A dental hygienist and a dental assistant both support the dentist within a dental practice. However, they carry out different roles, with a hygienist dealing directly with the patients.
- A dental assistant carries out many of a dental practice’s administrative tasks, as well as assisting the dentist during procedures.
- A dental hygienist is qualified to perform tasks including teeth cleaning, fluoride application, x-rays and patient education.
- Only the dentist can diagnose oral health conditions and perform cavities, extractions and dental restorative work.
"Your dental hygienist is the person who cleans your teeth, conducts dental and periodontal exams, reviews your oral health history, checks vital signs, and takes x-rays."
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