Running a successful dental practice is a complex task. With the growing competition in the industry, dentists must set themselves apart from the crowd by providing the best quality dental care to patients. Although dentists contribute significantly to the practice, they need help running a dental practice as it has many moving parts. For this reason, it’s crucial to have the best talent to fill critical roles and help the practice reach its full potential.
For practice leaders aiming to stay ahead of the competition through strategic staffing, here are the essential job roles that every dental practice needs to succeed:
1. Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists are an indispensable part of every dental practice. They are responsible for cleaning and assessing patients’ teeth, identifying potential dental issues, and offering education on proper oral hygiene. Moreover, they are skilled in various procedures such as scaling and root planing, fluoride treatment, and sealants.
To ensure patients receive top-tier care, dental hygienists collaborate closely with the practice’s dentist. To become a dental hygienist, a person must complete an accredited dental hygiene program and obtain a state license. Apart from credentials, the best person for the job must possess exceptional interpersonal and communication skills to educate and interact effectively with patients.
2. Dental Technician
Yet another crucial role, dental technicians are responsible for creating custom dental prosthetics such as crowns, bridges, and dentures based on a dentist’s prescription. Patients receive personalized prosthetics through these professionals for oral health and well-being. Dental technicians contribute greatly to the success of practices because only they can create effective and aesthetically pleasing dental prosthetic devices.
A formal training program in dental lab technology is typically necessary to successfully become a dental technician. These programs generally last six months to two years, with some states mandating certification or licensure. Along with formal education, precision, and attention to detail are nonnegotiables for dental technicians as they must closely adhere to specific instructions in creating top-quality prosthetics.
3. Dental Assistant
Another integral member of a dental practice is a dental assistant who works closely with dentists and dental hygienists. Their primary responsibilities include supporting chairside procedures, sterilizing equipment, operating X-ray machines, and managing patient records. Through the invaluable contribution of dental assistants, practitioners can perform procedures more efficiently, resulting in reduced patient wait times and increased patient satisfaction.
To pursue a career as a dental assistant, there are two paths to take: completing a dental assistant program or receiving on-the-job training. Depending on the state, a license or certification may be required. Because dental assistants work closely with dentists and patients, excellent communication and organizational skills are necessary. Furthermore, they must also have attention to detail, manual dexterity, and the ability to collaborate in a team setting.
4. Office Manager
While office managers aren’t necessarily a dental profession, they are nevertheless important because – as the job title suggests – they manage the day-to-day operations of a dental practice. Apart from administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling and document management, office managers manage staff and streamline workflows. Essentially, they ensure that everything is efficient.
When looking for an office manager, practice leaders must require a background in business administration or healthcare management from a candidate. In addition, the ideal candidate should have excellent communication, leadership, and organizational skills so they can effectively streamline a dental practice. They must also be up-to-date with dental regulations and requirements to ensure the practice is industry compliant.
5. Virtual Dental Assistant
In recent years, there has been a surge in popularity and demand for virtual dental assistants. Similar to in-person dental assistants, these professionals support dental practitioners with administrative tasks, including appointment scheduling, patient record management, and insurance claim processing. By opting for a virtual dental assistant instead of its in-person counterpart, practices get more staffing support without increasing overhead.
A good dental virtual assistant has an eye for detail as they handle patient documents and ensure that all details are correct. Additionally, they must be highly independent and excellent communicators because they are working remotely. Depending on the practice they work for, they may also need to have relevant certifications and specialized training for optimum performance.
Virtual dental assistants bring versatility to dental practice as they can take on various roles, including dental receptionist, biller, and patient coordinator. Not only that, these remote professionals are also more cost-effective than in-office staff, helping practices save up to 70% on labor costs. With virtual dental receptionists, dental practices can streamline processes while minimizing costs.
For dental practices looking to hire the best virtual dental assistant, engage the services of My Mountain Mover. Out of thousands of applications we receive, we handpick only the top 2% of virtual assistants in the industry through our rigorous screening process. Plus, we provide ongoing support to ensure that dental practices in the US have a positive experience working with a virtual dental assistant.
Book a 10-minute discovery call today to learn more.