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Considering a Dental Career? Here’s a look at what Dental Assistants and Dental Hygienists do, to help you decide

Posted: February 9, 2021 by Diane Smith
Photo of Pima Medical students in a dental assistant lab.
Pima Medical Institute offers both dental assistant certificate and dental hygiene associate degree programs
 


Have you been thinking about a career in the dental field but aren’t sure what you want to do?  Maybe you want to assist the dentist with procedures, or you want to focus on working directly with patients to help them maintain their oral health. Should you get your dental assistant certification, or earn your dental hygiene associate degree? Here are a few of the daily roles of each to help you make your decision.
 
Photo of Pima Medical Institute dental assistant students. Earn your dental assistant certificate in a little as nine months
Dental Assistant
As a dental assistant, you will assist the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures. From preparing patients for examination and treatment, to sterilizing and disinfecting instruments and equipment, even helping prepare materials for making impressions and restorations. As a dental assistant, you will also assist with clerical and laboratory duties. With a dental assistant certificate from Pima Medical Institute, you could complete your program and be working in the field in less than a year.
 
 
Photo of Pima Medical Institute dental hygiene students. Our Dental Hygiene associate degree program is available at our Albuquerque, Seattle and Houston campuses
Dental Hygienist
Perhaps you are leaning more toward becoming a dental hygienist. As a dental hygienist, you will provide patients preventative oral care, under the supervision of a dentist. Dental hygienists work directly with patients, helping them properly care for their oral health. They clean and polish teeth and take X-rays and molds. With an associate degree from Pima Medical Institute, you could be finished with your education in less than 2 years.

 
Both of these career paths require someone who can help patients feel comfortable, ease their anxieties, teach them the skills needed to maintain, and improve oral health.
 
So, whether you decide to take the dental assistant path, or the path to become a dental hygienist, you can accomplish both at Pima Medical Institute.   
 
Take the first step toward your new career now.
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