The are two main types of dental x-rays. The first you may be most familiar with, intraoral x-rays. The latter you may not be so familiar with, extraoral x-rays.
This is the more common dental x-ray as the x-ray film is inside the mouth. These x-rays provide us with lots of detail helping to identify cavities, decay and more. In fact, they are so detailed we can identify issues with individual teeth.
Also, through intraoral x-rays we can check on the health of tooth roots and bone surrounding the teeth. We can also check on the status of developing teeth and monitor the general health of your teeth.
These x-rays do show the teeth, but the main focus is the jaw and skull. These are not suitable x-rays for determining problems with individual teeth though. Rather, they are used to identify impacted teeth as well as monitor the development of the jaw in relation to the teeth.
Extraoral x-rays also help us to identify problems between the teeth and the jaw or issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). They are very useful to us to see exactly how the facial bones articulate with your teeth and jaw.