What Is a Dental X-Ray License?
Do you work as a dental assistant? Does your job involve using an x-ray machine? In some states, you may be required to hold an x-ray license to legally perform your job duties. You may also need an x-ray license if you work in other positions that require performing radiologic procedures. Licensing is not just limited to dental assistants. Schools offering Dental Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Dental X-Ray Licensing Overview
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all states except twelve require licensing, registration or certification to use radiological equipment in a dental setting (www.bls.gov). The procedure for obtaining a license is set at the state level; therefore, requirements vary. The BLS reported that in some states, completing the Dental Assisting National Board's (DANB) Radiation Health and Safety exam or Certified Dental Assistant exam may be adequate for earning an x-ray license.
Dental licenses are typically required only for dental assistants. In Ohio, for example, according to the Ohio State Dental Board, dentists and dental hygienists aren't required to hold an x-ray license because they are already licensed by the state (www.dental.ohio.gov). Most states, even those without licensing requirements, typically do mandate that any x-ray procedures must be carried out under the direct supervision of a dentist.
While each state has different requirements to become licensed, the process typically begins with filing an application with the state agency that handles x-ray licensing. With your application you will submit proof of your education. Education requirements usually include meeting a specific number of hours of training as a dental assistant or holding a degree in dental assisting.
You may also be subject to a criminal background check or be required to undergo approval by the issuing agency based on board-specific requirements. In some states, you'll also have to pass an examination.
Some states may accept licensing from another state. Typically, you'll be required to submit proof of your licensing and also meet any state requirements that weren't met when you obtained the license from the other state.
To keep your license active, you will need to follow the state's renewal procedures. Usually, renewing your license is something that must be done on a regular basis, such as every two years. The most common process for license renewal is submitting a renewal application and showing proof that you have completed continuing education. Topics covered in continuing education courses might include radiation biology and physics, safety policies for x-ray procedures and new radiographic techniques.
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: