What Is The Difference Between a Dental Hygienist And a Dental Assistant? Choosing The Right Program For You


We all know the jitters we get before booking an appointment at the Dental office. But once the session ends, there’s a sense of relief and a newer, more confident smile that appears on our faces. If you’ve ever been dreadful of going to the dentist’s office, as most people are, you would understand the importance of finding a clinic with professionals that offer the right amount of comfort and care to put you at ease.


When you visit the dentist, you probably notice that much of the work is done by dental hygienists and dental assistants. They play a massive role in a dental clinic, respective to their own individual responsibilities and duties. Wait, now you may be wondering, “is a dental assistant the same as a dental hygienist?” Well, if you’re considering a career in making people smile, you may want to dig a bit deeper and learn the difference between a dental hygienist and a dental assistant. Thankfully, that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this article.



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A Dental assistant leads the way

A dental assistant takes care of everything leading up to the primary procedure for which a patient has booked the appointment. In fact, they are the ones that schedule the appointment itself. Afterward, they are in charge of sterilizing and preparing all the dental instruments before any dental procedures begin. Whether it’s instructing and preparing the patient mentally or physically preparing the patient’s mouth by drying it out through suction hoses and other equipment, a dental assistant leads the way before a Dental Hygienist or Dentist steps in to perform the main job.


The dental assistant’s work begins before the patient walks into the clinic and doesn’t end until the patient steps out the door. This is because their duty includes processing the bills and collecting the payments, and ensuring that the patient has had a pleasant experience under their facility’s dental care. After each consultation, they also process the lab x-rays, complete lab tasks, and keep all patient records up to date. In addition to teaching their patients the correct dental practices, an excellent dental assistant also advises them on how to improve their oral health habits.


A Dental hygienist cleans the slate

Dental hygienists are professionals who clean teeth. They also perform other duties. Firstly, they examine the patient’s teeth for any procedural residue from previous treatments while also checking their medical history. Then they proceed to remove any calculus, stains, and plaques and apply fluorides and decay preventatives which is the primary offering of their career.


A dental hygienist can take care of the patient if they are just coming in for a cleaning or brief consultation. After the cleaning, if the patient wants to continue with dental fillings or treatment, a dentist steps in. In spite of this, the dental hygienist has other responsibilities as well, including noting the dental conditions for the dentist to see, making molds for evaluation, and administering local anesthetics before the start of all treatment. They literally clean the slate for the dentists to come in and begin with their course of action.


How to become a Dental assistant or a Dental hygienist?

Now that you know what each of these professionals does and their role within the dental team, let’s discuss the dental health industry’s requirements for entry.


Dental Assistant:
With a dental assistant training program, you’ll be ready to land an entry-level role as a dental assistant within 12 months.


Dental Hygienist:
In order to begin a career as a Dental Hygienist, a two-year degree in dental hygiene is necessary.


Commence your career in the world of dentistry through Blue Cliff College

“Should I be a dental assistant or hygienist?” is the most commonly asked question among students considering a career in dentistry. Hopefully, by now this article has provided you with the clarity that you may have been searching for when you landed on this page. If you’re looking for a way to start your career that would be quick, efficient, and won’t disturb your current lifestyle, then you can consider Blue Cliff College’s Dental assisting training program.


The program will provide you with all the knowledge and expertise to understand oral care at its best. You will start from the very basics of tooth formation and structure and go on to learn about more high-tech dental laboratory and radiography procedures. The course also thoroughly trains students in office administration, patient care, and the latest health care law and regulations (OSHA and HIPPA).


Additionally, after all the coursework is completed, the college also offers its students a 210 hours externship to provide their students with real-life exposure to prepare them to face any sort of facility head-on that they may encounter in their career. The externship also allows them to interact with professionals working in this field for several years.


And of course, as promised, Blue Cliff College’s dental assisting programs will fit into your routine like a glove because it offers unique night classes of 15 months. Maybe you’re an individual with a passion for helping people and making them smile. Or perhaps you’re a high school graduate that would like to join the workforce a little sooner. No matter what the reason may be to become a dental assistant, Blue Cliff College is the correct place for you to start.


Learn more about the Dental Assistant program at Blue Cliff College



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