Beyond Bitewings: How To Hire the Right Dental Staff

“I have to hire dental staff.” Hiring can be a challenging event for any dental office, and it may sometimes feel like a hit or a miss when it comes to finding the right staff. However, it doesn’t have to be such a burden or a guessing game.

In this episode of Beyond Bitewings, the Edwards & Associates team welcomes Linda Allen, a Management Consultant for dental practices across the nation. Linda focuses on helping dental offices hire the right dental staff and guides them in creating atmospheres and opportunities to help keep those valuable team members onboard.

Linda discusses the current challenges with staffing for dental offices in addition to specific issues that have arisen because of COVID. She also talks about what to look for in potential staff members to make the absolute best hire.

This episode features discussion on topics like developing great interview questions, the importance of a working interview, understanding how to lead a team, plus so much more. If you’re looking for ways to hire smarter and build a better team, this is the episode for you.

Have a question? Contact Edwards & Associates to get your question answered and possibly featured in a future podcast. Or contact an ADCPA affiliate at



Download the full transcript.

How’s Your Dental Practice Doing?

Now that tax returns or extension applications are off to the IRS, increasing profits and managing overhead in today’s dental world of higher competition, lower dental insurance reimbursement and sluggish dental consumer spending is imperative.  Here are some things to consider that can provide more money in your pocket by the end of this year.

Review your procedure mix on both a Macro and a Micro level. This takes a little number crunching. Run a 12-month production report of all of the procedures done categorized by ADA code and provider.  Is your practice within the profitability ranges below?

Hygiene perio procedures total (those ADA codes in 4000) should be at least 30 percent of each hygienist’s total production (unless you are Pedo)

Dentist’s prosthodontic procedures need to be 50-75 percent of his/her production.

Increase Treatment Acceptance. Every year, you and your entire team should take a course or bring a trainer in to take your treatment acceptance up a notch or two. Increasing treatment acceptance of what you diagnose is a boost to profitability. Treatment acceptance processes and communication skills are NOT something you get in one or two courses. In fact, for the dental professional it requires a lifelong learning journey.

The COL (Cost of Living) percentage for this past year was only .8 percent (BLS CPI YE 2014). Most practices are going to a bonus system and doing away with automatic raises. Here is where your staff salaries as a percentage of your collections for the year should fall:

Dental General Practice Staff Overhead Model*

Business Salaries:  7-9%

Chairside Salaries: 7-9%

Hygiene Salaries: 4-9%

Increase new patient flow and patient retention. Truly look at your recall percentage and see if you have lost patients who are wandering around ripe for picking by other practices. Close any leaks in recall retention by looking deep into the administrative, customer service and clinical components of recall.

Know how many new patients you had, and then decide how many more you need to bring your profits up. Remember: New Patients ARE the lifeblood of your practice. Then, create a marketing plan with a professional who can help you increase the number of new patients.

If you want to develop your treatment presentation skills, call us to schedule a consultation with one of our practice management consultants.