During the Exam
X-rays are performed at most doctor offices, dentist offices, emergency rooms and hospitals — wherever an X-ray machine is available. The machine produces a tiny burst of radiation, at a safe level, that passes through your body and records an image on film or on a specialized plate. You can’t feel the X-ray passing through you.
A technologist positions your body to obtain the necessary views. He or she may use pillows or sandbags to help you hold the proper position. During the X-ray exposure, you remain still and hold your breath to avoid moving, which can cause the image to blur.
An X-ray procedure may take only a few minutes for a bone X-ray, or more than an hour for more involved procedures, such as those using a contrast medium.