When you visit the dentist, your dental hygienist will first . . . wait a moment. Is it a dental hygienist or a dental assistant? Some may mistakenly believe that dental hygienists and dental assistants have the same job, but nothing could be further from the truth. These two occupations differ in education and duties, which are described below.
Dental assistants act as an immediate aid to the dentist and have either a diploma or certificate. Their duties can include:
Dental hygienists work one on one with their patients and have either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Some dental hygienists have the same duties as the dental assistants, which also includes: