What’s the Difference Between a Dental Hygienist Vs. Dentist in San Antonio?

Both dental hygiene science and dentistry are specialized branches of science that focuses on gums, teeth, and oral care. The basic education and licensing are almost the same in all American states for both these fields. However, the roles of a dentist and a dental hygienist differ in training, job duties, and salaries.

Read more to learn the differences between a dental hygienist and a dentist.

Education & Licensing

Dentists need to acquire a bachelor’s degree in their field before applying for a master’s program in a specialized dental school. They need to clear the state dental admission examination order to enroll in a dental college for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. These exams take into consideration your GPA scores at the high school level. Their coursework lasts for 4 years, after which they are awarded the DDs (doctor of dental surgery) degree.

To work as a dentist in San Antonio, you need to acquire your license first. Dental students must complete their training, clear the state licensing exams, and pass a clinical test. Their examination pattern and training is more rigorous than that of a dental hygienist. Once this is completed, they can open a private practice.

On the other hand, the basic education required for a dental hygienist is 2 to 3 years, though bachelor’s and master’s programs also exist. Most dental hygienists obtain an associate’s degree.

After obtaining their degree, the hygienists also need to clear exams, complete practical work, and perform a hands-on test for acquiring their license.

Work & Salary

Job requirements and work environments are different for dental hygienists and dentists. While dentists are specialized individuals who can do solo practice or establish a big clinic with trained staff, dental hygienists form a part of this group. They work under a specialized dentist.

Dental hygienists in San Antonio can work on a full time or part-time basis, depending upon their preferences. Dentists work around 35 to 40 hours weekly. Additionally, they get higher salaries compared to hygienists.


Any general dentist in San Antonio can cater to emergency services if he or she is experienced in handling unforeseen dental issues. They can also diagnose oral diseases, treat dental disorders like tooth fracture, oral infection, or cavities by performing implantation, filling, root canal therapy, tooth extraction, or veneering.

They focus on extensive procedures like extracting rotten teeth, replacing a missing tooth, and using braces to straighten or fix misaligned teeth. They may also perform corrective surgeries to control bacterial breeding and to resolve issues in jaws, gums, and teeth. Dentists also prescribe medicines, train new individuals, and publish articles and training materials in books and newspapers.

Dental hygienists are responsible for providing preventative treatments. They focus more on cosmetic processes such as scaling, teeth whitening, and polishing, aiming to cure diseases like gingivitis. They may also conduct X-ray examinations and tests on patients. A dental hygienist can work as a dentist if he or she obtains a doctorate degree in dentistry.

For more details, contact Mark J. Williamson, DDS, or visit online https://mjwdental.com/ today.

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