Everybody loves snapshots and selfies, but if your practice approaches radiography as if it were amateur photography, there could be trouble ahead. Florida law requires anyone who performs radiography to be certified to do so. Patient safety is a significant factor driving the need to have a certified radiographer behind the X-ray camera. Dentists need clear, concise radiographs in order to evaluate the integrity of teeth and roots, and determine treatment needs. Radiographs taken by an untrained person compromise a practice’s ability to deliver the oral health care patients deserve.
Getting dental assistants trained in radiography is now an easy process, thanks to the Florida Dental Association’s (FDA) Online Radiography Training Program. Putting dental assistants through this training enhances their skill sets, provides the valuable professional development they need and want, and keeps your practice in compliance with the law. The online radiography program is thorough, interactive and provides foundational knowledge paired with hands-on experience. Here’s how it works.
First, the supervising dentist creates an account at mydentalradiography.com and completes a brief tutorial about how the training works and their related responsibilities. Once the dentist’s tutorial is completed, which takes about 20 minutes, training vouchers for their assistant(s) can be purchased. Each voucher costs $285 for an FDA-member dentist. Non-members pay $385. When the voucher is purchased, the dental assistant that voucher is assigned to receives an email advising that he or she has been enrolled in the training.
The assistant follows the link in the email to create an account and get started. The training is completed online at the student’s convenience. Start and stop at will, and the program remembers where the student left off. Do it by smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. There are nine sections in the course and each section has a quiz. Once all modules have been completed, the student takes an online test and passes it with a score of 80% or more. There are unlimited retakes! After the test is passed, the dental assistant has one more challenge: Successfully exposing a set of full-mouth radiographs, including four bitewings, under the supervising dentist’s supervision. There can be up to five retakes.
Two more steps to go and the assistant is licensed!
The supervising dentist logs into his or her account and signs off on the full-mouth radiographs for the student to receive a certificate of completion. The certificate is always available in the student’s account.
The student then submits the certificate of completion to the state of Florida, which issues its certification.
To get started, visit mydentalradiography.com and click “Florida Dental Association.” To learn more and review the frequently asked questions about this program, go to floridadental.org and hover over “Continuing Education.” Then, click on “Radiography Training Program.” You also can call the FDA at 850.681.3629 and speak with Judy Stone for additional information.