi rst utilization of radiograms at war

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In Turkey, the first school of dentistry was founded in 1908. In January 1924, dentist Hasan Hayri Bey and his colleagues presented a report to the Ministry of Health that contained a proposal for the development of dentistry and a dental school in Turkey. One part of the proposal advocated the use of dental radiography equipment in dental schools. [7],[8]

After the approval of this plan, the first dental radiology department was founded in the Turkey Istanbul Darülfünunu Dişçi Mektebi (Istanbul University Faculty of Dentistry). For the 1927/1928 academic year, under the directive of manager Prof. Server Hilmi, Hüseyin Talat Bey (instructor of dental pharmacology, anesthesia and dental treatment) was appointed as the director of the said department, which functioned as a radiology clinic for 5 years. [7],[8]

Thus, in Turkey, radiology education started in 1927. A radiologist, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Selahattin Erk, was chosen as the first radiology professor of this medical school to teach the newly established radiology course. His first assistant was dentist Ali Fehim. Erk continued to teach radiology in both medical and dental schools until the university reform of 1933. After 1934, he was only employed in the school of dentistry. By the end of the 1930s, dental radiology became popular in private clinics in Turkey [Figure 4]. [7],[8]
Figure 4: A Turkish dental clinic containing radiographic equipment (indicated with black arrow). This clinic was in Afghanistan and was established by the Turkish government at the beginning of the 1930s

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In 1928, a book entitled "Tababet ve Dişçilikte Ziya Tedavisi" (X-ray Therapy in Dentistry and Medicine) by Kazim Bey was published. Although this was the first book written in Turkish about radiology, it caused criticism because it contained only a small section (10 of 214 pages) about dentistry. Also, the first article about dental radiology was written in 1928 [Figure 5]. [10]
Figure 5: An article about radiology published in the Magazine of Association of Dentist in 1928

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Between 1 and 5 November 1932, the first Turkish dental congress was held in Istanbul. Among the members of the organizing committee was dentist Galip Abdi Rona, who would later play a very important role in Turkish dental radiology. This congress was a very important event in the history of Turkish dental radiology. On the third day of the congress, Galip Abdi Rona presented a paper entitled "Definition of Radiographic Plates in Dental Radiology." He also made radiographic demonstrations on the last day of the congress. Furthermore, Sait Tevfik Bey, a dentist who joined the congress from Edirne, proposed a plan at the congress to grant private dentists' access to radiography equipment available at government hospitals. [8],[10],[11],[12]

After the Turkish university reform, the dental school in Istanbul was divided into four departments, of which one was the Department of Physicotherapy and Radiology. The duration of training at the school was 4 years (eight semesters), and radiology was taught during the third year (semesters 5 and 6). However, the independence of this department did not last long. Alfred Kantorowicz, who was appointed as a teaching instructor during the 1933 reform, refused this situation and a radiology course was incorporated into the curriculum of the Department of Restorative Treatment. [8],[9]

In 1934, dentist Galip Abdi Rona was appointed as the assistant of Mehmet Selahattin Erk, who voluntarily departed from the school after 2 years. After Erk's departure, Rona was appointed as chief assistant and continued to manage the clinic until his resignation in 1943. In addition to his duties at the school, Galip Abdi Rona founded a radiology unit in his own clinic in 1937 and assisted other dentists. Moreover, he worked as the general secretary of a magazine published by the Association of Turkish Dentists and wrote numerous articles about radiology for this magazine. He also made oral presentations at conferences of the association. Rona made valuable contributions to Turkish dental radiology [Figure 6]. [13],[14],[15],[16]
Figure 6: Dr. Galip Abdi Rona during obtaining a radiogram in the radiology department of Dişçi Mektebi (School of Dentistry)

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A few years later, when the radiology unit was merged with the Department of Restorative Dentistry, Galip Abdi Rona began to question the advancement of his career in radiology. Still, he continued his work at the school until 1943. Subsequently, he resigned and transferred to the State Maritime Enterprises to establish a new dental department. Later on, the clinic was run by technicians. [8],[9],[17],[18],[19]

Treatment records provide an insight into the performance of a radiology clinic. The records of the winter semester of 1937-1938 revealed that a total of 3596 intraoral and extraoral radiograms had been obtained at this school. Considering the conditions of the period (technical facilities, life style, population, etc.), this number is not low. [8] In 1937, dentists were required by law to register the radiography equipment present in their clinics to the Ministry of Health. This interesting fact shows that radiology had begun to gain popularity in dentistry. [20]

