It’s one of those thoughts that many dental assistants reflect on is: Should they become a dental hygienist or not? Many dental assistants prefer to stay in the occupation because they thrive in an intense, demanding position that includes challenging tasks. It also enables them to serve as the right hand of their dentists, anticipating their needs and those of the patients. Opposingly, some dental assistants become hygienists because they want to take on new responsibilities. No matter what profession you choose, here are a few things to consider in deciding whether being a dental assistant is right for you or a hygienist?


Variety of Tasks

Many dental assistants often choose to remain one because they enjoy the variety this profession offers. They assist with various dental procedures and perform tasks that they wouldn’t otherwise do if they were dental hygienists.


Patient Interaction

Although there are some repetitive characteristics of the job, being a dental hygienist allows you to work directly with the patients. You will be the one doing real talking to the patient and educating them.

Though direct patient interaction also comes with dental assisting, allowing you to develop relationships with them and better educate them about oral health.


Pay Upgrade

Both dental assisting and hygiene are fast-growing career paths. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 19% growth rate in the dental hygiene field between 2014 and 2024. Dental assistance is expected to grow 18% during the same period.

Experts caution against going into dental hygiene simply for the salary increase. Some people do it for the money, and then they end up hating it and regretting their decision.

Dental assisting allows one to take on an array of responsibilities. It also offers opportunities for career growth. That includes pursuing state credentials, or a position in a specialty practice like orthodontics.

Let us know what you think? Are you considering becoming a dental assistant or a hygienist? To discuss your options, reach out to us, we would be glad to help you make the right decision. Call us at (281) 738-6012 .