Decoding dental professions: Dentists, Dental Hygienists, Dental Therapists, and Dental Assistants


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the diverse world of dental professionals! Whether you’re considering a career in dentistry or just curious about who does what in the dental office, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the roles of dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, and dental assistants, and uncover the unique contributions each makes to your oral health. 


  1. Dentists: the oral health experts

Dentists are the primary oral healthcare providers responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing oral diseases and conditions. With extensive education and training, dentists are qualified to perform a wide range of dental procedures, including:

– Fillings

Crowns and bridges

– Root canals

– Extractions

Dental implants

– Cosmetic dentistry procedures


  1. Dental Hygienists: guardians of oral health

Dental hygienists work alongside dentists to provide preventive dental care and educate patients on maintaining optimal oral health. Their duties typically include:

– Cleaning teeth (scaling and polishing)

– Applying fluoride and sealants

– Taking dental X-rays

– Educating patients on oral hygiene practices

– Performing periodontal assessments


  1. Dental Therapists: bridging gaps in oral care

Dental therapists are oral health professionals who focus on preventive and routine dental care. While their scope of practice varies by location and regulatory requirements, dental therapists often perform tasks such as:

Routine dental exams

– Fillings (restorative procedures)

– Simple extractions

– Application of fluoride and sealants

– Oral health education and promotion


  1. Dental Assistants: the backbone of the dental team

Dental assistants play a crucial role in supporting dentists and dental hygienists in various clinical and administrative tasks. Their responsibilities may include:

– Assisting dentists during procedures

– Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments

– Taking and developing dental X-rays

– Scheduling appointments and managing patient records

– Providing chairside assistance and comfort to patients


The best care is collaborative: dental professionals working together 

Each member of the dental team brings unique skills and expertise to ensure comprehensive oral healthcare for patients. By understanding the roles and responsibilities of dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, and dental assistants, you can better appreciate the collaborative effort involved in maintaining healthy smiles at BLOK Dental Studio in Saskatoon. Meet our team.

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