A dental hygienist is a licensed oral health professional who specializes in preventing and treating gum disease, as well as providing preventive care to patients. They are responsible for performing routine cleanings, such as scaling and polishing of teeth, performing oral cancer screenings, taking x-rays, applying fluoride treatments, providing patient education and counselling on proper brushing and flossing techniques, and diagnosing and treating periodontal (gum) diseases.
A dental therapist is a health care professional who specializes in providing preventive and basic treatments for oral health care. Dental therapists work with dentists to provide important services such as cleanings, cavity fillings, extractions, and fluoride treatments. They are trained to diagnose and treat many common dental problems. As part of their job, they also educate patients about proper oral hygiene and how to maintain good oral health.
Why doesn’t the dentist do this work?
Dental hygienists and dental therapists are both important members of the dental care team, but they perform different duties. Therapists are fully qualified to carry out the work the dentist may allocate for them. This may be done to help with the efficient running of the dental practice.