X-ray Imaging


This is a way of taking pictures of the inside of your body. It relies on a form of electromagnetic radiation we call "X-rays." X-rays can be used to create images of your bones and tissues.

Why it's used

X-ray imaging can help your doctor check for broken bones, or find a foreign object in your body. X-rays can also be used to look for signs of pneumonia, tumors and other issues. And dentists use X-rays to check your teeth.

How it works

X-ray imaging is done by placing part of your body between a machine that creates x-rays and an X-ray detector. X-rays are kind of like an invisible form of light. When the machine is turned on, the X-rays travel into your body. Some of these rays are absorbed, especially by your bones and dense tissues. Others pass all the way through your body and strike the detector. This creates an image we call a "radiograph." Bones are white on a radiograph. Different soft tissues appear in varying shades of gray, depending on how dense they are.


X-rays can't pass through lead. So when you are having an X-ray taken, the parts of your body that don't need to be imaged may be covered with a lead apron or lead shield. That's to keep you from being exposed to more X-rays than necessary.


X-ray imaging is a useful and safe tool for many medical needs. Talk to your doctor for more information.