The dentist examines the teeth of the patients whenever they visit there to get the solution of their dental problem. In addition to this the role of the hygienists and dental assistants is also important. At the office of the dentist your most of the time is spent with these two people. The licensure pathways and educational pathways, duties and roles are distinct in these two careers. As per the dental patients’ needs the hygienists and assistants perform their duties. Here are the differences between dental hygienists and dental assistants.

Dental hygienist

An oral care of preventive type is provided by a trained professional in the field of oral healthcare who is known as a dental hygienist. When the dentist is not present even then the cleans and routine examinations can be performed by the dental hygienists. But normally they do their job under the dentists’ supervision. Earlier the dentists were performing all the tasks by themselves but now some independent and more complex tasks can be performed by the dental hygienists also. Several duties are performed by a dental hygienist:

  • Removal of sutures, application of fillings and administering the anesthetic are usually performed by a dental hygienist. He performs these tasks as per the location.
  • He performs screenings of oral cancer.
  • He performs the task of administering fluoride.
  • He takes x-rays of patients.
  • He can apply dental sealants also.
  • He polishes the teeth also.
  • He cleans as well as scales.
  • He advises the people who have undergone a dental treatment to practice oral hygiene that is very good. He also provides information related to dental care to those people.
  • In order to identify the oral conditions, he performs some steps that are preliminary.

Degree required for dental hygienists

A 3 years degree in the field of Associate of Applied Science or Associate Science is needed to become a dental hygienist. A licensed dental hygienist is required by every state. All the examinations whether these are practical or written need to be passed by him.

Common courses for him

Chemistry, biology, nutrition, microbiology, physiology and anatomy are the courses that need to be performed by him.

Preventive dentistry

Basically, instructions about therapies, disease control and mouth infections are given to students in this course.

Dental hygiene

Treatment of various problems like gingival problems and periodontal problems are taught to the students in this course.

Tooth morphology

Structures and forms of teeth are studied in this course.

Dental Assistant

In the dental practice’s various aspects, the dentist will get assistance from a dental assistant. There are a number of things for which the dental hygienist performs various responsibilities and duties and these things are:

  • Appointment scheduling and billing which are the administrative tasks.
  • Placing equipment and appropriate tools in a room where dental consultation is performed so as to prepare the room.
  • He prepares the people who undergo procedures for their dental problems.
  • When examinations and procedures are performed by the dentist then the dental assistant assists him.
  • As per the dentist’s direction he performs some procedural tasks.
  • He does his job of keeping the records.
  • He interacts with the patients also.

A training program of one to two years needs to be completed by the dental assistants and a bachelor’s degree is needed to become a dental hygienist. As compared to the dental assistants the income of dental hygienists is more. This is because the responsibility is different for these two people and their qualifications are also different. But a dental hygienist as well as a dental assistant have to work under a dentist.