What Are X-Rays?
X-rays are similar to light as they are a form of electromagnetic radiation, and an x-ray machine is similar to a camera. However, instead of using visible light, an x-ray machine uses x-rays to expose the image. Also, x-rays are more energetic than light, meaning they can penetrate many different materials. In the body such materials would include bone, muscle, fat, tumors, and other masses that absorb x-rays.
During the examination, x-ray particles referred to as photons are sent by the x-ray machine to pass through the body, allowing a digital image to be recorded. This does involve exposure to low doses of x-rays to produce a black and white image on a computer screen. The amount of exposure is very small and directed towards the part of the body being imaged. X-rays are considered safe when used by our technologists and radiologists who have undergone special training to minimize exposure and to ensure that no radiation remains after the examination.
Advantages of Digital X-Rays
In the process of capturing a digital x-ray, digital image sensors are used instead of photographic film. This is the latest method of obtaining an x-ray and is preferred over the use of films as digital images are clearer and more accurate. The images that are read by our physicians and radiologist using a computer screen can be enhanced by a computer’s capabilities.
This advancement eliminates the need for chemical processing and longer wait times for film development as images are accessible for review immediately after your examination. During the examination, less radiation is used to produce an image of similar contrast to previous conventional x-ray methods. Images can also be sent to a physician electronically so he/she can access them on their desktop or personal computer and report their findings within minutes.