What happens during an X-ray and how is an image produced?
What happens to me during an X-ray?
The procedure will be performed wherever there is an X-ray machine. It can be performed in doctors’ rooms, dentists’ rooms, hospitals, emergency rooms as well as radiology clinics who specialise in procedures that are diagnostic.
Once you are ready and prepared, the radiologist or X-ray technician will direct you on how to position your body. You may have to stand, sit or even lie down. You will have to stay extremely still in order to get a clear X-ray image. The radiologist may even use pillows to help to hold you in place. It is sometimes necessary to hold your breath in order to be extremely still.
In some cases, you may be asked to stand in front of a specialised plate containing sensors or X-ray film. Or you may have to lie or sit on the plate and then a camera will be moved over your body that is connected to a steel arm to capture the X-ray images.
You cannot feel an X-ray, it is completely painless.
It can take a few minutes (mostly for teeth and bone X-rays), or may even take more than an hour (specifically for treatments using a contrasted medium). When your radiologist is happy with the images that have been captured, your test is finished.
What happens if a child has an X-ray?
If a child has an X-ray, they may be kept in place with certain restraints, in order to keep them as still at possible. The restraints will not harm the child. The parent is sometimes allowed to stay with them for the duration of the test – in this situation, the parent may be asked to wear a lead apron to shield them from unnecessary and possible exposure to radiation which X-rays give off.
How does an image get produced during an X-ray?
X-rays use beams that come into contact with the tissue in the body, certain tissue absorbs the high-energy rays differently and can result in the beam passing through them, dense material absorb the beams and show up clearly on the produced image on a metal film.