Dental Assistant vs. Dental Hygienist: What’s the Difference?
|Dental Assistants||Dental Hygienists|
|Median annual salary : $36,940||Median annual salary : $72,910|
|19 percent increase through 2026||20 percent increase through 2026|
Dental assistants perform a range of tasks related to patient care and administrative clinical work. Dental hygienists clean and polish patients’ teeth , perform dental health examinations to check for oral diseases, and educate patients on best dental practices.
If you want to further your education after earning a Diploma, an associate’s degree allows students to pursue a job as a licensed dental hygienist . It can also give you more career options if you decide to start work as a dental assistant but want to eventually become a licensed dental hygienist .
RDH vs. Payscale.com lists the median hourly rate for an RDH at $34.27 and the median annual salary at $57,509. The median hourly rate of a dentist is $66.56, and the median annual salary is listed at $125,174. Estimates vary depending on the source, but this gives a general picture of the difference in salary.
The median salary for a dental hygienist is $73,000 a year, according to the U.S. Labor Department. That’s higher than the median salary of $69,000 for a registered nurse. In big cities, dental hygienists can earn six figures .
The vast majority of dental hygienists works in dentist offices and clinics. Therefore, the average pay for office-based hygienists is very close to the overall average for all hygienists . In specialty hospitals, RNs can earn more than a typical hygienist , with average annual pay of $77,290 in 2016.
Best- Paying States for Dental Assistants The states and districts that pay Dental Assistants the highest mean salary are Minnesota ($52,220), Alaska ($49,350), New Hampshire ($49,280), Massachusetts ($48,770), and North Dakota ($47,140).
A typical full-time annual salary for this occupation is in the region of $38,000 – $52,000. According to the latest figures, the highest hourly average (median) wages are earned in Edmonton, Alberta at $30.00 per hour and the lowest average (median) wages are earned in Prince Edward Island at $19.10 per hour.
Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Programs typically take 3 years to complete.
Dental assisting can be exciting work in a growing allied health field. It’s a career that can offer advancement to those with the right qualifications and interest. Maybe its greatest perk, though, is the satisfaction of helping people.
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|Full Time (Nominal Duration )||12 mths||12 mths|
Do Dental Assistants Have to Be Certified? State regulations vary on certification. Some states require dental assistants to be certified, while other states do not have any formal educational requirements. However, earning a dental assistant certification can help your career in more ways than one.
Hygiene school. Some may read those words and remember the tears shed and their overwhelmed and stressed feelings. Others may remember the wonderful times, friends they made, and the joy of hard work turning into success. The dental hygiene program is vigorous.
While some degrees lend themselves to multiple career paths, a job as a dental hygienist is pretty much the same no matter where you decide to live or work. This consistency can be great, particularly if you love what you do, but if you’re looking for more variety, dental hygiene may not be right for you.
Dental hygienists rated their satisfaction with their salaries 3.6/5. The majority of dental hygienists are quite happy with their salaries, with very few having complaints about their income level.