Dentists are able to provide more skilled treatment whereas dental hygienists provide more general teeth care. There are two times more dental hygienists than dentists according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, so it is more efficient to meet with a dental hygienist first for general cleanings and care.
In summary, when faced with dental cleaning by hygienist vs dentist , remember that a hygienist is qualified to handle routine cleaning and can help you with basic dental care. A dentist , on the other hand, is qualified to handle more extensive dental procedures and intervene if a problem is to be addressed.
A dental hygienist may provide preventive dental hygiene services directly to a patient without a prior examination, presence, or authorization of a dentist . A dental hygienist may practice in any setting or facility that is documented in the dental hygienist’s access practice agreement.
Just like any other medical professionals, dentist and a registered dental hygienist , both are licensed dental professionals. One is known as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) and the other is a Registered Dental Hygienist ( R.D.H. )
The dental hygienist , however, cannot diagnose or treat any dental problems like cavities or gum disease. This is the dentist’s job. Only a dentist can diagnose dental problems. The dentist performs fillings, extractions, and other treatment procedures.
Dental hygienists practicing in the Western United States report the most frequent use of local anesthesia injections and they are most likely to administer for the entire dental office.
The dental hygiene program is vigorous. In my first week of hygiene school I spent more time staring at my books and all of the assignments I had to complete than actually sitting down and doing them. I was overwhelmed and didn’t even know where to start.
Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Programs typically take 3 years to complete.
These positions can range from becoming business owners, consultants, product makers, developers, and designers. Some have ventured into education as adjunct faculty, examiners for clinical dental hygiene board exams, continuing education speakers, and curriculum consultants.
Hygienists cannot clean teeth, provide periodontal therapy, fluoride therapy, or any of the other things we do on a regular basis in a dental office without a diagnosis or treatment plan by the doctor.
Other tasks hygienists may perform vary by State. Some States also allow hygienists to place and carve filling materials, temporary fillings , and periodontal dressings; remove sutures; and smooth and polish metal restorations. Dental hygienists also help patients develop and maintain good oral health.
Dental hygienists have the opportunity to become certified to administer facial injections, depending upon specific state regulations, to meet the cosmetic needs of the patient and to generate additional income for dental practices.
It means that a licensing agency vouches for your education and competence, hence the DH (dental hygienist), RDH ( registered dental hygienist ), or LDH (licensed dental hygienist). These letters tell the profession that you have authority and certification to practice.
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.
A Bachelor of Oral Health is the most common degree program . Students entering a bachelor’s degree program are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Most Bachelor of Oral Health programs now qualify students as both dental hygienists and dental therapists, collectively known as oral health therapists.