Dentists: You Don’t Have To Do It All

by | Dec 11, 2023 | Practice Advice, Work Life | 0 comments

The New Year is just around the corner. Have you made any resolutions? If enjoying dentistry and avoiding burnout are at the top of your list, this post is for you.

Talking with dentists all day has lead me to understand just how HARD being a dentist it.

Not only are you working on patients all day, but you also have a business to run.  

A lot of job seekers are asking for increased pay from their offices, I always ask them –

Do you know the breakeven cost of your office?

Do you know the EBITA of your office?  

Yes, you may see that the office is doing $8k+ in production a day…

But how much is the rent of your office suite?  

What are the offices operating costs?  

What are the total payroll costs?  

What are your doctors’ malpractice insurance costs? 

Do you have benefits?  What are those costs?  

Many people don’t quite grasp just how much it costs to run a dental practice. Beyond costs, there is all the hats a dentist must wear to successfully run their practice.

Dentists are their HR person, their marketer, sometimes the biller, sometimes the web developer, sometimes a repairman, and the IT director.  

Dentists are so used to doing all these things, that it probably just seems like it is their life.  All work and no play.

While doing everything on your own keep your spend low, that could come at a high cost.  Not to be a bummer, but continuing with this could lead to burnout.  

So I asked my dentists, that always seem relaxed, what they were doing to avoid burnout. 

All of them had a common theme…

You don’t have to do it all. 

Here are some tips they offered up. 

#1 Have an amazing Dental Office Manager

This is easier said than done. But if you have an amazing dental office manager who handles the office while you get to practice dentistry, you are amazingly lucky and can stop reading right now.

But if that is not the case, these other tips should help.

#2 Make sure your team is utilized to the fullest.  

Most teams are short staffed, so if your team is already maxed out on work, this doesn’t quite apply to you.  However, if your team is fully staffed and you can see they have extra time in their schedule start assigning tasks. 

Have your treatment coordinator start managing your social media.  Put your dental assistant in charge of all your equipment and if anything goes down, they are in charge of scheduling it to be fixed.  If you don’t have an office cleaner coming every night, assign some light chores for everyone to do before they leave for the day.  

#3 Outsource

We are seeing dentists really embrace outsourcing certain items of their offices.  

A very popular trend is outsourcing billing and the phones and then just having a receptionist or treatment coordinator managing the in-office patients.  

You can outsource your HR to CEDR HR who will make sure you stay compliant and handle all the mundane HR tasks for you. 

You can outsource your hiring to us at DirectDental by utilizing our staffing plans.  

You can outsource marketing, web development, IT services and pretty much anything.  

If it is something you are struggling to do for your office, outsource it.  

#4 Hire a right-hand man

Another thing I am starting to see is an increase in dentists hiring either personal assistants or consultants to help them accomplish everything they need to accomplish. 

These could be remote 1099 employees, or if you feel this will be a long term relationship, hire them on as permanent employees.  

Consultants are so worth it if you need to make major changes to your office or have a big project you need someone to supervise.  They will get it done much faster than you trying to do it on your own in between patients.    

A personal assistant could easily be a college student willing to work for $18/hr, who can do all the miscellaneous and mundane tasks you never get to.  Train them to be your right hand man, and watch your to-do list vanish.  

Now that sounds nice.

#5 Pay more to retain and recruit top talent

It is common knowledge that since 2020, pay rates in the dental field have continues to rise. And many dentists have been forced to raise their wages and offer more benefits. But we continue to see offices that pay more than thier neighbors not only find better talent but they retain that talent.

When applicants start looking for other jobs it is usually because they see they can make better money elsewhere. Which, shouldn’t be the reason, but with the cost of living continuing to rise, Dental Assistants, Hygienists and front office dental personelle are being forced to look for more money.

The dentists that are tired of having to hire all the time and are tired of hiring persons who don’t take true ownership of their role in the office are starting to offer top dollar. And it seems to be working.   

So we are starting to see offices pay $1 to $3 dollar above the top pay range to hire people.  

Doing this does two things. 

  1. It attracts top talent to your job post.  Usually the best candidates have jobs and they aren’t leaving their job unless they have a good reason too.  Money is a good reason.  
  2. It makes your employees stay.  People get used to a higher paycheck real quick.  If you are paying more than any of the other dentists in your area, your employees have nowhere else to go.  

If you hate that I am saying this, please think about this: Less turnover in your office, means everyone knows and does their job, which turns into higher production and collection days, meaning more money for you.  

So there you have it.  Ways to take your daily stressors off your plate, because YOU. DON’T. HAVE. TO. DO. IT. ALL.

If you have any more suggestions or companies that your recommend to outsource to, please leave them in the comments section. 


Holli Perez

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