A dental radiology certificate program typically caters to dental assistants seeking preparation for state-required written examinations. Programs may not be available online. A student seeking admission into a dental radiology certificate program may have earned a dental assistant certificate or diploma, or he or she may have a high school diploma and work experience as a dental assistant. Within this type of certificate program, laboratory experience is paramount. Required clinical experience can involve the performance of radio-graphs on mannequins.
Certificate in Dental Radiology
Those studying dental radiology at the certificate level learn to take and process oral radio-graphs or x-rays. The coursework involved in this type of certificate program is typically designed to ready students for certification examinations. Topics covered include:
- Radiation protection
- Regulations of radiation use
- Film processing techniques
- X-ray machine overview
- Biological effects of radiation
- Radiograph assessment
Popular Career Options
Program graduates who have earned the proper certification can go on to work with dentists and other oral professionals generating and evaluating dental radio-graphs. These individuals can seek employment in various dental healthcare facilities, such as dentist offices, physician offices, outpatient care centers, and general medical and surgical hospitals.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the projected job growth for dental assistants is 18% for 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the BLS reported their median annual salary to be $35,980.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
In order for individuals to utilize oral radiology equipment and process radio-graphs, some states may require certification from the Dental Assisting National Board following the successful completion of a certificate program. Some states also require the successful completion of the Radiation Health and Safety examination.
Dental assistants may choose to advance their education and professional opportunities by enrolling in programs to become dental hygienists. These may be offered as certificate or associate degree programs for individuals who want to enter the field in hands-on hygienist positions; alternately, there are bachelor's and master's degree programs for those interested in research or educational positions.
Dental assistants interested in studying dental radiology can take a certificate program to prepare for a certification examination. Certification enables them to advance their dental career by taking on additional responsibilities related to using radiology equipment.