Dental Hygienist vs. Dentist: What are the Differences
After looking for a Seattle dentist, you may be surprised to discover that some of the search results include hygienists as well as dentists. You may think the two are the same, but a Seattle dentist’s job is far different from that of a hygienist for many reasons. Before you enlist the help of one or the other, it’s a good idea to brush up on the differences so you can make the right choice.
One of the most significant differences between a Seattle dentist and a hygienist is their education. If you want to be able to practice dentistry, you need to study for a degree, all before attending a dental school for four years. If you want to become a hygienist, however, you only need an associate dental hygiene degree which only takes two years.
Of course, both a Seattle dentist and hygienist need to gain a license to practice, but the criteria and hoop jumping differs dramatically for each profession.
If the education is different, then it makes sense for the pay packet to be as well. After all, you wouldn’t study longer and harder to get less, would you? Your Seattle dentist will get paid more than your hygienist.
A Seattle dentist will earn between $148,876 and $194,966, but a hygienist will only earn between $68,361 and $90,663.
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Finally, the services a Seattle dentist will offer can differ from those of a dental hygienist as well. A dentist does help with preventative measures, but they are also more specialized to assist with diagnostics, procedures, and medication. Hygienists tend to focus on education, teeth care, cleaning, and checking for oral diseases. They can then refer you to a dentist for treatment in those areas, but would not perform any procedures or help with medication.
Both a Seattle dentist and hygienist are people you want to have on your side. Both are people with skill sets you need to be able to care for your teeth. However, they are not the same thing. A dental hygienist doesn’t have to train as long and has a limited wealth of knowledge. A dentist, however, can help with all aspects of dentistry. If you need to see a hygienist or dentist in Seattle, you are sure to find there are many around to help with your oral health needs.