Let’s get straight to the point. Yes, a dental hygienist can be an independent contractor, but if only he/she appropriately follows the rules.
From your specialist dentist who is a master at a handful of important tasks and your dental hygienist who does a thorough cleaning quicker than anyone else to your dental assistant who is incredible at placating anxious staff and your dental receptionist who tries to make sure everyone attends their appointments on time, there are many moving cogs in the machine that is your dental practice.
It’s no secret that people don’t enjoy going to the dentist. This is especially true for those who’ve let their oral care slip. But even if your patient takes really good care of their teeth, there are definitely some things they do inside the dental practice that drive you crazy.
Anyone who has ever set up a dental practice, at one time or another has experienced a moment of indecisiveness; when do you hire more staff.
Probably the biggest concern for dentists in practice is, “do I have enough patients?” Practice management consultants will focus on the numbers of new patients, the average production garnered from each and whether the patient returns to the practice or not (retention).
In today’s world, dental overhead, the cost of doing the business of dentistry for a typical dental practice, is about 75%, meaning the net income is a small 25%. A newer dentist is usually carrying more debt, so it has a higher overhead. Most people, including the employees of dentists, are not aware that the net return is that low. Dentists do all that they can to keep from raising their standard fees and accept the paltry payouts from PPO networks that get smaller and with more restrictions all the time.
We have all heard the saying, “he runs a tight ship.” We envision a ship captain at the helm of a large sailing vessel with his crew doing everything they are supposed to do without question and with expertise. We also think that if the crew didn’t they would probably “walk the plank.”
If you own a successful dental practice, it usually means that you have a great dental team supporting your vision, goals, and core values. Finding skilled dental workers can be challenging, and sometimes a new hire is showing a lack of training in an area that is critical to operations in the office.
Thanking the members of your staff as they walk out the door at night should be a habit of love. Just hearing those simple words can make a difference in an exhausting day of taking care of forty patients or more. Your thoughts go to how much you need them and can’t operate without their help.
Your top dental assistant has just pulled you aside to tell you she is moving to another state and is giving you a two-week notice. A sense of denial grips you at first as this cannot be true, and then the reality sets in as a cold sweat envelopes your body. It’s been a while since you had to think about this and now you are wondering how to find someone like her/him.
Business, as usual in the dental practice, may look straightforward and profitable to the patients who have a seat in the reception room. After all, the fees seem high no matter what is provided in care, and patients think that dentists are wealthy and can afford luxury items like expensive cars and beautiful homes. What isn't known to outsiders is the struggle for success that ensues for years before a dentist can purchase the American dream of homeownership, lovely things, and money to invest.