Decoding Dental Hygienists - 🦷 Know Their Title

No, a dental hygienist is not called a doctor. While both dentists and dental hygienists play important roles in oral healthcare, they have different levels of education and training.

A dental hygienist is a licensed oral healthcare professional who works closely with dentists to provide preventive dental care. They focus on promoting good oral hygiene practices and educating patients on proper oral care techniques. Dental hygienists typically work in dental offices, clinics, or hospitals.

On the other hand, a dentist is a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or doctor of dental medicine (DMD). Dentists have completed extensive education and training, including four years of undergraduate study and four years of dental school. They are qualified to diagnose and treat oral health issues, perform dental procedures, and prescribe medications. If you're interested in understanding the differences between a DDS and a DMD, you can read our comparison of DDS and DMD degrees.

While dental hygienists and dentists work together as a team to provide comprehensive oral healthcare, their roles and responsibilities differ. Dental hygienists focus on preventive care, such as cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, and applying fluoride treatments. They also educate patients on proper oral hygiene practices and provide advice on maintaining good oral health. To gain a deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a dentist, you can read our article on a day in the life of a dental professional.

Dentists, on the other hand, are responsible for diagnosing and treating oral health issues. They perform procedures such as fillings, root canals, extractions, and dental implants. Dentists also play a crucial role in detecting and treating oral diseases, including oral cancer. If you're curious about the different specialties within dentistry, you can explore our comprehensive breakdown of dental specialties.

It's important to note that dental hygienists and dentists work collaboratively to ensure patients receive the best possible care. Dental hygienists often work under the supervision of dentists and refer patients to dentists for further evaluation or treatment when necessary.

In summary, while dental hygienists are valuable members of the dental team, they are not called doctors. Dentists are the primary oral healthcare providers who have completed extensive education and training to diagnose, treat, and manage oral health issues.

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a dental hygienist, you'll need to meet specific education and licensing requirements. To learn more about dental hygienist school requirements and the career path of a dental hygienist, check out our comprehensive

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Sylvia Green
Preventative care, patient education, hiking, cooking

Dr. Sylvia Green is an experienced dentist with a decade of professional practice under her belt. Her commitment lies in guiding her patients toward excellent oral health, with a particular emphasis on the critical role of preventative measures. Outside of her medical pursuits, Dr. Green is an avid hiker and culinary enthusiast, always keen on discovering and experimenting with new recipes.