An X-ray (x-radiation) is a form of electromagnetic radiation. In a medical setting, a machine sends individual X-ray particles, called photons, through the body. A computer or special film is used to record the images that are created.

Structures that are dense (such as bone) can block most of the X-ray particles and will appear white on the film. Metal will also appear white. Structures containing air will be black, and muscle, fat and fluid will appear as various shades of gray.

X-rays can be performed on any of the following: Abdomen, Bone, Chest, Teeth / Mouth, Neck, Pelvis, Skull, Full Body (skeleton), Hand, Joints

About the Procedure

The X-ray is performed by a specially trained technologist. The film used, positioning of the body, etc. all depend on the area of the body that is to be studied. Motion can cause blurred images so it is important to be completely still during the X-ray process.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant before receiving an X-ray. Young children and fetuses are most sensitive to the potential risks associated with X-rays.