A Comparison Between Dentists And Dental Hygienists

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It cannot be emphasized enough the importance of having a person’s teeth examined and cleaned regularly.  Aside from ensuring that their cleanliness is maintained, it also helps a person be updated immediately whenever problems arise regarding his or her oral health.  A healthy oral habit means pro-actively visiting dental practitioners and not just visiting them when there’s a problem.

Whenever you pay a dental clinic a visit, it may not have escaped your attention that there are two professionals working there aside from the receptionist and the assistant. Your observation might have caused some confusion on your part because you were not informed that the clinic has two dentists and yet, someone, other than the dentist, has cleaned your teeth. Well, there’s a very big possibility that that someone is the clinic’s dental hygienist.  The dental hygienist performs most of the teeth cleaning tasks. On the other hand, dentists are heavily focused on doing surgery, creating dentures, installing braces and other restorative duties. Other people might have this misconception that their roles are the same but their roles are actually very different.  A good analogy would that be of a physician and a nurse.

One of the dissimilarities between a dental hygienist and a dentist is the years of academic training that they need to undertake.  The educational training of a dentist is more rigorous and longer as they need to undergo four years of dental training upon completion of pre-requisite subjects.  Meanwhile, dental hygienists need to complete a two-year dental hygiene program after completing the required courses like English, psychology, sociology and other.  However, both dentistry and dental hygienist students are required to pass specific board examinations in order to get a practice license.

In the actual industry, it is the role of the dental hygienist to meet with the patient first before the latter can make an appointment with the dentist.  The dental hygienist will provide sound advices to help patients improve their strategies in preserving their oral health. One of the roles performed by dental hygienist is to clean the client’s teeth and assess whether the latter is suffering from any oral disease such as gingivitis, caries, and periodontal disease.  A dentist only enters the picture when the client needs filling, prescription medicine, tooth x-rays, bracings, root canals, surgery and a whole lot more.  Suffice to say that dentists are capable of giving more expert medication while dental hygienists are more fixated on the overall teeth care.

Another glaring contrast between the two professions is the earnings they receive.  Dentists are actual doctors and their names are associated with either DMD or DDS. DMD stands for Doctor of Medical Dentistry while DMD means Doctor of Dental Surgery.  In addition, they can also perform highly complicated operations related to oral health. With these reasons, their professional fees are higher compared to that of dental hygienists.

Dental hygienists also have initials attached to their names after they pass the necessary board examinations.  These initials may either be LDH or RDH. RDH signifies for Registered Dental hygienist and LDH stands for Licensed Dental Hygienist.

Despite the differences of the two professions, they are the same in a way that their area of specialization lies in maintaining oral health care.  If you are interested in becoming a dentist, you must work hard to be accepted in a dental school. If you desire to become a dental hygienist then enroll in schools like My Dental Hygienist Schools.