Different Dental Roles


What is a Dental Assistant? What is a Dental Hygienist? And what’s the difference? Both positions work under the supervision of a dentist, but they complete separate tasks. An assistant provides direct aid to the dentist during procedures. Whereas a hygienist works one on one with patients providing teeth cleanings and x-rays.

According to the American Dental Association here are the main roles of each position…
Dental hygienist:
• Perform patient screening procedures, including x-rays
• Teaches patients how to practice good oral hygiene
• Removes calculus and plaque from teeth

The responsibilities of a dental assistant are the most varied in the dental office…
Dental assistant:
• Assists the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures
• Takes dental x-rays
• Serves as an infection control officer, develops infection control protocol, and prepares and sterilizes instruments and equipment
• Provides patients with oral care instructions following surgery and other procedures, such as the placement of restoration (filling)
• Takes impressions of patients’ teeth for models of teeth.

Both positions play invaluable roles in the dental office to help make your office experience great!