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What is this course? | Who should take this course? | Course description | Private Tutoring

Typical Course Sequence | Certificant”>Becoming a CDA Certificant

What is this course?

This course is an abbreviated version of the Radiology course approved by the Bureau of X-Ray Compliance (which is part of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection). Unlike the state approved radiology course, this course does not include a laboratory or clinical component and is not sufficient for someone seeking a dental x-ray license for the first time. Those new to the field and interested in a NJ dental x-ray license should take our state approved Radiology course.

Who should take this course?

If you need to take the Dental Assisting National Board’s (DANB’s) RHS exam, but do not need to take a NJ state approved course for the purposes of obtaining a NJ dental x-ray license you may want to consider taking this home-study course.

In order to become a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certificant you must pass three DANB exams. The three exams are: Radiation Health & Safety (RHS), Infection Control, and General Chairside. Most students will become licensed dental radiologic technologist (get their dental x-ray license) before working towards their CDA certification. As part of the requirements for obtaining a dental x-ray license in NJ, the majority of students will have already taken DANB’s RHS exam. For those who fall into other categories, such as those discussed below, we offer this Home Study Course as an alternative.

This course is not a requirement for obtaining your CDA certificate, while passing DANB’s RHS exam is a requirement. If you’ve already taken and passed the RHS exam you probably do not need to take it again. However, the three DANB exams (RHS, Infection Control, and General Chairside) must all be taken and passed within a five year period. Thus if you received your dental x-ray license more than five years ago you will have to (re)take the RHS exam in order to earn your CDA certification.

You may want to take this course if you fall into one of the following categories:
  • You took DANB’s RHS exam to obtain your dental x-ray license, but it was more than 5 years ago, and you have not yet earned a CDA certificate.
  • You’ve already taken the RHS exam, but did not pass.
  • You’ve taken a program or course in the past or somewhere else, but don’t feel fully prepared to take the exam.
  • You live in a state other than NJ and are preparing for the RHS exam. Please be aware that not all states use DANB exams and that there may be a specific educational requirement where you live. We highly recommend that you check to find out what the requirements and credentials are in your own state. Click here for state-specific information.
  • You are a doctor from outside the United States who has a dental degree or license from another country and are interested in obtaining a NJ dental x-ray license. Your international dental degree may excuse you from having to take the full Dental Radiology course though you will still have to take the RHS exam. Click here for further information if you are a doctor moving to NJ from another country.

Course Description:

xray2This home study course consists of a large and thorough self-paced study manual that covers the material you would obtain in the didactic (or instructional) component of the full state approved Radiology course. It is designed to help you prepare to pass the DANB RHS exam.

The study manual covers a number of different topics including: film types, production of radiation (physics), components of the x-ray unit, exposing radiographs, techniques (bisecting, paralleling, occlusal, and panoramic), digital exposures, film processing, radiation safety, film mounting, anatomic landmark, radiation infection control, and quality assurance.

Each subject area is followed by a brief test. At the end of the manual are a series of three final exams with 100 questions each where you can further test your knowledge and assess where your strengths and weaknesses may lie. You are thus given several opportunities to take practice tests and assess your own progress. Yes, the answers are also included.

Private Tutoring:

Private tutoring is available for this course only. If you have read through the manual and are still confused or have questions, if you’re the type of person that simply isn’t self-motivated and needs a sense of accountability, or if you simply learn better by meeting with someone in person, you may be interested in private tutoring.

Tutoring sessions are one-on-one and allow you the personal time and attention you may be seeking. Tutoring is self-led, meaning that you should come prepared in advance with questions and that you control the topic of discussion.

Typical Course Sequence

This chart displays the usual order that students will take our courses and the order in which they obtain their credentials. For a more detailed overview, please click here.

Credential/License: Courses: Exams:
N/A 1. Introductory Dental Assisting None
Dental X-Ray License (LDRT) 2. Dental Radiology Radiation Health & Safety (RHS)
Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) Certificate 3. Review of Radiation Health & Safety*
4. Infection Control
5. General Chairside
Radiation Health & Safety (RHS)
Infection Control
General Chairside
Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) 6. Expanded Functions Expanded Functions


*If you obtained your dental x-ray license in NJ you will most likely not have to take the Review of Radiation Health& Safety course in order to obtain a CDA certificate.

Certificant”>Becoming a CDA Certificant

In order to become a CDA certificant you will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You must show documentation of having earned a high school diploma in the United States or its equivalent.
  2. Once you feel ready you can complete an application to take either the full CDA exam in one four-hour session or you may take each of the three component exams separately. The three component exams (or the three parts of the full exam) are:
    1. Radiation Health & Safety
    2. Infection Control
    3. General Chairside
  3. You must have and show documentation of 3500 hours of experience (in no less than two and no more than a four year period at some point in your career.) working as a dental assistant and a valid CPR certificate before you can sit for and take the General Chairside Exam.
  4. When your application has been successfully processed, a DANB letter entitled “Test Admission Notice” will be mailed to you. At this point you can schedule your exam.
  5. After successfully passing either the full CDA exam or the three separate component exams you will receive an official report in the mail. When you have met all of the requirements, you will automatically be mailed a CDA certificate. If you choose to take the exams separately you must complete all three within a five year period. You do not need to apply separately for your actual CDA certificate after passing the full exam or the three component exams.