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How to manage insufficient staff during the coronavirus outbreak

The disease is spreading throughout the country and if it can’t be effectively contained soon, it’s possible some people will be advised or even forced to self-quarantine or self-isolate. While this is a powerful combat tactic, it could result in big staffing problems for business owners.

As a dental practice owner, if you find yourself without your usual number of staff, you might struggle to keep up with all your appointments. This could mean you’re left with no other option but to cancel some of your treatments or even close your doors altogether for at least two weeks. At best, this means a loss of income. At worst, it means going out of business. 

Hire temporary dental staff

If you’re well prepared for this possible outcome before it becomes a reality, you won’t have to choose between closing temporarily or closing permanently. There is a third option: hiring temporary dental staff.

Pros of using Cloud Dentistry during the COVID-19 outbreak

Unlike traditional dental staffing agencies, Cloud Dentistry is a digital platform which specializes in matching qualified dental professionals with dental offices in need of staff. The network is beneficial for both parties: professionals can earn what they deserve according to their own schedule and owners can hire staff exclusively for the hours they require them. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

There are countless benefits of using a cloud-based digital platform to hire temporary dental staff when the world is turning as normal. But the network is even more advantageous for dental professionals and practice owners during an international infection outbreak. Here’s how Cloud Dentistry can help you keep your doors open until a coronavirus vaccine has become publicly available and the outbreak is under control.

Hire at the last minute

The CDC is advising anyone who is experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms to self-isolate at home. This means avoiding all public areas, including workplaces. Because symptoms can appear at any time, you could get a phone call one morning from your dental hygienist who is unable to come into work the next day because they’ve just started coughing, sneezing and they have a fever.

Instead of cancelling upcoming appointments and asking your receptionist to scan job boards for a replacement hygienist, use Cloud Dentistry to hire the perfect temp at the last minute. Dental professionals create profiles on Cloud Dentistry displaying the hours and days they’re available to work. This means you can quickly find the perfect match for your dental practice and book them for the very next morning without delay.

Save money

If you run a dental practice with several dentists, you could be facing big complications if one of them phones in sick. Hiring a full-time dentist isn’t as easy as hiring a dental hygienist or assistant. Nor is it as affordable. But when you use Cloud Dentistry, you can hire an excellent dentist exclusively for the hours and days you require them.

Instead of adding another member of staff on to your payroll and giving them a fixed monthly wage, when you hire a temporary dentist with Cloud Dentistry, you only pay their hourly rate for the hours they work. This works out significantly cheaper and less complicated than hiring an employee.

Choose the most experienced

The coronavirus is something dental professionals should be concerned about. If you’ve already got members of staff who are experiencing symptoms and have called in sick, the last thing you want is to potentially spread the virus even further through lack of infection control standards. To help do your part and restrict the transmission of COVID-19 as much as possible, it’s wise to hire temporary dental staff with experience in infection prevention in dental practices

When scanning the profiles of potential candidates, look for anyone who had experience working in dentistry during the SARS-COV or MERS-COV outbreak. Both of these diseases are also coronaviruses and are prevented in a similar way to COVID-19. Not only will your new member of staff be able to ensure proper protocol is followed, they’ll also be able to pass their knowledge onto the rest of the team, helping to protect everyone from infection.


During an outbreak as severe as this, it’s likely it won’t only be your staff not coming into the dental practice. There’s a good chance some of your patients will cancel their appointments, too. If your practice follows our advice and reschedules all non-urgent appointments for anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms, it’s reasonable to assume you’ll be canceling some appointments, as well.

When you’ve got fewer appointments than anticipated, you can adjust the number of hours you hire dental professionals for on Cloud Dentistry. For example, if you expected to need a dental hygienist for a full 6 hour shift but have had to cancel half your appointments, you can simply hire the RDH for 3 hours instead, helping you save money. This definitely isn’t a tactic you can implement when working with full-time staff.

Use temporary dental staff to keep your business running

The coronavirus is a colossal international problem. But it doesn’t have to be a reason for going out of business. Follow the precautions we list to protect your dental practice from COVID-19 and research alternative hiring methods and your practice can continue to run almost as normal. 

Home / Blog / Dental hygienist jobs / How to manage insufficient staff during the coronavirus outbreak

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