Dental Assistant VS Dental Hygienist Salary - Which is Better? - Dental Jobs Expert

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Dental Assistant VS Dental Hygienist Salary – Which is Better?

Dental assistant VS dental hygienist is always a hot topic in the dental career world, especially those who are just graduated from high school and interested in dental jobs. These two career options iare famous entry-level positions. Which one offers better job outlook? Which one offers better salary? Which one is easier to achieve?

Moreover, many dentist offices have split opinion about dental assistant vs dental hygienist. Some say that dental assistant is sufficient, while the others say that dental hygienist is needed more in the ever-developing dentistry world.

So which career should you pursue between dental assistant VS dental hygienist?

First of all, we would like to note that both dental assistant and hygienist are important for a successful dentist office. Today we’re going to compare dental assistant vs hygienist based on different factors, including education, job and responsibilities, and salary.

Dental Assistant VS Dental Hygienist Education Requirement Comparison

One of the major differences between dental assistant vs dental hygienist is the education requirement. If you want to be a dental assistant, you can go through an American Dental Association’s accredited dental assisting program. This program usually last for about a year, and soon after you get the certificate of completion, you can jump into the work field.

On the other hands, to become a dental hygienist you should at least earn an associate degree and successfully pass the state DH license test. Obviously, this requires longer education period and some extra cost for education (with financial aid options available). Typically, the education time needed for dental hygienist is about four years.

Dental Assistant VS Dental Hygienist Jobs and Responsibilities

dental assistant vs dental hygienist salary

dental assistant at work


The next difference between dental assistant vs dental hygienist is the day-to-day tasks. Dental hygienist is responsible to clean, maintain, and examine the teeth and gum of the patient. They can also clean stains, accretions, and calcareous deposits using the provided equipment. Exposing and developing X-Ray films, managing the patient’s medical history, applying fluorides to teeth, and other clinical services are included in the dental hygienist job description.

On the other hands, dental assistant job description is not as technical as dental hygienist. They prepare equipment, developing x-rays, do side chair assistance for the dentist, and teach proper oral hygiene for the patients. Additional job description includes managing the dental supplies, cleaning equipment, recording treatment information, and other manual works.

Dental Assistant VS Dental Hygienist Salary Comparison

Because dental hygienist require more education compared to dental assistant, and they also handle more technical aspects of the dentist office, dental hygienist’s salary is obviously bigger compared to dental assistant’s. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current median annual salary for dental hygienist is at $69,549. The dental assistant earns about half of it.

Note that the annual salary for both dental assistant vs dental hygienist mentioned above are subject for change, because the amount of salary also depends on the experience and the location of the office.

Dental Assistant VS Dental Hygienist Final Words

So which one is better? The answer to this question is heavily depended on many factors. For some who are in desperate need of fast income may choose dental assistant as their career. However, most people recommend choosing dental hygienist because of the salary. It’s going to be a tough road, though. But as long as you have the determination; nothing is impossible. After all, there are numerous financial aid options available for dental hygienist students in dental school.

Last but not least, share comments and tell us the reason why you choose your current option. What do you think about the dental assistant vs dental hygienist differences comparison above?

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