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Difference between dental hygiene and therapy and dental surgery?

    • Thread Starter

    Title should hopefully be enough, just out of curiosity, I know one is a 3 year course and one a 5 year course, but what are the differences between them? Apparently dental hygienists and therapists can carry out basic processes like tooth whitening, but isn't that what a dental surgery graduate should do?


    it lists what each can do
    • Thread Starter


    What do dental hygienists and dental therapists can do for your smile?

    Dental hygienists and dental therapists are important members of the dental team. They carry out courses of treatments recommended by the dentist who has examined the patient.

    The Dental Hygienist

    -Perform intra and extra oral assessment

    -Record indices, recognise and monitor disease

    -Perform scaling and polishing

    -Monitor periodontal disease by using current indices

    -Monitor plaque scores and provide oral hygiene advice

    -Develop a home care plan for individual patients to maintain oral health

    -Provide a prophylaxis which will include finishing and polishing restorations

    -Perform non-surgical periodontal therapy including supra and sub gingival scaling, comprehensive root Surface ebridement which may involve the use of local infiltration analgesia together with the placing of Antimicrobial agents when necessary

    -Apply materials to teeth such as fluoride and fissure sealants

    -Give specific preventative advice including: nutritional guidance, smoking cessation etc

    -Take dental radiographs

    -Provide dental health education on a one-to-one basis or in a group situation

    -Replace crowns dislodged during treatment with a temporary cement

    -Take impressions

    -Administer local anaesthetic

    The Dental Therapist

    In addition to the duties of a dental hygienist, a qualified dental therapist who has completed the appropriate training can also perform:

    -Routine restorations in both deciduous and permanent teeth on adults and children

    -Pulp therapy treatment of deciduous teeth

    -Placement of pre-formed crowns on deciduous teeth

    -Extractions of deciduous teeth

    -Treatments using all materials except pre-cast or pinned placement
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