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Dental Assistant vs. Dental Hygienist?
Both play key support roles in dental offices with different functions.

To most, a dental assistant and dental hygienist may sound like the same position. While both assistants and hygienists are crucial parts of a dental office and practice, each serves different functions and has different core job duties and responsibilities. Read on for what it means to be a dental assistant vs. a dental hygienist.

MedQuest College offers a 10-month diploma program to train Dental Assistants. This comprehensive dental assisting program gives graduates the skills and training needed to perform the responsibilities of an Expanded Duties Dental Assistant (EDDA), giving each student an edge when starting their new career.

EDDAs are trained to work in all types of Dental Offices including specialty dental offices and practices. Graduates work alongside dentists and dental hygienists to perform a vast array of procedures.

MedQuest Dental Assistants are highly trained and skilled to perform a large range of tasks from front office duties like communicating with patients and suppliers to assisting the dental hygienist and dentist with procedures from cleanings to oral surgery.

What is the difference?

Dental assistants most often have a larger role in the administrative aspects of patient care within a dental office. Assistants handle much of the logistics of a patient’s visit, ensure patient comfort and maintain exam room cleanliness.

Dental Assistant responsibilities include:

  • Operate dental X-ray equipment to provide the dentist with dental radiographs
  • Create dental models that will be used to make patient impressions
  • Apply sealants, fluoride varnish, and coronal polishing
  • Fill cavities by placing and condensing amalgam and composite
  • Fabricate and place temporary crowns
  • Record patient medical history, blood pressure, and pulse

Dental Hygienist responsibilities include:

  • Collect patient health and dental information
  • Clean teeth, removing plaque buildup
  • Make molds of patient teeth for evaluating treatments
  • Chart patient dental health and conditions for review by a dentist
  • Apply fluorides and other preventive measures
  • Remove sutures and dressings

 A dental assisting track is a diploma program that trains students for dental office basics. It’s a great way to get your career started quickly! Dental hygiene is a longer program, most often culminating in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

If you have questions about the dental assisting program, dental assistant vs. dental hygienist as a career, or about MedQuest College in general, reach out and request information or schedule your virtual tour.

MedQuest College
MedQuest College has provided high-quality instruction to students in Kentucky and Indiana since 1999. We offer quality programs in medical assisting, dental assisting, diagnostic medical sonography, practical nursing, medical equipment repair technology, and veterinary technology to the Kentucky and Southern Indiana areas.

We can proudly say that MedQuest College has successfully graduated and employed hundreds of students in various medical fields. Our campuses are in Louisville and Lexington. We are institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), a nationally recognized accrediting body.