How Dental Professionals Should Ask for a Raise

by | Feb 15, 2022 | Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienists, Dental Professionals | 0 comments

If you have been Dental Assistant, Hygienist or front office dental personnel with your current dental practice for a while, you might be seeing job posts offering a higher rate of pay than what you are currently making. 

And that is because the rate of pay for all dental professionals has been rising, as the demand for qualified candidates has increased.

If you haven’t asked for a raise before, now might be the perfect time to do so.

Asking for an increase in pay is scary*, but with these tips, we should be able to get you a nice, big, fat raise!  

*Keep in mind, it shouldn’t be scary. Honestly, if you haven’t gotten a raise since 2020, your dentist should be scared of losing you. Remember as you read these steps that YOU have the power in this. It is so hard to find dental professionals right now, that if your office doesn’t want to increase your pay to the new average pay rate, then they aren’t going to be able to find a new assistant once you leave.

Step 1 – Know your worth!

Do your research to know what your current position is making.  We know that most positions in dentistry have seen a $2 to $5 increase in hourly pay. So do a quick google search and input your city, state, and position and see what the average hourly pay is. Then before you sit down to ask for your raise, have a specific number picked out.  

Step 2 – Show your worth!

Have examples of how you have added value and how you will continue to add value to the practice ready. List the times you went above and beyond such as helping an anxious patient, training new hires, or stepping into a role that isn’t yours to make sure the office ran properly.

Step 3 – Stay a team!

Use the word “we” more than you use the words “you” or “I”, as this will come off as less threatening and will make sure your employer sees you as a team player rather than employer vs employee.

You don’t need to give them an ultimatum. But please make sure to mention all the things you love about working with them and their practice and how you hope to make this your forever office. This way you aren’t implying that you are leaving, rather you are pledging to stay should they meet your needs.

Step 4 – Embrace the awkwardness

Be ready for an awkward silence and stay silent.  First to speak, usually loses.

Step 5 – Timing is everything

If you just finished a large case and you and your dentist worked flawlessly together, this would be the time to strike! But if it was a crappy production day or just a hard day in general, maybe save it for another day. Or schedule a time to chat in the morning, and then spend the rest of the day showing her/him what you are worth!

Follow these simple steps and your boss will be more inclined to accept your raise request. And if they don’t, head to DirectDental and start applying to new jobs, because they offices that are hiring are paying what you deserve.

That’s what we call a win-win. 


Holli Perez

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