Jun 21, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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DNHY 1114 - Dental Radiography

Credit Hours: 3.00

Prerequisites: Admission into the Dental Hygiene Program; ENGL 1180  or ENGL 1210 , BIOL 2710 , BIOL 2400  or BIOL 2730 , PSYC 1010 CHEM 1050 , and SOCY 1010  all with a grade of C or better

Corequisites: DNHY 1110 , DNHY 1112 , and DNHY 1115  

An introduction to physics and biology of radiation; radiation hygiene; equipment and materials; film exposure and processing, technique, and chemistry. 

Billable Contact Hours: 5

When Offered: Fall semester only

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Outcome 1: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to summarize the discovery of X-Rays.


  1. List five uses of dental radiographs.
  2. List other imaging modalities available in dentistry.
  3. Identify the individual who discovered X-Rays.
  4. Identify the individual who discovered dental X-Rays.

Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to summarize the components of an X-Ray machine.


  1. List the parts of the X-Ray head.
  2. List the elements of the X-Ray tube.
  3. Define filtration.
  4. Define collimation.
  5. Summarize the various types of position indicating devices.

Outcome 3: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to summarize how X-Rays are produced.


  1. Explain the purpose of the step-down transformer.
  2. Explain the purpose of the step-up transformer.
  3. Explain the controlling factors considered during X-Ray exposure.
  4. Explain the high voltage potential.
  5. Explain the thermionic emission effect.

Outcome 4: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to summarize radiation safety protocols.


  1. List the common X-Ray monitoring devices used in dentistry.
  2. List the methods of patient radiation protection.
  3. List the methods of clinician radiation protection.
  4. List the agencies responsible for regulations of hazardous disposal of X-Ray products.
  5. List the factors that determine radiation injuries.
  6. List the sequence of events following radiation exposure.
  7. Define radio sensitivity and radio resistance.
  8. Define ALARA.
  9. Interpret the impact of the direct and indirect theories of biological damage.
  10. Identify radio sensitive cells of the body.
  11. Identify radio resistance cells of the body.
  12. Identify the critical tissues of the head and neck.
  13. Compare the somatic and genetic effects of radiation.
  14. Compare threshold and non-threshold dose response curves.
  15. Identify deterministic and stochastic effects of radiation.
  16. Explain the short- and long-term effects of irradiation.
  17. Explain the risks and benefits of dental radiographs.
  18. Explain the maximum permissible dose (MPD) for radiation workers.
  19. Explain the maximum permissible dose (MPD) for the general public.

Outcome 5: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to explain the fundamental systems of digital radiography.


  1. List the types of digital image receptors.
  2. Demonstrate how digital imaging software can alter X-Ray images.
  3. Explain the purpose for scanning and clearing phosphor plates.
  4. Explain the process for digitizing radiographs using a scanner.
  5. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of digital radiography.
  6. Explain direct and indirect digital imaging.
  7. Explain proper receptor storage.

Outcome 6: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to explain intra- and extraoral radiographic techniques.


  1. List the anatomical points of entry for specific radiographs.
  2. List the three primary purposes of bitewings.
  3. Explain what errors result from incorrect vertical angulation.
  4. Explain what errors result from incorrect horizontal angulation.
  5. Explain errors resulting from incorrect patient placement in the panoramic machine.
  6. Explain common exposure errors.
  7. Explain common processing errors.
  8. Explain the differences between periapical, bitewing, occlusal, and panoramic images.
  9. Explain the purpose of vertical bitewings.

Outcome 7: Upon completion of this course, student will be able to demonstrate obtaining dental X-Rays on an adult and pediatric DXTTR X-Ray trainer.


  1. Demonstrate obtaining anterior periapical X-Rays.
  2. Demonstrate obtaining posterior periapical X-Rays.
  3. Demonstrate obtaining panoramic X-Rays.
  4. Demonstrate obtaining horizontal bitewing X-Rays.
  5. Demonstrate obtaining vertical bitewing X-Rays.
  6. Demonstrate obtaining occlusal X-Rays.
  7. Demonstrate paralleling technique.
  8. Demonstrate bisecting angle technique.

Outcome 8: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to explain the types of dental film.


  1. List the five basic sizes of intraoral film.
  2. List the components of an intraoral film packet.
  3. List the components of an extraoral film packet.
  4. List the components of an automatic film processor.
  5. List the steps in processing dental films.
  6. List the chemicals in the processing solutions.
  7. List the equipment needed for manual processing.
  8. Compare the two types of extraoral films.
  9. Explain the purpose of intensifying screens.
  10. Explain the purpose of emulsion.
  11. Explain film speed.
  12. Explain proper storage of dental film.
  13. Explain the features and requirements of a darkroom.
  14. Explain film handling errors during processing.
  15. Explain the process for duplicating radiographs.

Outcome 9: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to summarize the common extraoral radiographic images.


  1. Explain the similarities and differences of common extraoral radiographs.
  2. Identify a panoramic image.
  3. Identify a Waters View image.
  4. Identify a lateral jaw image.
  5. Identify a reverse Towne image.

• Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
• Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
• Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
• Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
• Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
• Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.

CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Global Literacy: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Quantitative Reasoning: YES
Scientific Literacy: YES

Week 1: History of Dental Radiography

Week 2: X-Ray Machine & Components

Week 3: Radiation Safety - Biological Damage

Week 4: Radiation Safety - Safety Protocol

Week 5: Radiography Techniques - Paralleling

Week 6: Radiography Techniques - Bisecting Angle

Week 7: Dental Imaging Receptors

Week 8: Film Processing (Midterm)

Week 9: Obtaining Quality Radiographs - Input

Week 10: Obtaining Quality Radiographs - Quality Assurance

Week 11: Fundamentals of Radiography - Infection Control

Week 12: Fundamentals of Radiography - Federal & State Regulations

Week 13: Extraoral Imaging

Week 14: Occlusal Imaging

Week 15: Normal Radiographic Anatomy; Dental Caries

Week 16: Periodontal Disease

Primary Faculty
Ellis, Barbara
Secondary Faculty

Associate Dean
Ellis, Barbara
Mirijanian, Narine

Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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