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Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dental hygienists provide dental hygiene treatment and information related to the prevention of diseases and disorders of the teeth and mouth. They are employed in dentists' offices, hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, government agencies and private industry. Dental therapists carry out limited dental services related to the prevention and treatment of diseases and disorders of the teeth and mouth. They are employed by the federal government and the provincial governments to provide services in rural and remote communities.

Dental hygienists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Conduct an initial dental assessment and consult with dentists on patient care

  • Take dental impressions

  • Instruct patients regarding oral hygiene procedures

  • Clean and stimulate the gums to prevent gum disease

  • Remove stains and deposits from teeth to prevent tooth and root decay

  • Apply fluoride treatment

  • Take and develop X-rays

  • May perform restorative and orthodontic procedures under the direction of a dentist

  • May supervise dental assistants in their health care functions.


  • Dental therapists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Conduct dental assessments and consult with dentist on patient care

  • Take dental impressions

  • Take and develop X-rays

  • Remove stains and deposits from teeth to prevent tooth and root decay

  • Apply fluoride treatment

  • Instruct patients regarding oral hygiene procedures

  • Supervise dental assistants in their health care functions

  • May drill and fill cavities, extract teeth and replace portions of tooth crown.

  • Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists Example Titles

    * community dental hygienist
    * dental hygiene technician
    * dental hygienist
    * dental hygienist – military
    * dental hygienist technician
    * dental nurse
    * dental therapist
    * dental therapist – military
    * expanded duty dental hygienist
    * expanded duty dental nurse
    * licensed dental therapist
    * orthodontic hygienist
    * periodontal hygienist
    * registered dental hygienist
    * registered dental therapist

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