Being a dental professional is extremely rewarding but also challenging. And in most cases, dentistry isn’t our only passion. We have families to care for, places to travel to, side hustles to build, and so many other things! The beauty of being a dental assistant, hygienist or front office staff is the flexibility of our schedules. We usually have a 4 day work week, with long weekends to enjoy our passions.
With that being said, when working we should be doing everything we can to maximize our pay. A smart dentist should be open to paying you more if you are bringing in more money.
Here are 5 ways to get your dentist to pay you more money NOW!
#1 Hitting and exceeding production goals
When your schedule has SRPs on it or you have patients that are double-booked, you are working harder, but for what?. To keep you motivated, your doctor should share that extra cash with you.
Talk with your doctor about what your daily hygiene production expectations are. If he says $2500 a day, reply that you want a percentage of anything beyond that. I have seen offices offer their hygienists 30% of all collections beyond their daily goals.
So if your goal is $2500 and you have a production day (assuming all is collected on) of $3300 at 30% that is an extra $240 for that day OR an extra $30/hr!
If you are helping your doctor run 3 columns, doing 5 to 10 crown preps as day with some endo thrown in, that is exhausting. If you managed to keep the schedule on track and assisted your a** off, you deserve to be compensated for going above and beyond.
Same thing as the hygienist, talk to your doctor about their production goals. If $5k as day is what they are aiming for, but you are consistently assisting them to get over $7k a day. Ask them for a percentage of the difference. It won’t be as high as the hygienists, but if you could get 5% of any amount over production that is still a nice chunk of change.
Dental Treatment Coordinators/ Hygiene Coordinators / Front Office:
Same thing! If you are keeping that hygiene and doctors production schedule full via recare and following up on uncompleted treatment, they should compensate you accordingly.
#2 New Patient Referrals
We all know it happens. We strike up a conversation with someone. They ask what we do for a living, we say dentistry, they ask “What doctor?” A week later they show up for an appointment. That is great! But it would be even better if your doctor compensated you for a new patient.
The best referral plans we did in my offices were to make business cards for everyone that worked there. The card said “Present this card at your first appointment to receive custom whitening trays for free.” Everytime a new patient presented that card, whosoever name was on the card got a $10 bonus added to their paycheck. Our team was making an extra $50 to $200 a month and our office was seeing 40 to 50 new patients a month.
Tell your dentist you have a great ideal to bring in new patients. She will happily offer this bonus plan to you and your team.
#3 Oral Cancer Screenings
The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers in the United States for 2020 are:
- About 53,260 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.
- An estimated 10,750 people will die of these cancers.
And the scary part about Oral Cancer is that in its early stages it can go completely undetected. Offering these screenings to your patients can be a matter of life and death.
Most dental practices charge $35 to $65 per test. And, if you get your doctor to agree to pay you $10 per test, that can be an extra $1 to $10/hr depending on how many tests you do per day.
#4 Commission on Products
If you are truly educating your patients on their oral health, they are most likely going to want to leave with some products. Whether that be a certain brand of toothpaste, MI paste, or an Oral B toothbrush that you recommend, you should be rewarded for your efforts.
Chat with your doctor about receiving a percentage OR agree upon a flat rate per product.
#5 Review Contest
If increasing reviews on your Yelp or Google page is something your doctor is looking to do, present them with a Review Contest for the staff.
This one is fun and simple. If your name is put into a yelp or google review, you get a point. Whoever has the most points at the end of the month gets a bonus.
When I did this in one of my offices, the team got crazy competitive, but the patients seemed to love leaving reviews if they knew it was helping their favorite assistant. We ended up getting 31 reviews the first month. And our hygiene coordinator won with a nice bonus.
Getting your doctor to agree to any or all of these will require some negotiation, and you are going to use the same techniques as if you were asking for a raise.
If your doctor didn’t agree to any of these ideas, but you still need to make more money, temping on your days off is a great way to bring in more income. Head to DirectDental, build your profile and start temping today!
Never worked as a Temp before? Read these:
The Joy of Temping
How to Dental Temp like a Pro
Everything you need to know about being a Dental Temp