The dental assistant provides various tasks related to clinical administration and patient care. But, a dental hygienist has the job of cleaning and polishing a patient’s teeth. In dental assistant vs dental hygienist, dental hygienists also check for any oral disease by performing a dental health examination.
Dental Assistant vs. Dental Hygienist Responsibilities
The typical responsibilities of a dental assistant are,
- To take care of patients and lead them to sit on chairs comfortably.
- Sterilize and clean all the dental pieces of equipment.
- Prepare the clinical working areas to carry on treatment processes.
- Dry the patient’s mouth by suction hoses and give the required instruments to the dentist during treatment.
- Perform x-ray processes and other laboratory tasks.
- Schedule all the patient’s appointments and their records so the patients can feel comfortable.
In dental assistant vs. dental hygienist, the typical responsibilities of a dental hygienist are,
- To take care of the patient’s plaque, bacteria, and stains from the patient’s teeth.
- Apply fluoride treatments to protect the teeth from decay.
- Examine oral conditions of patients and provide health reports to dentists.
- Help patients to select appropriate dental tools (e.g., floss, toothbrush, and mouthwash)
- Provide the best education to the patients on brushing and flossing techniques.
Dental Assistant Program
Dental assisting is considered a bit of a challenging task as it requires both technical and interpersonal skills. There are several paths to receive the training, which includes,
- A formal dental assisting program
- On-the-job training (OJT)
On-the-job training in place of formal dental assisting education is accepted in some states. But usually, other states require students to complete a one or two-year dental assistant program accredited by CODA.
Dental Assistant Salary
The average salary of a dental assistant is $44,950 in California as of 2020, which is approx $21.61 per hour. But a typical range lies in between $35,170 and $52,490.
But the salary, as mentioned earlier, varies state-wise. If considering Pakistan, a typical average wage of a dental hygienist is 817,584 Rs.
Dental Hygienist Program
An associate’s degree in the hygienist program requires two years to complete. Typically, 300 dental hygiene programs are accredited by CODA.
The average salary of a dental hygienist is $17,880 in California, which is $52.87 per hour. But this salary also varies state and nation-wise. If considering Pakistan, a typical average wage of a dental hygienist is 600000 Rs.
So, the salary contrast is quite clear between a dental assistant salary and a hygienist salary.
If you are thinking of becoming a hygienist because of the income, WDAS encourages you to become a dental assistant first. This technique gives you a wide variety of knowledge for your upcoming dental career to provides you with the skillset to become a successful hygienist in your desired future.
In dental assistant vs. dental hygienist, the studying program of dental hygienist requires a long commitment. Being a dental hygienist is considered a gratifying job, but it requires a lot of hard work. One has to learn a variety of subjects in a short period. But if you succeed in doing so, the hygienist salary will be as promising as your hard work.