Retaining Valuable Talent in the Dental Field

Employee Retention

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Your dental practice relies on dental hygienists, dental assistants, and administrative team members to keep your practice afloat and deliver an excellent patient experience. But if your dental office is like many, you may need help with staffing and retention. reports that up to 40% of dental offices are short-staffed. That’s why it’s essential for your practice to work hard to retain the qualified dental professionals you already have. 

These dental staffing solutions can help you improve employee satisfaction and retain great dental professionals, benefitting your dental office overall. 

While some of your team members may have entered the dental field because they love oral healthcare and dental hygiene, others saw the dental industry as a reliable, fulfilling way to make money. If you fail to offer competitive benefits, your current dental team may leave your office for one providing better pay and benefits.

You can identify the going rate for dental professionals by evaluating listings for career opportunities in your area and visiting They have their annual salary survey report posted. Your practice should offer pay and benefits based on experience to encourage the most qualified applicants to stay at your practice and reward them for their commitment to the dental profession. 

Medical benefits are expensive, and most private practice offices cannot offer medical benefits. There are other benefits and perks you can provide instead. Many dental practice owners offer a supplement that can be used towards a portion of the premium.

In addition to offering an excellent salary to your dental team, you should consider the benefits you can include in their employment packages to go above and beyond other practices in the dental community.

These may include:

  • Generous PTO policies
  • Retirement fund (example: Simple IRA)
  • Continuing education allowance
  • Exceptional team culture
  • Scrub allowance

You want your dental team to see their jobs as careers — not just temporary opportunities to make ends meet or fill gaps in their resumes. Providing professional development opportunities for your administrative and clinical teams can help you encourage retention, as your team will feel a sense of loyalty to your practice. A CE event with the whole team can promote camaraderie and cohesiveness.

If you cannot offer the most competitive pay, a fun, happy, and drama-free environment where you show appreciation goes a long way!

Look at the calendar and plan.  Give the team something fun to look forward to. If it’s an overnight CE Course, plan fun team-building activities. Ideally, start looking at your calendars at the end of May or the beginning of June for the following year. As you know, the hygiene department is booking six months in advance.

Burnout can lead your staff to leave permanent positions they once thoroughly enjoyed. If your practice fails to address the root causes of burnout, it will create an endless cycle of searching for new temp employees to fill in the holes. 

Many factors can contribute to burnout, but one repeats the same. Your practice can automate tedious tasks to reduce some of the burden on your team members. 

April Brogan

April Brogan

Director of New Business & Practice Relationships

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