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When your dentist recommends that you get a digital dental X-ray, there are two ways that this could be done, depending on what the purpose of the X-ray is. One approach is intraoral where images are taken from inside your mouth. This approach is the most common and is used when doctors want to check for issues like cavities, gum diseases and other related dental problems. In some circumstances, the doctors might take X-rays outside your mouth or what we call extraoral imaging. This is used when doctors are checking for bone problems in the jaw or when treating temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) problems.
Your dentist might recommend a digital X-ray in order to get a clearer picture of what is happening inside your mouth. Digital dental X-rays help dentists see beyond what can be observed by a physical examination by helping them see through tissue and gums. For example, if you are being treated for TMJ pains or any other disorder of the facial bones, your dentists might require you to take an X-ray to help them understand what the cause and extent of the problem are.