Dental Articles

Wanted: Dental Temps! The Advantages and Disadvantages


Let’s face it, the daily practice of dentistry is hard work. I have heard older dentists state that their back and neck hurt, their shoulders are tired, and they often wonder if their eyes are as good as they used to be. I’ve met hygienists whose hands, neck and backs are sore and assistants who feel the same. The average person has no idea how physically taxing the day to day grind of dentistry really is.

This is when the practice owner hires an associate and slows down. Hygienists can still make a terrific income in a part-time position and I know assistants who tell their doctors they only want to work part-time. Our employee, Kim is one of those assistants. Kim is an extraordinary dental assistant. She recently told her doctor she wanted to cut back to a three-day week. She is so valuable, he agreed, but continues to hint at her return to a four-day week. It’s just not going to happen.

Maybe you’ve acquired a medical condition that has forced you to work less. Maybe you’re new to an area and want to get your feet wet before taking a permanent position. Maybe you want to work, but your kids come first, and you want to be there for them as they grow up. Whatever the reason, maybe you’re just tired and you want to slow down, so why work on a regular schedule at all?

Why not work just when you want to work? Why not try putting yourself out there as a dental temporary? Becoming a temporary has a lot of advantages, and some disadvantages, at least in the beginning. Here’s the deal: When you temp there’s an initial period when you’re not well known and not working as much. Know this going in and prepare for it. It’s a little like real estate; there are busy, lucrative times and quiet periods in the market. As time goes on, if you’re good at what you do, you’ll develop a rhythm that becomes comfortable.

But there are many advantages…

  • Sometimes (a lot of the time?!) there’s a lot of drama in dental offices. When you come in as a temporary you don’t have get caught up in the drama. You’ll come in, do your job, and go home.
  • You can name your fee and walk out at the end of your workday with a check.
  • If your day is planned and you get a call, you can decline. Work as little or as much as you want
  • You basically work for yourself, so there are tax advantages to temping.
  • You’ll work at a variety of practices and this works well for those who enjoy a variety.

But there are disadvantages as well…

  • You are essentially self-employed; make sure you are protected under the practice’s Worker’s Comp Insurance. If you’re not, you’ll need some.
  • If you are a Dental Hygienist, you will need your own Malpractice Insurance.
  • Work is not guaranteed; the good news is once you establish a sound reputation, calls will come.
  • You will still have calls to work in those difficult practices; the good news is you don’t have to take the work unless you need the income.
  • There are no benefits; remember, you’re self-employed!
  • You usually don’t form any permanent relationships because you’re not there everyday.


Let’s say you’re interested in temping, but you’re not sure where to start. You can start by placing your resume at Thanks for listening, and if you have any questions, contact us at has helped plenty of Job Seekers find employment in dental practices all over the country.

  • It’s free to post a resume!
  • It’s quick and easy to navigate
  • Access to tons of job listings
  • Access to comprehensive industry information

Submit your resume now and get your profile out there for dental offices to see. And be sure to read my blog on “Plan Ahead”.  Most dental practices don’t think about planning for a temp until it’s an emergency.


“Everyone enjoys doing the kind of work for which he is best suited”

-Napoleon Hill

Find the dental practice that wants YOU

We want you to find the right fit. You deserve to be appreciated.

Find A Job Now