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

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C4320 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

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face or Internet or Workplace

Term1 2013,
Term2 2013,
Term1 2014,
Term2 2014,
Term1 2015,
Term1 2016

Course Contact: Ms. Sandra Torbica

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9341 1408

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 work health and safety (WHS) 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.

This unit applies to dental assistants who assist at the chairside

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

HLTIN301C Comply with infection control policies and procedures
 HLTIN302C Process reusable instruments and equipment in health work
 HLTWHS300A Contribute to WHS processes

National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

HLTDA410D Apply the principles of radiation biology and protection in dental practice


1. Apply knowledge of ionising
radiation to produce a dental

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 retakes

4. Minimise radiation by
maintaining quality in

Learning Outcomes

1.1 Apply knowledge of X ray properties correctly
1.2 Identify and select technical variables of dental xray 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 WHS 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

Assessment will include demonstration of underpinning knowledge, and skills; assessment activities may include oral presentation, written work, written tests, simulated practical assessment, portfolio of simulated films with critique sheets, logbook and third party report, patient films with critique sheets and a workplace assessment.