Building Your Dream Practice

It's 2023 and the time to take control of your practice is now.  In this Blog you'll find sage advice from experienced Dental Practice Coaches that have given not just hope but direction, focus and answers to Dentists that needed a boost to start or reimagine their practice.  Browse our posts for some tips and then give us a call for a free consultation.

How to Hire Great Employees for Your Dental Practice

Mar 06, 2023

Great employees are an essential part of your dental practice. A great team interacts with your valued patients, helps make the practice run smoothly and makes coming to work a joy! In order to find the best team for your practice, here is advice on how to hire great employees for your dental practice.

Clearly Define the Seat

Before you begin your search for team members, it pays to sit down and clearly define what seat you are trying to fill on the team. What values are you looking for in a future team member? What value do you want this person to bring to the team? What does success look like in the first year? What challenges will this seat present to an incoming team member? Much of this depends on the individual goals you’ve set for your practice. Resumes tell only a fraction of the story, and here are some things you can look for initially.   

  • Solid employment history  
  • Good organizational skills   
  • Grammatically accurate resume 
  • Professional demeanor  

Where to Advertise Your Job Posting

Finding the right candidates for your dental practice can be as simple or as involved as you'd like. Naturally, the more places you post job openings, the higher number of responses you'll get. If you'd like to limit your pool of potential candidates, then you may be able to generate plenty of interested simply by spreading the word among current employees, friends and families. Other sources include:

  • Local newspaper 
  • Internet job sites  
  • Dental placement services  
  • Your dental society
  • Local dental assisting schools
  • KLAS Solutions representatives

Additionally, don’t discount searching for passive candidates for your position. You will likely be in a hiring mode again, even after filling this position. Think of your hiring efforts, not just as filling seats, but as expanding your network and influencing for future hires as well. 


You’ve narrowed down the response to a few qualified candidates. Establish an interview process that you will follow every time. You may want to speak to them briefly on the phone or bring them in for a meeting in person.  

Prepare a list of questions in advance to ask all candidates. Important points for the interview include: 

  • Establishing whether a position is full or part-time   
  • Specifying workdays and hours  
  • Identifying the responsibilities of the candidate’s previous position, and reasons for leaving that position  
  • Prepare in advance what the expectations of the position include. Be very clear what performance and growth in the position will look like. Quality candidates are looking to be challenged.  

If you're satisfied with the candidate after a face-to-face interview, you may wish to schedule a working, paid interview to see how the prospective candidate interacts with your patients and staff. 


Offer the position to your candidate along with the salary all benefits involved. Put the offer in writing. Both of you should sign the offer if accepted. Your attorney can advise you on the legalities of interviewing, hiring, and termination. During the hiring process, communicate your office policies in writing and allow for discussion on items like:

  • Holidays  
  • Number of hours per day or week
  • Vacation time
  • Standard operating procedures  
  • Sick leave  
  • Uniform allowance  
  • Personal phone calls  
  • Overtime  
  • Pay dates  
  • Benefits 

Remember to send a brief letter thanking those candidates you did not hire for their interest in your practice. It's expected and appreciated courtesy, and the good will it creates could pay off should you wish to hire one of the runners-up in the future. 

Salary Negotiations

Before offering or negotiating a salary with your candidate of choice, check with the ADA for averages in your area. Speak with other dentist at dental meetings, talk with your KLAS Solutions coach, and inquire at placement services. This way, you'll have a good idea of the salary range in your community before adjusting for factors that may be specific  to your practice. As your practice grows or team members move on, you'll need to hire. Here are a few brief descriptions of key positions and what you should except from those you hire to fill them.

Positions to Hire For Your Dental Practice

Front Desk Receptionist

The first person your patients meet or speak to won't be you - it will be your receptionist. This is truly a spotlight position requiring a person who can do more than maintaining a pleasant, positive attitude at all times. Your front desk receptionist will need to have bookkeeping and computer skills, the ability to work effectively with many interruptions, and an aptitude for managing multiple tasks at once.

Job responsibilities: 

  • Answering the phone
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Handling patient finances, insurance, accounts receivable
  • Promoting a pleasant and harmonious environment for patients and staff

Dental Assistant

Dental assisting is a physically demanding profession. Hire accordingly. Your dental assistant will need the ability to maintain extended periods of standing, walking, bending and sitting. Good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity are a must. Exceptional human relation shills are also essential. You'll be working closely with this person, so choose someone whose personality marches well with yours.

Job responsibilities: 

  • Maintaining operatories, sterilization area and laboratory   
  • Managing inventory control  
  • Lubricating handpieces  
  • Maintaining suction and cleaning vacuum traps  
  • Setting up and breaking down the operatory for each patient  
  • Maintaining the tub and tray system   
  • Taking and developing x-rays  
  • Taking impressions  
  • Pouring and trimming models  
  • Providing patient education  
  • Ensuring compliance with OSHA  
  • Maintaining a safe environment for patients and staff  

Dental Hygienist

A hygienist should produce between three-and-a-half to four times her daily compensation in income. A registered hygienist will perform the usual and customary functions of an RDH but must also maintain the hygiene room. It is key that the hygienist work as a cooperative member of your team.

Job responsibilities: 

  • Updating patients’ medical histories and blood pressure  
  • Charting preliminary findings and bringing them to the doctor’s attention  
  • Taking and developing x-rays  
  • Providing patient education  
  • Using an intraoral camera  
  • Cleaning and sterilizing the hygiene treatment room  
  • Pre-scheduling 100% of the recare patients   
  • Applying fluoride treatments and sealant  
  • Providing a soft tissue management program  
  • Providing prophylaxis scaling, and root planning services  
  • Assisting the business area with follow-up on overdue hygiene patients  
  • Helping with clerical work as time permits  
  • Working to achieve a productive schedule  
  • Scheduling patients chairside  
  • Participating in marketing the practice  
  • Routinely cleaning any area of the practice  
  • Taking impressions  
  • Controlling hygiene inventory  
  • Sterilizing hygiene instruments  
  • Coordinating and maintaining patient flow between the front and back offices  

A productive hygiene department will be responsible for a large part of your bottom line. Before forming this department, it is assertional to:

  • establish your care philosophy, guidelines for treating periodontal medicaments, full-mouth series x-rays and bitewings 
  • interview potential periodontists to work with your practice

If you have additional questions, reach out to us and we'll be happy to help in anyway we can!

While you're here, here are additional blog posts you may be interested in: