Digital X-Rays in Beckley, Summersville & Webster Springs, WV

High-Tech Digital X-Rays for the Inside Scoop in West Virginia

To have the best image of what is happening below the gum line, dentists rely on the use of X-rays. Many use two main types of dental X-rays: intraoral (meaning the X-ray film is inside the mouth) and entraoral (meaning the X-ray film is outside the mouth).

The Most Common X-Ray Types


Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of dental X-ray taken. These X-rays 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


Extraoral X-rays show teeth, but their main focus is the jaw and skull. These X-rays do not provide the detail found in the 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.

Several Benefits to Using Digital X-Ray Technology

Digital X-ray technology is a high-tech field that is always changing. Dentists across the country use various types of digital imaging. This captures images using a computer instead of the traditional film-based X-rays. Digital X-rays offer several benefits with their new technology:

  • This technique uses less radiation than the traditional film X-ray and there is no wait time for the X-rays to develop. The images are available on screen a few seconds after being taken.
  • The image taken of a tooth or area of the mouth can be enhanced and enlarged many times its actual size on the computer screen, making it easier for your dentist to show you where and what the problem is.
  • If necessary, images can be sent electronically to another dentist or specialist. This is perfect for when a second opinion is requested or to a new dentist if you move.
  • Software added to the computer can help dentists digitally compare current images to previous ones in a process called subtraction radiography. Using this technique, everything that is the same between two images is “subtracted out” from the image, leaving a clear image of only the portion that is different. This helps dentists easily see the tiniest changes that may not have been noticed by the naked eye.