To take radiographs as a dental assistant in Tennessee, you must be a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) and have completed a training program in another state, or have passed the Dental Assistant National Board’s Radiation Health and Safety exam, or hold a current Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification. After completing one of these requirements, you must also apply to the Tennessee Board of Dentistry for certification. Dental assistants are still trained in-office to take radiographs because it does take some skill and safety precautions to take them correctly.
Since Radiographs do expose the human body to slight amounts of radiation, typically dental assistants will limit their exposure by setting up the radiograph and activating the sensor a few feet away from the patient. In some dental offices, pregnant dental assistants are not to take radiographs. If you do have concerns about taking radiographs regularly, most dental offices will accommodate you, but there really is not much to worry about with the limited exposure.