The Safe and Effective Use of Radiation in the Dental Practice
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The Kentucky Board of Dentistry amended the minimal educational requirements for dental auxiliary personnel prior to taking dental radiographs under a licensed dentist’s direct supervision (201 KAR 8:57OE). All dental auxiliary personnel must satisfy the following two (2) requirements before taking x-rays in a dental office:
- Didactic: Completion of a course in radiation safety. This can be verified by providing proof of completion of the Radiography Section of the Dental Assistants National Board Examination or attending an approved continuing education (CE) course (6 hours minimum) provided by a certified presenter.
- Practical: A practicum course in x-ray technique (4 hours minimum), This is verified by a dentist’s written documentation of a student’s completion of four (4) hours of instruction in dental radiography technique in the practice or by attending a four hour (4) continuing education course in radiography technique approved by the Board before being allowed to expose radiographs.
This course satisfies the didactic requirements of the Kentucky Board of Dentistry. A course handbook will be forwarded to each registrant about two weeks before the course date. The course book will contain material that will be “assumed knowledge” prior to the course date and registrants are urged to familiarize themselves with the contents of the manual prior to the course date.
After the course is presented, a written examination will be given. Successful completion of this course requires a 75% score on the exam. Participants who successfully complete the examination will receive a document of completion and after fulfilling requirement (2) above are allowed to expose radiographs on patients under the direct supervision of a dentist.
At the conclusion of the course, participants will have an understanding of:
- Basic principles and concepts of radiation
- Exposure factors and how they affect the radiographic image
- Image receptors and processing of radiographs
- Radiation safety for both patient and operator
- Occupational considerations including infection control principles and legal concerns
- Principles of intraoral techniques(bitewing/periapical/occlusal imaging)
- Radiographic film mounting, labeling and record keeping
- Criteria for diagnostic radiographs – technique and processing error recognition and correction
- X-ray interaction with matter and potential biological effects
- Principles of quality assurance and implementation into clinical practice
- Extraoral radiography