Dental Hygienist vs Dental Assistant: What Are the Differences?

Are you considering being a dental hygienist or dental assistant? The dental field is a booming industry, with a shortage of professionals.

But which of these careers is right for you?

A dental hygienist and dental assistant do similar tasks and their jobs are rather interchangeable. But their education protocols and certifications are different.

Keep reading for our guide to the differences between a dental hygienist vs dental assistant.

What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

Dental hygienists have more responsibilities when it comes to patient care. A dental hygienist is a trained professional. They provide preventive dental care and education to patients.

They remove tartar, plaque, and other debris from teeth. They also teach patients how to maintain good oral hygiene.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

A dental assistant is a less-trained individual. They help the dentist with basic tasks. Such as taking x-rays, preparing instruments, and generally providing help during procedures.  They also perform tasks such as scheduling appointments and handling billing.

Dental Hygienist vs Dental Assistant: The Education

There are many differences between dental hygienists and dental assistants. The most important difference is their level of education. Dental hygienists must have at least an Associate’s degree in dental hygiene. While dental assistants only need a high school diploma or equal.

Dental hygienists also receive more extensive training in dental anatomy, oral pathology, and dental radiology. As a result, dental hygienists can perform more complex tasks.

For a further overview of the services covered by both, it’s best to visit reliable dentist resources. A good one to check out is the one by Vinterbro Tannlegesenter.

Dental Hygienist vs Dental Assistant: Salary

Dental hygienists earn more than dental assistants. However, both professions offer good benefits and job security.

With the aging population and the increased emphasis on preventive care, the demand for both dental hygienists and dental assistants is expected to grow in the coming years.

While dental assistants earn a median salary of $38,660 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygienists earn a median salary of $76,220 per year. The large salary difference is due to the different educational requirements.

Dental assistants only need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. While dental hygienists must have an Associate’s degree in dental hygiene.

Pursue a Career in Dental Care

If you are looking for a new career, consider dental care. It is a growing field with many opportunities. There is a high demand for dental care professionals, and the job outlook is good.

The pay is decent, and you can have a flexible schedule. You can also make a difference in people’s lives by helping them to maintain their oral health. If you are interested in dental care, pursue a career in it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re choosing a between dental hygienist vs dental assistant. You won’t regret it.

Are you looking to refresh your knowledge of dental care? Check out the rest of our blog posts to learn all you can before taking the next steps!

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