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Dental Assistant Radiology and X-Ray Certification Information

Radiology and x-ray certification for dental assistants typically consists of one course in which students learn, in a mostly interactive environment, the techniques involved in using and developing dental x-rays. This certification is also helpful for dental hygienists.

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Radiology and X-Ray Certification Info for a Dental Assistant

Certification programs for a dental assistant help develop a student's theoretical and practical knowledge in x-rays used in a dental setting. Learning takes place in an interactive environment. Students learn about the properties of radiation and x-ray production as well as becoming familiar with the equipment used and the techniques involved in processing film. After completing a certification program, individuals may be required to register with the State Board of Dental Examiners. Most certification programs require a high school diploma as well as three months of on-the-job training.

Program Coursework

In general, certification programs entail two educational components - a lecture session and a clinical session. The latter includes a hands-on and demonstrative approach, exercising the concepts taught in the lecture session. Typically, x-ray and radiation certification programs center on x-ray techniques, exclusively. Ergo, certification may consist of just one course. Elements of this certification course may include:

  • X-ray exposure and evaluation
  • Radiology safety
  • Film processing
  • Mounting and labeling radiographs
  • Radiation biology
  • Darkroom procedures
  • Troubleshooting and processing errors

Employment Outlook and Career Info

Dental assistants certified in x-ray and radiation techniques must be aware of and employ proper safety procedures to reduce risks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2010 and 2020, employment for dental assistants was expected to grow 31% (www.bls.gov). Job prospects were anticipated to be excellent. As of May 2012, the median annual salary of a dental assistant was $34,500 (BLS data).

Continuing Education

After completing certification (including clinical experience), an individual is qualified to take x-rays in a dental environment. X-ray and radiology certification is suited for dental assistants wishing to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) examination in order to become a CDA. Dental hygienists may also find radiology and x-ray certification helpful.

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