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Effective: Summer 2011

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program.
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
2 hours lecture. (24 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • List the steps that take place in the tubehead to produce radiation.
  • Describe radiation protective factors provided to the patient to reduce radiation absorption and exposure.
Description -
Introduction to dental radiology for students enrolled in the dental hygiene program. Component parts, functions, operations of the dental x-ray unit and radiation safety is emphasized. Relationships between anatomical and radiographic landmarks are analyzed. Intended for students in the dental hygiene program.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
Dental Hygiene Process of Care
  1. utilize assessment skills in medical/dental histories as it applies to patient's radiographic needs.
Health Education Strategies
  1. communicate evidence based information of radiation exposure to fearful patients
Infection & Hazard control Procedures:
  1. demonstrate knowledge in the prevention of infectious disease
  2. list proper infection control procedures in the radiographic dental operatory
  3. list the procedures for film holder sterilization
Ethical & Legal Principles:
  1. demonstrate non maleficence or 'do no harm' to the patient by listing two protective factors provided to the patient to reduce radiation absorption.
  2. describe the radiation protective factors that must be applied to the operator for the prevention of exceeding the occupational dose limit.
  3. describe the legal requirements related to dental radiology as prescribed by the dental practice act.
  4. list the guidelines involving the prescription of radiographs
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Multimedia classroom

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. The dental x-ray machine: (Lec)
    1. amperage,voltage,rad, rem, roentgen, contrast, density
    2. X-ray Production in the Coolidge tube
    3. source of electrons and thermionic energy
    4. kVp and kinetic energy
    5. tungsten target and copper stem
  2. Biologic effects of radiation production.(Lec)
    1. Effects of ionizing radiation on the individual cell.
    2. Theories of the effect of radiation on the cell.
    3. Radiosensitivity of individual tissues.
    4. Cumulative effect of x-ray damage.
    5. Maximum permissible dose
    6. lead shield
    7. inherent filtration devices
    8. film speed and film holders
    9. Radiation protective measures
    10. FDA and ADA guidelines for the patient exposures
    11. ALARA principle
    12. intensifying screens
  3. Radiation Protective Factors for the Operator (Lec)
    1. wall construction
    2. exposure button placement
    3. dosimeter
    4. training and licensing
  4. X-ray Production (Lec)
    1. Parts of the Collidge tube.
    2. Types of radiation produced by the Coolidge tube.
    3. Source of electrons.
    4. Source of radiation.
    5. Effects of time, milliamperage, and kilovoltage on x-ray production.
  5. Intraoral Radiographs (Lec)
    1. radiation measurements
    2. intraoral vs. extraoral vs. panoramic
    3. film holders
  6. Dental Anatomy (Lec)
  7. Image Characteristics (Lec)
    1. density
    2. contrast
    3. radiopaque
    4. radiolucent
  8. Film processing (Lec)
    1. Organization of the darkroom.
    2. Chemical composition of the developing solutions.
    3. Types of film.
    4. Hand and automatic processing techniques
Methods of Evaluation -
The student will demonstrate proficiency by
  1. written quizzes,
  2. midterm
  3. final exam.
  4. Detailed evaluation and analysis of dental radiographs will be required.
Representative Text(s) -
Iannucci,Howerton. Dental Radiography, Principles and Techniques 3rd Edition, Saunders Publishing. 2006 ISBN #13 978-0-7216-1575-2
Yamamoto, J. DH 60A Radiology Lecture Syllabus 2010

Disciplines -
Dental Hygiene
Method of Instruction -
Method of instruction may include, but are not limited to
  1. lecture
  2. discussion
  3. cooperative learning exercises
  4. demonstration.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Read assignments from the course primary textbook chapters 2,3,4 on radiation basics including radiation physics, radiation characteristics of beam quality and radiation biology.
  2. Review and complete the multiple choice quiz located at the end of each chapter.
  3. Students will synthesize and understand radiologic theories and apply it to the interpretation of dental radiographs.