Many patients do not realize that there are actually two different main types of X-rays used by our dentists here at Empress Walk Dental: intraoral X-rays and extraoral X-rays. As their names imply, intraoral X-rays focus on the inside of the mouth, including the teeth, and extraoral X-rays show the totality of the jaw and skull. Extraoral X-rays are not as detailed, so they serve a different purpose than their internally-focused counterparts, which help find cavities and problems with specific teeth. In contrast, extraoral X-rays help dentists identify problems such as impacted teeth and temporomandibular joint issues as well as keep an eye on the jaw’s growth and development. Lots of patients have experienced these X-rays, but few know what they are called.
There are in fact several different kinds of extraoral X-rays as well, including: