Are Your Dental Assistants Compliant with New X-Ray Training Standards?

Kelsey CreehanFeatured News

From the Winter 2019 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association

In 2016, the Colorado Dental Board revised its rules regarding x-ray training for dental assistants. This increased “machine operation exposure factor” training requirement accounts for newer technologies like digital x-rays and CBCT. As a reminder, all dental assistants or office personnel who expose radiographs must be trained through a Commission on Dental Accreditation/CODA-approved program, on-the-job training using an educational module approved by the Colorado Dental Board, or by obtaining a Dental Assisting National Board/DANB certification. These are the only accepted training protocols for dental assistants or office personnel who expose radiographs in the state of Colorado. Failure to comply can result in sanctions on a dentist’s license.

Following the Colorado Dental Board’s rule changes, the CDA updated its x-ray training program for dental assistants in partnership with Dr. Brad Potter, a dental radiologist at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. The former training on VHS/DVD is no longer a fully compliant learning resource and the CDA strongly encourages you to obtain the revised course. The revised course is comprised of five training modules and delivers an improved member experience with:

  • A top-notch curriculum, nearly identical to the curriculum taught to Colorado’s dental students.
  • New topical coverage that addresses digital imaging, new technologies (CBCT, panoramic imaging, handheld), infection control, environmental considerations, documentation, quality control and more.
  • Four hours and 45 minutes of detailed content, greatly offsetting the time a dentist must spend in instruction.
  • A modernized online learning format that includes interactive, built-in quiz questions, a downloadable handout and a completion certificate.

The new program is an excellent resource for training new employees and can also be a great refresher for current staff. This new program is sold as an annual subscription, allowing member dentists unlimited access to the training for one year from the date of purchase. Course completion reports are available upon request from the CDA.  This course is board-approved for compliance with Rule X of the Colorado Dental Practice Law and is available to CDA members at a 50% discount (member cost $150; non-member cost $300). To order the training, go to