Although dental X-ray technology programs are not typically available, individuals may choose to enroll in a dental assisting diploma or associate's degree program that covers X-ray technology. These programs can be taken through the health care departments of career colleges, technical institutes and community colleges.
Schools with Dental X-Ray Technician Courses
At these schools, students can earn enroll in a dental assisting program:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Albany Technical College||Albany, GA||2-year, Public||Diploma||$2,652 in-state, $4,792 out-of-state|
|Amarillo College||Amarillo, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,010 in-district, $3,042 in-state, $4,578 out-of-state|
|Bates Technical College||Tacoma, WA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$3,681 in-state, $8,676 out-of-state|
|Chaffey College||Rancho Cucamonga, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's, Certificate||$1,153 in-state, $6,217 out-of-state|
|Daytona State College||Daytona Beach, FL||4-year, Public||Certificate||$3,282 in-state, $12,352 out-of-state|
|Elgin Community College||Elgin, IL||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,868 in-district, $10,439 in-state, $11,959 out-of-state|
|Foothill College||Los Altos Hills, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$1,551 in-state, $8,391 out-of-state|
|Lake Michigan College||Benton Harbor, MI||4-year, Public||Associate's, Certificate||$4,140 in-district, $5,685 in-state, $5,685 out-of-state|
|Manor College||Jenkintown, PA||2-year, Private||Certificate||$16,550|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Here are some factors that aspiring dental X-ray technicians should consider when searching for a program:
- Students should consider length of programs, as associate's degree programs are longer and include general education, while diploma and certificate programs take less time and focus specifically on dentistry.
- In order to train on dental X-ray equipment, students may want to check that schools have been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA.)
- Training on equipment will be helpful in honing X-ray technician skills, so students should check that schools offer X-ray-related courses like dental radiography, radiation safety and X-ray production.
- It can be helpful to find out if the program provides sufficient training for the Radiation Health and Safety exam or the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, both of which are offered by the Dental Assisting National Board, and are required for work in many states.
Diploma in Dental Assisting
The dental assisting diploma program takes one year to 18 months to complete. Laboratory work is required for many classes. Courses in radiography may be part of this program, but students who wish to operate X-ray equipment may need to seek additional training to attain the CDA credential or pass the Radiation Health and Safety examination.
Associate of Science in Dental Assisting
The Associate of Science in Dental Assisting is a 2-year program offered mainly by community colleges. This program includes hands-on training, as well as courses in advanced dental equipment functions, including X-ray equipment.
By earning an associate's degree, diploma or certificate in dental assisting, aspiring dental X-ray technicians can get the training they need to take certification exams and start working in the field. Choosing a program that focuses specifically on x-ray operation with equipment is ideal for students interested in this field.