X-ray

Definition

X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the inside of the body.
X-ray of Teeth
Jaw x-ray teeth
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Test

X-rays can be taken of any part of the body. They are especially good for looking at teeth and injuries to bones.X-rays can also be used to:
  • Find an infection, especially pneumonia
  • Look for evidence of arthritis
  • Diagnose heart and large blood vessel problems
  • Look for fluid in the lungs
  • Look for problems in the abdomen
By using oral, rectal, bladder or IV contrast materials, x-rays can also used be for other reasons, including:
  • Looking at the stomach and intestines, gall bladder, or liver
  • Small blood vessel disease
  • Urinary tract or reproductive syatem abnormalities
  • Bleeding
  • Locating tumors

Possible Complications

An x-ray uses radiation to make images. The low levels of radiation from a single x-ray will not affect most people. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, then talk to your doctor before the x-ray. Radiation may be harmful to developing babies.

What to Expect

Prior to Test

Before your x-ray is taken, you may be asked to remove jewelry and put on a hospital gown.Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.You may be given a type of contrast material.

Description of Test

A lead shield may be placed on parts of your body that are not being x-rayed. This will help reduce your exposure to radiation.The x-ray device will be placed over the part of your body being studied. You will be asked to remain as still as possible while the images are taken. The x-ray device will send x-rays through your body. The x-rays will be captured on the other side of your body by a computer or on film.

After Test

You will be able to resume your daily activities after the x-ray is complete.

How Long Will It Take?

A few minutes

Will It Hurt?

No

Results

The x-ray will be sent to a radiologist. A report will be sent to you and/or your doctor.

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