X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the inside of the body.

X-ray of Teeth
Jaw x-ray teeth
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Possible Complications

There are no immediate issues with an x-ray. However, radiation doses may build up in the body over a time. The more x-rays you have the more radiation there will be. This can increase the risk of some cancers or thyroid problems. The risk is higher in children and women who could get or are pregnant.

Lead aprons and collars are used during x-rays. They will help to lower the amount of radiation to the thyroid and pelvic area. Talk to your dentist and doctor about the risks and benefits of any x-ray.



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.


NIH Clinical Center https://www.cc.nih.gov 

Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America https://www.radiologyinfo.org 


Canadian Association of Radiologists https://car.ca 

Canadian Radiation Protection Association http://www.crpa-acrp.ca 


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Reducing radiation from medical x-rays. US Food & Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm095505.htm. Accessed March 14, 2018.

X-ray (radiography). Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/submenu.cfm?pg=xray. Accessed March 14, 2018.

X-rays. Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/x/x-rays. Accessed March 14, 2018.