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  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assisting
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
Author(s): Linda Otis, DDS, MS
Peer Reviewer(s): Raymond K. Martin, DDS, MAGD
Item#: L0796
Contents: 1 Course Book (26 pages)
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Radiation Health, Safety, and Protection, 2nd Edition

Price $19.95
Item # L0796
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: July 31, 2013

Review Date: November 11, 2016

Expiration Date: November 10, 2019


Understanding the forms of radiation and the risks and effects associated with dental radiography is essential to providing the highest quality of care to the dental patient. Appropriate for all dental professionals, this basic-level course outlines radiation risk, the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and the measurement and regulation of radiation dose.  The course discusses the ALARA concept, its application in dentistry, and best practices to reduce radiation exposure to the dental patient. The necessity for diagnostic radiographs is essential, and the risk associated with these radiographs is minimal. However, all radiation exposure has the potential to cause biological damage, and radiation damage is cumulative over an individual’s lifetime. Therefore, an informed dental professional who has a broad knowledge of the nature of ionizing radiation and its potential health effects is best able to convey accurate information and a professional attitude that engenders patient confidence. It is important to educate patients with regard to potential risks and how those risks should be expressed and managed as well as how they compare with other normal activities. Dental professionals should encourage patients to be risk informed and to take an active role in managing their own safety and health concerns.



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



Course Objectives

  • Distinguish between the two forms of radiation and their associated hazards.
  • Identify the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • Describe the measurement and regulation of radiation dose.
  • Describe the ALARA concept and its application in dentistry.
  • Identify best practices for reducing radiation dose.
  • Discuss the risk assessment of radiation.


Linda Otis, DDS, MS, received her dental degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska and completed advanced training in radiology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Otis served as associate professor and director of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia and as professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, in Baltimore. Dr. Otis initiated research on the applications of optical coherence tomography (OCT) in dentistry while at the University of California, San Francisco, Dental School and later implemented her research with the Medical Technology Program scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. As one of the foremost authorities on OCT, Dr. Otis actively researched new methods for diagnosing common oral conditions as principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health research grant. She has lectured throughout the United States on many topics in dentistry, has published widely, and is named on three OCT patents.


Raymond K. Martin, DDS, MAGD, graduated in 1979 from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and earned his DDS in 1983 from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He then went on to study at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in the General Practice Residency Program. Dr. Martin began his work in dental risk management after being awarded a Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry. He consults with 20 legal firms as an expert witness and lectures extensively on dental risk management and ethics in dentistry. In addition, Dr. Martin teaches CAD/CAM dentistry as a CEREC mentor and has served as a Key Opinion Leader for an international dental implant manufacturer. Dr. Martin has maintained a private practice for more than three decades and is president of the Massachusetts Dental Society. He has served the American Dental Association on the Future of Dentistry work group and is a member of the Council on Government Affairs.

  • 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.