Dental Staffing

Why You Should Hire an Associate Dentist to Fill Your Open Dental Hygiene Job Position

At the recent AADOM Convention, I heard a lot of stories about needing Dental Assistants, but there was no shortage of needs for Dental Hygienists. Some Dental Hygienists who were close to retirement, retired early due to the pandemic. Some Dental Hygienists are asking for compensation far beyond the usual and close to what a new Dentist would be asking. If that’s been your experience, may I suggest considering the placement of an Associate Dentists in that position, especially considering the advantages.

Advantages of Hiring an Associate Dentist for Your Dental Hygiene Position

  • Many young, newer Dentists are looking for jobs after losing their jobs in 2020.
  • Many Dental Hygienists returned to school and gained a DDS or DMD degree and are highly equipped to handle a Dental Hygiene position.
  • A Dentist in that position can diagnose dental treatment needs and significantly increase productivity.
  • The right candidate in that position can cover emergencies for the Dental Practice when the Practice Owner is unavailable.
  • The right candidate in that position can research the existing Hygiene production and determine if it is all it can be.
  • The Associate Dentists can take over some of the restorative dentistry should you be booking patients beyond a reasonable period.

That doesn’t mean you’d keep an Associate Dentists in this position indefinitely. Nor does it mean the Associate Dentists wouldn’t want to move into a restorative position. What it does mean is that your Associate Dentists, given time, would have an intimate working knowledge of the Dental Hygiene department. From a business perspective, this is very important because many Practice Owners don’t view the Dental Hygiene area of their Practice as a serious area of productivity. 

Having placed an Associate Dentist in this position is a great way to slowly introduce the provider to your practice. Further, your patients would have met and hopefully accepted that individual into your Practice as a competent provider. This is an especially great idea for those Dentists looking towards retirement, say within the next 3-5 years. 

I can’t think of any disadvantages to this idea unless the Practice fails to communication clearly in creating the ad and at the interview stage. Get creative while posting your Practice Profile at So many ads sound as if they are simply looking for a licensed individual with a pulse. Talk about how great your Practice is and why. Talk about your Dental Team members, summarize your Mission Statement, clearly state your goals in seeking this perspective Dental Professional. 


Find us at, create your profile and post your ad today! And read our article on “How to Hire a Novice and Train Them as a Dental Assistant.



Problems are not stop signs; they are guidelines.
- Robert H. Schuller