close   X

X-Ray Exams

What's an X-Ray?

An X-ray is a safe and painless test that uses a small amount of radiation to make an image of bones, organs, and other parts of the body.

The X-ray image is black and white. Dense body parts, such as bones, block the passage of the X-ray beam through the body. These look white on the X-ray image. Softer body tissues, such as the skin and muscles, allow the X-ray beams to pass through them. They look darker on the image.

What's Involved in an X-Ray?

Taking an X-ray involves a machine that sends out X-ray beams to a table or other flat surface that is sensitive to the beams. What’s used can vary, depending on what body part is being tested. 

Why Are X-Rays Done?

Health care providers order X-rays for many different reasons. These tests can help them find:

  • broken bones
  • causes of symptoms, like cough or belly pain
  • growth or development problems
  • dislocated joints and other joint problems
  • soft tissue problems
  • cysts and tumors

Dentists also order X-rays to look for problems with the teeth (such as decay, impacted teeth, and cavities) and jaws.

What Are the Types of X-Rays?

Common X-rays ordered for kids and teens include:

get your flu shot by Halloween

The key is to get the vaccine at least two to three weeks before the flu season begins in order to have optimal protection against it. 

learn more