Dental hygienists can both do more than an assistant can do and require more training, but only the dentist is a doctor. Hygienists have between 3 and 4 years of training, while dentists have a minimum of eight years of education (more 10 to 11 years if they become specialists). Dental Hygienists What is a dental hygienist? A dental hygienist is an oral health professional who is responsible for preventing and treating oral diseases. Dental hygienists do much of their work independently, only with the general supervision of a licensed dentist.
Dental hygienists are an important part of teams led by dentists. His work eliminates a significant burden for the dentist, freeing him up to perform more advanced procedures. Therefore, it's quite common for dental hygienists to perform many preventive dental procedures in an office, such as cleaning teeth, screening patients for oral diseases, and other preventive dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health.
The general dentist (DDS or DMD) is the primary care dental provider. The general dentist diagnoses, treats and manages the general oral health of his patients. Treatment may include fillings, crowns, bridges, gum care, root canals, simple tooth extractions, and removable appliances (dentures and partial dentures). To become a dentist, you must have a university degree and graduate from an accredited dental school.
There are three dental schools in Illinois. Learn more about a career in dentistry here. Periodontists, who focus on treating gum disease and other gum problems, are just one example of dental specialists. If a person's goal is to be a general dentist, they can practice after earning a degree in dentistry.
But generally, the amount of training a person needs to become a hygienist is less than the training required to be a dentist. A dental hygienist will clean your teeth, take x-rays, evaluate for gum infection and periodontal disease, and apply sealants and fluoride treatments. Some dentists receive additional training after dental school, allowing them to specialize and provide patient care for certain conditions. Both associate degree (two years) and bachelor's degree (four years) programs qualify a person to take the exam and become a licensed dental hygienist.
That task is left to dentists, who then develop a plan to prioritize treatment and guide the patient toward achieving their oral health goals. Oral health is essential to the overall health of the body and a dentist will encourage and help their patients maintain a healthy mouth through regular cleanings and checkups. Just as there are doctors and nurses in hospitals, in dental offices there are dentists and dental hygienists. We look at the difference between the dentist and the dental hygienist and what you should expect from both.
What is particularly important is that the program in which a person participates is accredited by the Dental Accreditation Commission.