I'm starting classes in pursuit of my Associate Degree in Dental Assisting. I know that there are programs out there that are just certificates or diplomas, so what extra stuff will I get with an associate degree? Would I be performing similar things as a dental hygienist or is it that I'll just get paid more? I don't really see the difference! P.S. I'm going to a vocational (I think that's what it's called) and we get hands on experience as we learn and I've seen that we're gonna be doing teeth molds (like the ones in the braces process), xrays, cleaning and things like that.