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Effective: Summer 2011

Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (60 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Demonstrate correct maxillary and mandibular anterior intraoral film placement technique on a mannequin
  • Using a diagram, the student will be able to identify four basic components in the x-ray tubehead.
Description -
Introduction to dental radiology for dental assisting students. Emphasis on production, characteristics, biologic effects, radiation safety and protection. Introduction to intraoral long-cone radiographic techniques, film processing and mounting. Intended for students in the Dental Assisting Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives -
Expected Outcomes & Dental Assisting Program Competencies
The student will be able to:
Dental Assisting Theory and Practice
  1. describe the process by which x-rays are produced; identify the thermionic and kinetic energy factors that alter the density or penetrability of the x-rays.
  2. identify the component parts of the x-ray unit and explain the adjustments that should be made to produce good quality radiographs.
  3. develop and expose radiographs to a consistent density standard.
  4. identify each of the processing solutions by name and broad chemical grouping
  5. identify radiopaque and radiolucent landmarks of the maxilla and mandible
  6. utilizing a mannequin and long-cone technique, expose and process:
    1. 16 periapical films with no more than 5 retakes and demonstrating diagnostic density and contrast in two hours.
  7. arrange and mount the exposed films
Infection Control and Hazardous Waste Management
  1. Demonstrate correct procedures in the darkroom to prevent cross contamination.
  2. Demonstrate correct procedures in the operatory to prevent cross contamination.
  3. Demonstrate the proper disposal of lead foil.
Ethical and Legal Principles:
  1. apply the ethical term of nonmaleficence or to do no harm by placing a lead shield on each patient prior to radiation exposure
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. Gowns, safety glasses, mask, gloves.
  2. X-ray laboratory and darkroom, including mannequins, view boxes, film, processor, mounts and labels

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Define key terminology and applications associated with the paralleling technique.(Lec)
    1. film placement
    2. centering teeth
    3. film holders
    4. film size
    5. patient and equipment preparation
    6. exposure sequence
  2. Describe in detail how dental x-rays are produced (Lec)
    1. cathode
    2. electron cloud
    3. tungsten filament
    4. target anode
    5. focal spot
    6. copper stem
    7. mA, kVp, time
    8. contrast, density
    9. molecular structure of the atom
    10. wavelength, frequency
    11. penetration
  3. Patient Education and the Dental Radiographer (Lec)
    1. identification of the fearful patient
    2. benefits of dental x-rays
    3. patient safety
    4. operator safety
    5. dental x-rays and the pregnant patient
    6. dental x-rays and their frequency
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Written, slide quizzes and a comprehensive final exam.
  2. Critical thinking skills are applied to analyze radiographic landmarks on 16 periapical films for correct mounting.
  3. Analysis of film errors are studied and technical or processing corrections to the errors must be identified.
Representative Text(s) -
Iannucci, Howerton, Dental Radiography. 3rd Edition. Saunders 2006 ISBN# 13 978-0-7216-1575-2.
Yamamoto, Judy. DA 53A Radiology Lecture Syllabus, 2010
Yamamoto, Judy. DA Radiology Lab Policy and Information Manual, 2010-2011

Disciplines -
Dental Assisting
Method of Instruction -
May include but not limited to lecture, demonstration, observation and cooperative learning exercises.
Lab Content -
  1. Infection control of the x-ray units and operatories are applied to the radiology laboratory experience. B. Additional lab content includes tray set-up for specific procedures, aseptic technique, patient eligibility, film exposures, processing, viewing and evaluation.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Given five comments from patients who are fearful of x-rays, students will prepare an empathetic and factual response.
  2. Assigned lab readings will be from the DA 53A Lab Syllabus and the Radiology Policy Manual 2010-2011.
  3. An example of a writing assignment is: List the steps and state the rationale involved in taking a FMS. Include proper protocols and radiation safety concerns for retakes.