Difference Between a Dental Hygienist and Dental Therapist


The dental therapists and hygienists work with the dentists for educating the patients on oral health so that they can take care of their oral health in the best way possible. Although they may fall into the same category of hygienists as far as dentistry is concerned both of them usually have very different sets of duties.

Dental hygiene is not a new expression but something that most people are quite aware of. The dental hygienist, as well as a therapist, are now a crucial part of every dental team. Both the roles of the dental therapist and hygienist form a valuable asset in dental care practice today.

But there are certain differences between the two positions. Here an attempt is made to bring forth the differences so that you can have a clear understanding of the same.

Responsibilities of Dental Hygienist Vs Dental Therapists

It is the state that regulates autonomy and the responsibilities practiced by the dental hygienists and the therapists. The dental hygienists often have a look at the patient before the dentist does. They establish the condition of the general health of the person. Not only that, but they also gather information about any symptom that the patient is experiencing.

On the other hand, dental therapists often conduct some of the basic tasks like cleaning the patient’s teeth. Apart from that, they also share many of the duties that used to be exclusive to the dentist previously. These include many procedures that are invasive in nature. Let’s have a closer look.

Dental Hygienist

The dental hygienists are those who are specially trained for working closely with the dentist for offering fully integrated dental care for people belonging to all age groups. They are registered primary healthcare professionals providing highly proficient preventive services for all age groups that do not involve removing or cutting teeth.

Dental hygienists prevent dental ailments and offer individual treatment for patients for maintaining healthy oral hygiene. In collaboration with a dentist, they determine therapeutic treatment for individual patients. But in delivering these services they work independently. They ensure best practices while providing safe and effective oral care.

Treatment can also be provided by the hygienists for the patients within the domain of orthodontics that include –
Takings Impression for the Purpose of Orthodontics

  • Placing and Fixing Arch Wires
  • Removing Bands, Brackets, Modules, Arch Wires, Power Chain and Thread, Ligature Wires, Coil Springs, Separating Elastics as well as Elastics
  • Recementing the Loose Bonds
  • Selecting and Preparing Bands for Cementation
  • Removing the Orthodontic Materials and Cementing after the removal of bracket and band

Dental Therapist

A dental therapist happens to be a diploma or graduate in Applied Science and registered primary healthcare professional who examines and looks after the oral healthcare of the kids, adolescents, and young adults. This includes prevention, treatment, and examination.

For preparing a patient for tooth extraction or fillings or for other oral procedures, often the therapists place local anesthetics on the gums. To help the patient to breathe they also dispense nitrous oxide. They also perform a plethora of other duties.

Dental therapists also motivate the kids for maintaining good oral health and offer routine dental treatment for them. This can include –

  • Filling Cavities
  • Cleaning and Polishing the Teeth
  • Conducting Dental Exams
  • Taking X-rays of Jaws and Teeth
  • Extracting the Baby or Deciduous Teeth under Local Anaesthetic
  • Fluoride Therapy
  • Applying Fissure and Pit Sealants
  • Taking Impressions for Mouth Guard Construction

There are, however, restrictions upon the duties that the therapists can perform, and they cannot conduct full root canals on babies.

Both the oral therapists and hygienists play a great role in the proper detection and treatment of oral problems. So, whenever you are searching by typing “best dentist near me” you should also research about the oral therapists and the hygienists offering service at the specific dental clinic. Only when you are satisfied with their qualification and experience you should opt for the clinic as they play a significant role in offering comprehensive oral care and treatment for yourself and your family.

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