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Difference Between Hygienist and Dentist

Hygienist vs Dentist

Both a dentist and a hygienist are the people responsible for good and healthy teeth. The difference between a hygienist and a dentist is that a dentist is more highly qualified than a hygienist. They have different responsibilities too.

A dentist is a doctor. A dentist completes a Bachelor’s degree at dental school after completing at least a two-year program of study at a university. In order to practice, a dentist needs a license for which another exam has to be passed. This includes both a written and practical examination.
After a doctor acquires a license, he or she may start the practice. A dentist’s main responsibility is to diagnose any issue related to teeth. A dentist examines the X-rays, repairs teeth, applys plastic sealants on children’s teeth, performs corrective surgery, gives injections, fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, dentures, veneers, takes measurements for dentures, and anything else that requires a higher degree of skill. A dentist may prescribe medicines, and they may administer anesthetics also. A dentist may follow further studies to become a specialist.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the U.S. contains 85,910 dentists. According to the Bureau, the average earnings of a dentist are $74.17 per hour which comes out to be $154,270 a year.

A dental hygienist, on the other hand, requires only an Associate’s degree which is a two-year duration. A hygienist also requires a license to practice. This license is issued only when a written and practical exam is passed.
A hygienist handles the responsibility to make the patient ready before a dentist comes to examine him/her. A hygienist removes any kind of soft and hard deposits from the teeth. They also teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene and also provide other preventive dental care. They do a preliminary examination to record any irregularities. A hygienist cleans teeth, does sealants, and does whitening, fluoride, and deep cleaning.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 173,090 dental hygienists in the U.S. This is much more as compared to the number of dentists during the same period. According to the Bureau, the occupation of a dental hygienist has the fastest rate of growth with many more coming up with time.
As far as earnings are concerned, a dental hygienist has an hourly wage of about $32.19 and around $66,950 a year.


1.A dentist is a doctor which acquires a four-year degree program while a hygienist has only a two-year degree.
2.A hygienist prepares the patient for the dentist to examine him/her.
3.A hygienist cleans the teeth, does whitening and flossing while a dentist carries out procedures such as root canals, dentures, and veneers.
4.A dentist gets $65-$75 per hour while a hygienist gets $25-$35 per hour.
5.There is a larger number of hygienists as compared to that of dentists in the U.S.

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