There are two main types of dental X-rays: intraoral (meaning the X-ray film is inside the mouth) and extraoral (meaning the X-ray film is outside the mouth).
The most common type of dental X-ray. They provide a lot of detail and allow your dentist to find cavities, check the health of the tooth root and bone surrounding the tooth, check the status of developing teeth, and monitor the general health of your teeth and jawbone.
Main focus is the jaw and skull. These X-rays do not provide the detail found with intraoral X-rays and therefore are not used for detecting cavities or for identifying problems with individual teeth. Instead, extraoral X-rays are used to look for impacted teeth, monitor growth and development of the jaws in relation to the teeth, and to identify potential problems between teeth and jaws and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or other bones of the face.
The information on this page was referenced from the following site: WebMD