Suat İsmail Gürkan was appointed as the director of the radiology department after its unification with the Department of Restorative Dentistry in 1934. He continued to lead the department until 1970. Besides teaching radiology, Gürkan wrote several books in dentistry. One of them, entitled "Dental Radiology," was published in 1951 and happened to be the first book on radiology written in Latin alphabet in the Turkish language. In 1970, Gürkan assigned Gündüz Bayırlı to teach radiology. Bayırlı then wrote the second scientific book about dental radiology in Turkey. This book, entitled "X- rays and its application in Dentistry," appeared in 1977. [8],[17],[21]

In 1975, as a result of the efforts by Gazanfer Zembilci, the then Dean of the department, a radiology service with the capacity to obtain panoramic radiographs was established in Turkey for the first time. [21]

It will be informative to give information about the development of dental radiology education. The history of education is outlined in [Table 1].
Table 1: Analysis of the education period of dental radiology in Turkey[22-26]

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Today, with about 40 dentistry faculties that have a radiology department, the state of radiology at both technological and scientific levels in Turkey is contemporaneous. State-of-the-art devices (direct and indirect radiographical systems, phosphor storage plates, cone-beam tomography, etc.) are utilized not only in faculties but also in private clinics.

  Conclusion Top

Exploration of X-rays is one of the greatest revolutions in medicine. Although the use of X-rays in medicine was adopted in Turkey after 1 or 2 years of their discovery, the acceptance of the value of X-rays in dentistry was considerably slower. However, after dedicated efforts by several dentists, radiology became established in dental institutions in Turkey. Today, Turkish dental radiology is concordant with international standards, and dental education is provided according to the guidelines established under the ERASMUS program.

However, to the best of our knowledge, our article is the first one in its field and includes beneficial information, which draws the attention of young dental radiologists, dentists and historians in the history of their career (not only in Turkey but also in other countries). We dedicate this article to the memory of Dr. Esat Feyzi, Dr. Rifat Osman and dentist Galip Abdi Rona.[26]

  Figure References Top

Figure 1: (a and b) Glenner RA. 80 years of dental radiology. J Am Dent Assoc. 1975;90(3):549-63.

Figure 2: The next centenary from the archives of dental radiology. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 1996;25(1):1-4

Figures 3a, 4 and 5: Pırnar T, Dicle O. Yüz Yıllık Yolculuk. Başlangıcından Günümüze Türk Radyolojisi. İstanbul:5G Matbaacılık; 1995.

Figure 3: (b) Kazancıgil R. Dr. Rifat Osman'ın Öğrencilik ve Gülhane Anıları (1879-1921). Ankara: GATA Basımevi; 1998.

Figure 6: Author's private archive.

Figure 7: Diştabipleri Cemiyeti Mecmuası (Magazine of Association of Dentist) 1928.

Figure 8: Diş Tababeti 1936 yılı albümü. Istanbul Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi yayını. İstanbul 1936.

