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. Students also 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. This certification is also helpful for dental hygienists. 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.
- Prerequisites: High school diploma, 3 months of internship
- Program Specializations: Film processing, radiation biology
Certification in Dental Assistant Radiology and X-Ray
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. Elements of this certification course may include:
- X-ray exposure and evaluation
- Radiology safety
- Mounting and labeling radiographs
- Radiation biology
- Darkroom procedures and film processing
- Troubleshooting and processing errors
Employment Outlook and Career Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2012 and 2022, employment for dental assistants was expected to grow 25% (www.bls.gov). Job prospects were anticipated to be excellent. As of May 2014, the median annual salary of a dental assistant was $35,390 (BLS data).
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.