Difference Between Dental Assistant and Hygienist

Having optimal oral health has been proved by research and studies to have a major impact on the way you live and how healthy you are. It is extremely important to take care of your mouth, just like you would take care of any other part of your body, which in return has made various dental professions boom in recent years.

Dental offices do not only consist of dentists running the show, like many people would assume to be the case. But actually, there are many people who contribute in making your teeth and mouth healthier.

A dental assistant is crucial to a dentist, since the DA can be termed to be the dentist’s ‘right hand’ when working with clients. They are a part of the dentist’s working of every sort from taking and developing x-rays, to sterilising equipment and providing clients with the necessary oral health information which may have a longer lasting impact on their health. Dental assistants are also important when it comes to taking dental impressions and making models, along with handling various administrative tasks such as processing and making appointments for clients of the dental office they are working for.

Courses and specialised training are not officially required for a dental assistant but due to the competition soaring in this field, having gone through a program which can last from nine months to a year, will definitely make a dental assistant stand out from the rest.

A dental hygienist is very similar to that of a dental assistant but has a few more duties which cannot be performed by an assistant. These duties including cleaning the patient’s teeth, taking patient medical history along with making models and impressions and distributing local anesthetics. Due to having a much more important role as compared to a dental assistant, it is required by many areas that a dental hygienist carry a formal education and certification in the field.


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    Dental Assistant

    Someone who works closely with the dentist and supplies the dentist with all necessary tools and information on the client at hand is known to be a dental assistant. Administrative tasks are also regular assigned to the dental assistant.

    - Image Courtesy: dentalassistantschools.net

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    Dental Hygienist

    Those assistants which have gone up in the ranks, acquired formal training and education along with the fact that they can handle bigger tasks in well performing dental offices are known as dental hygienists.

    - Image Courtesy: ddscarydentist.com

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