Dental Staffing

The Dental Temp Indeed: Three Tips to Help the Dental Practice in Need

A female dentist standing in front of a dental chair.

Working as a Dental Temp can be challenging, but incredibly rewarding as well. As a temporary Dental Professional, you’ll have the opportunity to meet a variety of other dental professionals, network in numerous dental office settings, and possibly form relationships that could lead to future employment.

If you’re the personality type that likes the status quo and dislikes constant change, temping my not be for you. However, there are personality types who enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and stepping into different Dental Practice settings on a regular basis.

What is Required of a Dental Temporary?

If you're accepting a position as a Dental Temp, whether you're a Dental Hygienist, Dental Assistant, or Dental Technician, you will be required to be knowledgeable in your field and have the appropriate certifications for your position. It’s illegal for a dental office to hire a temporary Dental Professional and require them to perform duties that require certifications the Dental Temp may not possess.

While you’re in the office, there are a few things you can do to make your interim employers happy and willing to give you a great reference, or even hire you permanently!

1.  Preparedness

As a Dental Temp, you may travel to many different locations throughout the week so make sure you’re prepared:

  • Have all the necessary paperwork ready to confirm your certifications upon arrival.
  • Know the location of the Dental Practice ahead of time, if there’s a pre-treatment huddle, when patient care begins, and how long it will take for you to arrive.
  • Arrive to the position a few minutes early in to familiarize yourself with the Dental Practice: The Dental Team, the equipment, and protocols.
  • Make a call to the Dental Office Manager in advance of your work date commitment. This enables you to ask questions such as the attire they expect, how many hours you will be working, and to confirm your expected hourly rate.

2. Professionalism

Professionalism as a must cannot be over-stated. As a Dental Temp, it’s more important than if you’re a regular employee. Everyone has good and bad days, but as a Dental Temp, your best first impression is paramount to your ongoing referrals.

  • Arrive early; this is all about being prepared.
  • Dress the part; having discussed this in advance with the Dental Office Manager, arrive in the expected attire.
  • Be courteous to all you meet: the Dentist, the Dental Team, and the patients.
  • If your patient should be ‘no show’, volunteer to perform other duties; it’s all about your work ethic.
  • Demonstrate your skill and ability to your interim employer.
  • Make sure all patients are receiving the highest possible standard of care.

3. Be Personable

Building positive relationships with people is a huge part of any job, but as we’ve stated before, customer service is the #1 reason a patient stays or leaves a Dental Practice.

  • Establish sound relationships with the Dentist, the entire Dental Team, and the Dental Practice’s patients.
  • Remember, the best reviews come from satisfied customers, so make sure you're investing everything you have into your time with patients.
  • At all times remember you’re making an impression, so make it a good one.

The Up-Side of Working as a Dental Temporary

  • You do not need to work for a temp agency you can be your own boss. You can design your profile and post your resume on
  • Further, you can design, print, and distribute your own brochure in your area.
  • You can be flexible and set your own schedule. If you have other functions planned, all that is required when you are contacted for a position, is to report you are already scheduled for that day.
  • You can set your own salary. Most offices contact a Dental Temporary during an unexpected illness and need immediate help. Dental Temp fees are generally higher than someone in a permanent position.
  • As a newly graduated Dental Assistant or Dental Hygienist, you’re getting experience and references from working as an interim employee. Dental Temp positions can provide references that speak to your ability or become the Dental Practice where you’d like to have a permanent position.
  • Many Dental Temps have found that being a full-time Dental Temp can be a satisfying position, even preferable to a permanent, full-time Dental Staff position.

Don’t Forget! You can advertise yourself as a Dental Temporary on


“Believe you can and you’re half-way there.”
-Theodore Roosevelt