  References Top

1.Eisenberg RL. Radiology: An illustrated history. St. Louis: Mosby-Year Book Inc; 1996. p. 380-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Frommer HH. The history of dental radiology. Tex Dent J 2002;119:416-21.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Langland OE, Langlais RP. Early pioneers of oral and maxillofacial radiology. Oral Med Oral Surg Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 1995;80:496-511.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Ring ME, Dentistry. An illustrated history. New York: Abradale Press; 1993. p. 272-3, 306-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Ulman YI , Livadas G, Yildirim N. The pioneering steps of radiology in Turkey (1896-1923). Eur J Radiol 2005;55:306-10.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Özden AM, Ünver AS. Ölümünün 45inci yýldönümünde ilk röntgencimiz Esat Feyzi. Ýstanbul: T.C. Ýstanbul Üniversitesi Týb Tarihi Enstitüsü; 1946. p. 2-9. (A book written about the first Turkish radiographer in the history, Esat Feyzi).  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Anonymous. Türk Diþ Tabipleri Cemiyeti albümü. Ýstanbul: Hüsnütabiat Basýmevi; 1946. p. 50-3, p. 58-62. (An albume of the Turkish Association of Dentists. Has no writer).  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Efeoðlu A. Diþ hekimliði tarihi. Ýstanbul: Yüce Reklam/Yayým/Daðýtým A.Þ,; 1992. p. 119-32. (A book on the history of Turkish Dentistry).  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Gürkan SÝ. Diþhekimliði röntgen bilgisi. Ýstanbul: Diþhekimliði Alemi Mecmuasý yayýný; 1951. p. 4-6. (An education book of dental radiology).  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Anonymous. Diþtabipleri Cemiyeti Mecmuasý. 1929;40:28-30. (No writer. Magazine of Association of Dentist) (A critisim letter delivered to the magazine).  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Anonymous. Diþtabipleri Cemiyeti Mecmuasý. 1933;53:4-15. (No writer. Magazine of Association of Dentist) (Reports of the 1st National Dentistry Congress).  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Rona GA. Diþtababetinde Radiografi Plaklarýnýn Ýzahý. 1. Milli Diþtababeti Kongresi Bildiri Kitabý. Ýstanbul; 1932. p. 25-52. (A paper published in the 1st National Dentistry Congress proceeding book about the definition of radiographic plates in dental radiology).  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Erkan M. Türk Diþ hekimliði bibliyografyasý 1909-1972. Ýstanbul: Erol matbabacýlýk; 1973. p. 90-1. (Bibliography of Turkish Dentistry 1909-1972).  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Anonymous. Diþtabipleri Cemiyeti Mecmuasý. 1934;57-58:62-7. (No writer. News bulletin. Magazine of Association of Dentist).  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Anonymous. Diþtabipleri Cemiyeti Mecmuasý. 1937;76:28,29. (No writer. News bulletin. Magazine of Association of Dentist).  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Anonymous. T. Odontoloji Bülteni. 1937;1:208. (No writer name. News bulletin. Turkish Odontology Bulletin).  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Erden F, Türk hekimleri biyografisi. Ýstanbul: Cituri Biraderler Basýmevi; 1948. p. 89-90. (A book of biography of Turkish medical doctors).  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Anonymous. Diþtabipleri Cemiyeti Mecmuasý. 1937;74:26. (No writer. News bulletin. Magazine of Association of Dentist).  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Anonymous. Diþtabipleri Cemiyeti Mecmuasý. 1938;85:23. (No writer. News bulletin. Magazine of Association of Dentist).   Back to cited text no. 19
20.Anonymous. Diþtabipleri Cemiyeti Mecmuasý. 1937;81:27. (No writer. News bulletin. Magazine of Association of Dentist).  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Bayýrlý G. Röntgen Iþýnlarý ve Diþ Hekimliðinde Uygulamalar. Ýstanbul: Ýstanbul Üniversitesi Yayýnlarý; 1994. p. 1-2. (A education book on the x-rays and it's applications in dentistry).  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Diþ Tababeti. 1936 Yýlý Albümü. Ýstanbul: Istanbul Üniversitesi Týp Fakültesi yayýný;1936 (Albume of the graduates of the education year 1936).  Back to cited text no. 22
23.T.C. Istanbul Darülfünunu Talebe Rehberi, 1928-1929 Seneyi Dersiyesi. Ýstanbul: Ýstanbul Darülfünunu yayýný; 1928. p. 290-3. (Istanbul University Student Handbook of 1928-1929 training year).  Back to cited text no. 23
24.T.C. Istanbul Darülfünunu Talebe Rehberi, 1929-1930 Seneyi Dersiyesi. Ýstanbul: Ýstanbul Darülfünunu yayýný; 1928. p. 290-3. (Istanbul University Student Handbook of 1929-1930 Training year).  Back to cited text no. 24
25.Alper R. Meslek haberleri. Odonto-Stomatoloji Bülteni. 1962;8:13. (A news bulletin about dentistry in the Journal of Odonto-Stomatology).  Back to cited text no. 25
26.Uzluk FN. Ankara'da diþ hekimliði yüksekokulu açýlýrken. Ankara Üniversitesi Týp Fakültesi Diþ Hekimliði Yüksek Okulu Bülteni 1966;1:5-10. (An article published in the bulletin of Ankara University Faculty of Medicine Academy of Dentistry about the establishment of Academy of Dentistry in Ankara).  Back to cited text no. 26


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6]

  [Table 1]


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