Dentist Vs Dental Hygienist: The Main Differences

A dentist and a hygienist are both licensed to work as dental professionals and will undergo specialized training other than the normal college coursework. A dentist is able to enter into private practice or get into formal employment based on what he desires.

For a hygienist, however, he has been trained to work under a dentist where he can choose to work with one dentist or get associated with a dental hygienists agency where he will be able to work in different workstations depending on the opportunities available. The following is a comparison between a dentist and a hygienist to help you get a better understanding of the two:


The following are the responsibilities of a dental hygienist in a dental clinic:

  • Cleaning the patient’s teeth when he comes in for a routine oral checkup
  • Brushing and removing any plaque or tartar that could have built up in a client’s teeth
  • Polish a client’s teeth
  • Noting down all dental conditions
  • Carry out screening procedures
  • Check the blood pressure and review the medical history of the patient
  • Act as an assistant when the dentist is carrying out procedures like tooth removal.
  • Provide advice on the best oral hygiene practices to the patients

The hygienist should be able to inform the dentist of any condition in a client’s teeth that will require his attention. He is answerable to the dentist as he works under him.

The responsibilities of a dentist are more complex and this is the reason why he will undergo more complex training. Some of them are:

  • Management of a dental clinic
  • Carry our procedures such as filling, tooth removal or any other dental procedure that a client will need.
  • Carry out an analysis of the information that has been collected by the hygienist
  • Diagnose dental diseases and any bite problem
  • Refer patients to specialists such as orthodontist if there will be a need.

A dentist and a hygienist work together towards making the oral health of their patients better. Together, they will be able to provide customized services to their patients and the beneficiaries in this partnership will be the patients.

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