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The dentistry profession is not limited to dentists. Dentists have staff members that often
spend more time with the patients than the dentist does. When you visit an oral care facility,
who do you see working there? There are four main positions in the oral care profession
other than dentists. These are dental assistants, oral hygienists, dental therapists, and dental
technicians. The position of dental assistant requires the least amount of education, though
each state's requirements for working in the industry are different. Dental assistants do
exactly what their title suggests, assist dentists. Sterilization of equipment, laying out of
tools, passing tools and suctioning during procedures, and taking x-rays are all part of the
duties of dental assistants. ocular prosthesis
Licensing is required to be a dental hygienist. Licensed dental hygienists are also called oral
hygienists. Dental hygienists are specialists in preventative oral care. They clean teeth and
gums, taking x-rays, scaling and root planning necessary for periodontal disease patients,
giving the patient fluoride, applying dental sealants, and educating patients in home care for
the teeth and gums. Patients will typically spend the most time in the dental office with the
oral hygienist. Oral hygienists follow a five-step process of care, including assessment,
diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The scope of what an oral hygienist is
allowed to do is expanded or limited by the local or state governmental regulations.
Dental therapists are professionals that are trained in oral hygiene specific to children's teeth
and gums. They often assist pediatric dentists with scaling, cleaning, taking x-rays, examining
the child's teeth and gums, giving local anesthesia, applying sealants, restoring primary teeth,
and doing pulpotomies. The exact duties which come under the scope of dental therapists are
determined by regulations at the local and state levels. The dentist for whom the therapist
works may also limit the scope of duties for the therapist. floridaocularprosthetics.com
A dental technician, or dental technologist, is a member of the dental profession that
typically works with the dentist rather than the patient. Dental technicians follow the
dentist's prescription when an oral appliance is necessary. Dental and restorative appliances
are constructed by dental technologists. There are four main types of dental appliances under
the expertise of dental technicians: fixed prosthesis, removable prosthesis, maxillofacial
prosthesis, and orthodontics and auxiliaries. The appliances formed by dental technicians
include crowns, bridges, implants, dentures, removable partial dentures, ocular prosthesis,
maxillofacial prosthesis, orthodontic appliances, and mouth guards.