Dental Hygienist vs Dental Assistant – Difference and Comparison

What is Dental Hygienist?

Dental hygienists play a leading role in dental health care. They work with the dentist to provide a treatment plan that resembles our needs. An associate degree is required for a dental hygienist in dental hygiene. They are specialized in the prevention and treatment of gum disease. The dental hygienist has legal permission to work with a dentist. Dental hygienists remove plaque, stains, and tartar. Many types of specialized tools are used to perform this process.

The role of a dental hygienist includes oral health assessment, screening the patient, teeth cleaning, educating the patient on how to take care of teeth, preparing study models, counseling patients about nutrition, and ways to prevent forming a sticky layer of bacteria forming on teeth, etc. They play a crucial role in preventing us from oral cancer.

Smokers are more likely to lose more teeth than nonsmokers and have gum diseases. Nicotine is the primary cause of the yellowing of our teeth. There are many ways in which a smoker can get rid of these diseases. A dental hygienist guides a proper journey. They work in a dental office alongside dentists, providing services such as cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, and educating patients on how to care for their teeth and gums.

What is Dental Assistant?

A dental assistant is one of the dental team members who is tasked to prepare and organize the required tools for a patient’s examination and procedures. His primary job is assisting and supporting the dental operator before and during the procedure. They play an essential role in the dental care team and help ensure that patients receive high-quality dental care.

Dental assistants have two significant ranks after their initial education and training. Certified Dental Assistants (CDA) and Registered Dental Assistants (RDA). Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) is responsible for helping patients and performing organizational activities. They only pass the dental assisting program to receive a certificate. On the other hand, Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) has a license to practice his work professionally. RDA is a dental assistant’s highest achievement.

A dental assistant performs several duties, including taking and recording vital signs to preparing tool setups for procedures. These include preparing and dealing with patients, performing X-ray procedures, and scheduling appointments. If the dental assistants are certified and experienced, they can also perform coronal polishing, place retraction cords, and do teeth whitening procedures.

Difference Between Dental Hygienist and Dental Assistant

  1. Dental hygienists provide a treatment plan, whereas a dental assistant helps the dentist perform operations.
  2. Dental hygienists do not perform organizational or scheduling duties, whereas dental assistants are responsible for scheduling.
  3. Dental hygienists perform procedures, whereas dental assistants assist experts in those procedures.
  4. Dental hygienists require a one-year certificate or diploma, whereas dental assistants require an associate degree in dental hygiene.
  5. Dental hygienists require a license to perform procedures, whereas dental assistant does not have a license to perform.

Comparison Between Dental Hygienist and Dental Assistant

Parameters of ComparisonDental HygienistDental Assistant
PurposeAdvising Treatment PlansAssisting the Dentist
Legal PermissionLicense to Perform ProceduresNo License Required
TasksPerform ProceduresTo Support the Dental Operator
QualificationAssociate DegreeOne-Year Certificate
Professional RankHigherLower