Having confidence in our smiles starts with ensuring our teeth stay healthy. While brushing and flossing, we prevent many dental issues; sometimes, these issues become so severe that we need a professional’s help to remedy them. There are two professionals in the dental field we often see. Our Dentists and their Dental Hygienists. Both have licenses to practice, though their titles are different. A Dentist is a Doctor Of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), and a Dental Hygienist is a Registered Dental Hygienist (R.D.H.) After taking their base courses in college, which can be lengthy, both D.D.S. and R.D.H. require special training. There are, however, a few differences between the two, especially in the treatments they provide. Let’s discover what each of them does.
A Dental Hygienist’s Role
Similar to other medical professionals, Dental Hygienists go through special training. The length of this training is shorter than their dentist counterparts, however. Upon completion of their degree program, aspiring hygienists need to clear an exam to receive their license, allowing them to practice anywhere in their state. Upon receiving their license, they can add R.D.H. to the end of their name.
The first person you’ll usually encounter during dental visits is a Dental Hygienist. Their role in the dentist’s team is crucial, as they examine your mouth and note any problems which they provide to the dentist. They aren’t the ones who diagnose the issue, as that is the dentist’s job. A Dental Hygienist provides different treatments that help guarantee good oral health while providing information about products and skills that benefit your gums and teeth.
Responsibilities Of An R.D.H.
Dental Hygienists have several responsibilities they take care of before the dentist can provide their treatments. Below are some of those responsibilities.
- Preparing the patient’s teeth by cleaning them.
- Removing any tartar and plaque from the patient’s teeth.
- Writing down any dental conditions.
- Educating the patients about dental care at home.
- Assist the dentist in dental procedures.
- Relay information about potential issues to the dentist.
A Dentist’s Role
They are known as Doctors of Dental Surgery due to the numerous treatments they provide regarding our dental health, such as tooth removal. Dentists have to study more than Dental hygienists, thanks to the increased responsibilities that come with their particular dental career path. Learning about the specializations in dentistry requires a lengthy education where techniques for caring for particular dental concerns are taught. Periodontists are a great example of this, as they care for gum-related issues.
The Responsibilities Of A Dentist
Like Dental hygienists, Dentists also have several responsibilities they take care of in their careers. Below are some of these responsibilities.
- They oversee the day-to-day operations of their clinic.
- They analyze the information provided by their R.D.H. about their patient.
- They provide referrals to other dental specialists, such as an orthodontist.
Despite the differences in the responsibilities and education of dentists and dental hygienists, both careers are equally important. They can ensure they’re providing their patients with the best possible care by assisting each other.