Dental Radiation Safety Certification

If you are a dental assistant and would like to take on additional responsibilities, or further your career, obtaining a radiation safety certification would be beneficial. Read on to learn about the certification program curriculum, state requirements regarding certification, common courses, and how to further your career. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Dental Radiation Safety Certification?

Dental radiation safety certification involves learning the appropriate and proper use of radiologic equipment, such as X-ray machines, for imaging teeth and facial bones. Due to the complex nature and potentially dangerous use of radiation, many states require formal training and certification in radiation safety for dental assistants. You can find dental radiation safety training through individual courses or as part of a dental assisting program offered by community and technical colleges. Many of these classes and programs are designed to help you fulfill the health and safety requirements of your state.

Program Curriculum Learn how to properly operate radiologic equipment, as well as safety training through dental assistance programs.
Certification Requirements Many states require DANB radiation safety certification before practicing.
Common Courses Radiology, biology, safety techniques
Further Career Options Dental hygienist, dental X-ray technician
Median Salary (2018) $74,820 (for all dental hygienists
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 20% growth (for all dental hygienists)  

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Do I Need It?

Dental radiation safety certification is required by some states, so you'll need to check your state's regulations to see if you should become certified. Certification ensures that you are properly trained on the usage of X-ray equipment and that you're aware of the potential safety hazards. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, many states require that you earn the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) radiation safety certification. The radiation health and safety exam is one of three exams that the DANB requires you to pass in order to become a Certified Dental Assistant (

Some states do not accept the DANB certification or have additional health and safety certifications for dental radiation. In these cases, community colleges offer programs designed to prepare you for state-specific exams.

What Will I Learn?

A dental radiation safety certification course will teach you how to use X-ray machines, how to administer dental radiology procedures appropriately and how to process developed X-ray films. You'll also learn the risks involved of ionizing radiation. You'll be taught patient safety techniques, learn about radiation levels, dental anatomy and examination procedures. Basic radiology and biology may also be covered.

Will It Help My Career?

Earning certification in radiation safety can help you add more complex duties to your job as a dental assistant. Certification may also help you work towards other careers, such as dental hygienist. In some cases, you may be able to obtain a position that focuses exclusively on radiology, such as a dental X-ray technician.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools