Conventional radiology (X-ray), orthopantomography (OPG), cranial and spinal teleradiography...

X-rays are form of ionising radiation, which is a powerful type of radiation that can penetrate the human body and produce images on a special film. The tone of the image depends on the density of the structure through which the radiation passes. For example, skeletal bone appears in white and air-filled areas appear in black. Between both densities, the different tones appear in grey, depending on the density of the structure the X-ray beams pass through.

As a result, a 2D image of the human skeletal structure is produced, with the different tones of black to white, separating structures and defining tissues.

How the test is performed

The positioning of the body and the X-ray machine depends on the part of the body being studied, for example, the chest or the abdomen, or for an X-ray of the jaw or jawbone (orthopantomography).

An X-ray technician performs the test, depending on the type of film, structure and weight of the patient, as well as other variables that are adjusted, such as exposure time and the intensity of the X-ray. The technician is covered with a lead apron or protected by a lead screen and has an exposure timer for safety.

Keeping still during an X-ray is necessary to prevent, just like in a regular photograph, a blurred image or loss of definition. When necessary, your physician might request several X-rays in different positions.


Preparation and advice

For a regular X-ray, having the test performed on an empty stomach is usually not required, although for other types of X-rays, it is necessary, and other instructions might therefore be given beforehand.

Removal of clothes for the area being tested is required, in addition to any metal objects (necklaces, bracelets, watches, earrings, belts, etc).

Women should inform their physician or X-ray technician if you are pregnant or using an IUD (intrauterine device).

  • Cranial R-ray, craniometrist.
  • Sinus X-ray (front, paranasal, etc)
  • Maxilla and mandible X-ray (jaw and jawbone, for implants)
  • Spine X-ray (cervical, thoracic/dorsal, lumbosacral)
  • Upper body X-ray (hand, elbow, etc)
  • Chest X-ray, rib cage
  • Abdominal X-ray
  • Digestive, urological X-ray, etc
  • X-ray of pelvis/hip bones
  • Lower body X-ray (foot, knee, femur, etc)
  • Teleradiography of spinal cord
  • Telemetry of lower body limbs