Course Title: Apply the principles of radiation biology and protection in dental practice

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C4209 Certificate IV in Dental Assisting

Course Title: Apply the principles of radiation biology and protection in dental practice

Portfolio: SEH Portfolio Office

Nominal Hours: 110

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


155T Vocational Health and Sciences


Term1 2010

Course Contact: Eleanor Schroeder

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9341 1412

Course Contact Email:

Course Description

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to minimise the risk of radiation to the client, the operator and others during the exposure of a prescribed dental radiographic image. It also describes the quality assurance measures necessary to ensure all radiographs are of consistent diagnostic standard
All procedures are carried out in accordance with occupational health and safety policies and procedures, current infection control guidelines, Australian and New Zealand Standards for maintaining infection control and the policies and procedures of the dental practice or organisation
All tasks are carried out in accordance with State/Territory legislative requirements

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

The following units are pre-requisites for this unit:
• HLTIN301A Comply with infection control policies and procedures in health work.
• HLTIN302A Process reusable instruments and equipment in health work.
• HLTOHS300A Contribute to OHS processes in the health industry
This unit should be assessed in conjunction with the following related competency units:
• HLTDA411B Prepare to expose a prescribed dental radiographic image
• HLTDA412B Produce a dental radiographic image

National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

HLTDA410B Apply the principles of radiation biology and protection in dental practice


1. Apply knowledge of ionising radiation to produce a dental radiograph

2. Apply knowledge of radiation biology to protect client, operator and others from ionising radiation

3. Determine image characteristics of a dental radiographic image to minimise the necessity for re-takes

4. Minimise radiation by maintaining quality in processing

Learning Outcomes

1.1 Apply knowledge of X ray properties correctly
1.2 Identify and select technical variables of dental x-ray generating equipment correctly according to manufacturers’ specifications and client requirements
1.3 Identify the main components of the tubehead
1.4 Identify and select the appropriate technique for the type of cone

2.1 Apply knowledge of the biological effects and risks associated with X-rays to implement safe work practices to minimise radiation risks to operator, clients and others
2.2 Interpret the immediate and long term effects of radiation
2.3 Apply the correct units of radiation measurement
2.4 Implement radiation safety measures for the client, operator and others
2.5 Work in accordance with relevant OHS policy and procedures

3.1 Ensure visual qualities of the radiograph are of a diagnostic standard
3.2 Ensure geometric qualities of the radiograph are of a diagnostic standard

4.1 Identify the contents of the film package and determine the use of each item
4.2 Maintain quality assurance for processing dental radiographic images
4.3 Follow quality assurance processes for the use of radiographic chemicals in accordance with manufacturer specifications
4.4 Maintain appropriate conditions for manual and automatic processing in accordance with manufacturer specifications
4.5 Identify a range of processing errors and implement corrective measures to produce a diagnostic radiograph

Overview of Assessment


• Observation in the work place is essential. Assessment in the workplace must be flexible to allow for client confidentiality and organisation policies
• Evidence of essential knowledge and understanding may be provided by:
- traditional or online (computer-based) assessment
- written assignments/projects
• Case study and scenario as a basis for discussion of issues and strategies to contribute to best practice
• Questioning
• Staff and/or client feedback
• Supporting statement of supervisor
• Authenticated evidence of relevant work experience and/or formal/informal learning