What’s the Difference Between A Dental Assistant And A Dental Hygienist?

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Both dental assistants and dental hygienists are an integral part of the team and their roles in the dental office are unique.

A dental hygienist has an associates or a bachelors degree and their focus is on gum health.  They work independently to diagnose and treat gum disease, and can remove hard and soft deposits during dental cleanings.  They can also take x-rays, molds and medical histories as well as perform procedures like laser whitening.  Our dental hygienists are very passionate about oral hygiene and are are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to improving and maintaining healthy teeth and gums!

A dental assistant works closely with the doctor during dental procedures.  They are helpful in setting up and breaking down a room as well as handing instruments during procedures.  They take x-rays, molds, medical histories, chart existing dental condition and are qualified to perform small parts of dental procedures.  They order and maintain dental supplies, polish teeth and can perform some procedures such as laser whitening. This is just a small list of the many responsibilities of a dental assistant. They are invaluable to our doctors and make the whole day run smoothly.

People tend to confuse these two roles, but as you can see, they are quite different and equally important!

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