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Denturism vs. Dental Hygiene: Which One Is Right for Me?

Denturism and dental hygiene are both exciting careers in the dental field. If you’re considering making a career change, you may not be sure which of these careers is right for you. After all, both careers seem somewhat similar.

Learning more about each career can help you make your decision.

Denturism vs. Dental Hygiene: Responsibilities

While both of these careers are in the dental field and involve people’s teeth, the responsibilities are quite different. Learning more about each career’s scope of practice can help you decide which sounds more interesting to you.

Denturists are responsible for making and repairing dentures. They start by assessing patients’ oral conditions and gathering relevant medical history. They take impressions of patients’ arches. With these impressions, they design and fabricate the appropriate types of dentures. These can include complete dentures, partial dentures, or implant-supported dentures, depending on the patients’ needs. If you’re interested in dentures, you may be very happy as a denturist.

Dental hygienists work alongside dentists. They perform patient screening procedures, like dental charting, and take x-rays. They use special tools to remove plaque and calculus from patients’ teeth. Applying preventative materials, like sealants or fluoride, to patients’ teeth is another dental hygiene task. Teaching patients about good oral hygiene practices is also part of dental hygienists’ job description. If you’re interested in performing a wide range of dental tasks, being a dental hygienist may be perfect for you.

Denturism vs. Dental Hygiene: Salary

Of course, salary is another thing you should consider. If you’re equally interested in two careers, it makes sense to choose the one that could provide a higher salary.

According to Statistics Canada, dental hygienists make a median wage of $35 per hour in Ontario. At the low end of the wage range, they make $22 per hour. The highest-paid dental hygienists bring home $44 per hour.

Most denturists are self-employed, so earnings figures are presented as a yearly salary, not an hourly wage. The median yearly salary for a denturist in Ontario is $43,151. On the low end, denturists earn $25,990 per year. The highest-earning denturists in Ontario earn a yearly salary of $120,008.

Denturism vs. Dental Hygiene: Job Opportunities

While both denturists and dental hygienists work in a dental clinic environment, the job opportunities are a bit different. Thinking about these differences can help you decide which route makes sense for you.

Dental hygienists usually find work in dental offices. They’re employed by dentists. Some dental hygienists are self-employed and provide services for more than one dentist. Entrepreneurial dental hygienists can open their own practices and provide approved services directly to patients.

Since denturists are often self-employed, they may offer their denture-making services to multiple dentists. Other denturists will start their own denture clinics and work with patients directly. Of course, it’s also possible for denturists to find work as employees, either for dentists or for denture clinics. But, if you’re interested in being self-employed, becoming a denturist may be a better choice for you.

Denturism vs. Dental Hygiene: Required Education

If you’re still not sure which career you want to pursue, the required education for each may help you decide. Since both careers are in the healthcare field, you’ll need to get a college diploma in both cases.

A dental hygiene diploma program can be completed in just 18 months. A denturism diploma takes a bit longer and will take two and a half years to complete. In both cases, you’ll need to take a certification exam before you can start working. If you want to start your new career as quickly as possible, studying to become a dental hygienist may be the right decision for you.

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