Dental Hygienist vs. Dentist: What is the Difference Between the 2?

Dental hygienists and dentists often work together to ensure that the patients have good oral health and a dazzling smile. If you have been attended by both and you are wondering dental hygienist vs. dentist, what is the difference between the two them here is your answer.

Core Aims

The core aim of a dental hygienist is to cleaning the teeth while the core aim of a dentist includes offering treatment pertaining to gums, teeth, and mouth.


A dental hygienist should have an Associate’s degree while a dentist must have a doctoral or professional degree. The median salary of a dental hygienist in 2016 was USD 72,910 while for dentists it was USD 153,900. The job growth prospects for 2014-2024 was 19 percent for dental hygienists while it was 18 percent for dentists.


The main tools used by dental hygienists are cleaning instruments such as lasers, polishers, ultrasonic tools, etc. In contrast, the dentist needs to learn tools that can be used to protect and enhance teeth, gums and other parts of the mouth. Examples of such tools include drills, brushes, scalpels, mirrors, etc.


The dental hygienists usually worked under the supervision of dentists and need to assist the dentists if and when needed.

Other Qualities

The dental hygienists need to have excellent interpersonal skills and compassion. They must also be detail oriented and be able to work with their hands. Similarly, the dentists need to have patience and physical stamina to help patients in any way they can. Dentists need to have excellent record maintenance habits and should be able to maintain excellent records for all the patients. Dentists should also be able to diagnose every problem right and offer the right treatment as soon as possible to save time and trouble to the patients.