Imaging tests, including Hilliard x-rays, enable your doctor to view your body’s internal parts without making any incisions. They are essential diagnostic procedures that specialists also use in the treatment of multiple medical conditions. Sometimes your doctor may use an x-ray as a guide while administering steroids around your spinal area to reduce pain. These tests have different purposes. For example, it can be used to examine breast tissue or your gastrointestinal tract.  Although x-rays are also linked to side effects such as discomfort, nausea, and lightheadedness, their potential benefits outweigh the downsides.

Why would I need an x-ray?

There are different reasons why your doctor may recommend an x-ray that include:

  •         Monitoring the progression of medical conditions such as osteoarthritis that affect the joints in your body.
  •         Establishing the origin and cause of pain or discomfort in your body.
  •         Keeping track of the effectiveness of prescribed treatment.

Your doctor may need to perform an x-ray in case of the following medical conditions.

  •         Tooth decay
  •         Bone cancer
  •         Breast tumor
  •         Fractures
  •         Arthritis

How to prepare for an x-ray

X-rays are standard procedures that, in most cases, do not require any special preparations. However, your doctor may require you to wear loose, comfortable clothing that exposes the examination area. For this reason, you may change from your usual home apparel to a hospital gown. Before an x-ray, you will need to remove any jewelry and other metallic items from your body. Remember to inform your doctor whether you have mental implants from previous surgeries, as they can hinder or block rays from passing through your body. As such, your doctor will not obtain clear images. There are cases where your doctor uses a contrast dye before the examination to enhance visibility and image quality. The material used may either contain compounds such as iodine and barium. The administration method differs depending on the reason why you are getting the x-ray. Your doctor may give you contrast method through different ways that include:

  •         An injection
  •         A liquid that you swallow
  •         As an enema

What to expect during an x-ray

Depending on the condition at hand, you may go through the tests in your dentist’s office, a radiology department, or a clinic that offers imaging service. After changing into a gown and taking off any jewelry and metallic items, your technician will guide you into positioning your body to get clear images. Expect to either sit, lie or stand in different positions as the test is ongoing. Some cases involve lying on a flat exam table as the doctor moves a camera over your body to capture the images.  Your doctor may ask you to remain still for the obtained images to be as clear as possible. The test is complete once your technician obtains clear images.

Potential side effects of x-rays

Pain especially is the test used to diagnose a painful condition such as fractures. Patients who ingest a contrast material before the test may experience side effects such as:

  •         Nausea
  •         A metallic taste in the mouth
  •         Hives
  •         Itching

Rarely will you experience complications after an x-ray. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant as the level of radiation exposure is not safe for a developing baby.

To learn more about x-rays and whether you require one, consult with your doctor at Innovative Dental Ideas.