Are Dental Assistants the same as Dental Hygienists?

We have compiled our answers to frequently asked questions about Dental Assistants. Read here to know if Dental Assistants are the same as Dental Hygienists.

While these roles may seem similar, there are key differences between Dental Assistants and Dental Hygienists. First, Dental Assistants usually complete short-term training and have the option to become certified by passing the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam. Dental Hygienists, however, must complete either a two- or four-year program as part of their training. Dental Assistants and Dental Hygienists also perform different tasks. Dental Assistants are largely responsible for preparatory tasks—taking x-rays, prepaying the patient for procedures, sterilizing equipment, etc. Dental Hygienists are tasked with responsibilities once solely reserved for Dentists, including performing dental exams and polishing and cleaning patients’ teeth.

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