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  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assisting
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
Author(s): Sharon Crowe, RDH, BSDH, MS
Peer Reviewer(s): Toni M. Roucka, RN, DDS, MA
Item#: L0788
Contents: 1 Course Book (28 pages)
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Dental Radiography: Understanding Radiation Exposure and Safety, 2nd Edition

Price $19.95
Item # L0788
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Review Date: October 11, 2016

Expiration Date: October 10, 2019


It is important for a clinician to take dental radiographs based on patient need, and not simply based on routine. Clinicians who take radiographs based on need are providing total quality of care to their dental patients. The decision to order radiographs should be based on several factors, including the patient’s age, dental health, and diet.

This basic-level course outlines the risks and effects of radiation, as well as procedures to reduce radiation exposure to the dental patient. The course provides current research to aid dental practitioners in properly educating their patients about the level of radiation received through dental radiographs. Traditional radiographic film is discussed, along with position-indicating devices, types of cones, and the parallel and bisecting angulation techniques. The advantages and disadvantages of direct and indirect digital radiography are presented. The course outlines current radiation procedures and guidelines that the entire dental team can discuss and review to determine where improvements may be made to the radiation safety procedures currently in use in their dental practice.



AGD Subject Code: 165
Western Schools designates this activity for 2 continuing education credits.


Course Objectives

  • Describe the sources and forms of radiation – including ionizing radiation – and radiation safety, risks, effects, and exposure reduction.
  • Identify ways to reduce dental radiation dose to the patient.
  • Describe the equipment used for dental radiography, including film, position-indicating devices (film holders), and types of cones.
  • Describe techniques for angulation including the paralleling and bisecting techniques.
  • Describe the types, advantages, and disadvantages of digital radiography.
  • Outline the proper guidelines when preparing a patient for dental radiography.


Sharon Crowe, RDH, BSDH, MS, graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, with a bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene, and completed a master of science degree at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Ms. Crowe was a practicing dental hygienist for more than 25 years. For more than a decade, she worked developing curriculum and teaching in the dental hygienist program at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin, before accepting a teaching and curriculum development position at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. She also works as an administrator for a family health center in Rhinelander. Ms. Crowe has published several continuing education courses in the dental field.


Toni M. Roucka, RN, DDS, MA, is an associate professor of restorative dentistry at Southern Illinois University, School of Dental Medicine, Edwardsville. She maintains an active nursing license and is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and immediate past president of the American Society for Dental Ethics. Dr. Roucka obtained her DDS degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and master’s degree in population health – bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Dr. Roucka is a nationally recognized speaker on the subject of ethics in dentistry and has taught restorative dentistry at both Marquette University and the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. As a volunteer, she has provided dental care to underserved populations in Guatemala, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Tanzania.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.