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Dental Assistant Vs Dental Hygienist- What Sets Them Apart

dental assistant certification

The field of dentistry is increasingly becoming popular, with more and more students enrolling in dental assisting academies in the U.S. However, there are a variety of job roles in dentistry, and more often than not, they are quite similar and confusing!

Take for instance these two roles- Dental Assistant vs. Dental Hygienist. Both are separate job roles and require different qualifications as well. While being a Dental Assistant requires a professional Dental Assistant Certification, being a Dental Hygienist requires an associate’s degree in dental hygiene.

A little confused, are we? Well, don’t worry. If you’re patient enough to go through this entire blog, you’ll get to learn the differences between these two job roles.

So, let’s begin the quest!

All About Dental Assistant Job Role

  • Roles And Responsibilities

Let’s start our discussion with Dental Assistant, a career path that many students are signing up for presently.

If you have experience visiting a dentist’s chamber, you might have seen that there’s a second person in uniform standing right next to the dentist, and supporting them throughout the process.

Yes, that’s a dental assistant! They serve as the backbone of the entire dental team. Their main role is to support the dentists and hygienists throughout the checkup process.

Let’s have a quick look at the roles of a dental assistant-

  • Handling Administrative Roles

Dental assistants are trained for administrative work! They manage the daily appointments, schedule procedures according to patients, review the insurance and also keep track of patient records.

  • Handling Patients

It’s the job role of a dental assistant to greet patients and prepare the entire treatment room efficiently. Not only that, they also have to regularly update their medical history, take x-rays, and assist a dentist or hygienist by handing them tools and crucial materials.

  • Certification And Additional Skills

If you want to be a dental assistant, the first thing you need is to enroll in a certified dental assistant program from a recognized dental college.

There you’ll be trained to be proficient in handling dental equipment, sterilization methods, and various dental radiology techniques.

However, there are some additional skills that you need to hone for a successful career in dental assisting. You need to work on developing good interpersonal and communication skills. Along with it, learning to be patient, and handling situations calmly are also required to excel in this field.

All About Dental Hygienist Job Role

  • Roles And Responsibilities

Dental hygienists, on the other hand, are professionals specializing in oral healthcare. They are the ones who perform the following procedures-

  • Oral Assessments

They are highly trained professionals who can perform oral assessments like screening for oral cancer or gum-related issues. They also are capable of taking X-rays and assessing overall oral health.

  • Proactive Care

Dental hygienists also have skills to perform cleaning procedures like scaling or plaque removal. They can provide constructive advice on maintaining oral health and also conduct informational sessions to make patients aware of oral hygiene techniques.

  • Certification And Additional Skills

Unlike a dental assistant program, where you have to enroll in dental assistant schools in California, dental hygienists have to go through a two-year course.

At the end of the course, they become Dental Hygiene Associates and have to cover disciplines like dental anatomy, pathology, clinical procedures, etc.

Hygienists have to have strong communication and analytical skills. These help them to assess the risks, and inform the patients about effective oral hygiene practices.

Which Is the Right Path To Pursue?

Now that’s a billion-dollar question! But the answer is quite simple actually!

Both disciplines can bring forth a rewarding career! It depends on your personal goals and interests in a particular discipline, that’s it!

A certification in dental assistant course is in no way lesser than the two-year degree course that hygienists have to pursue. Both professionals have significant roles to play in the world of dentistry.

So, ask yourself which one of the courses you really want to sign up for. Because that’s how you determine which might be the right path to pursue and have a successful career!

To Conclude

Before deciding or choosing to pursue a career, a little knowledge of the field of discipline is enough for you to have a rough idea of the many requirements of the course itself.

Are you looking for a dental assistant school near me? Institutions like MDS Dental Assisting Academy can be a great option for you to check and get yourself enrolled! Make your mark in a sophisticated career, and achieve heights as you go!

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