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An innovative solution to the staffing shortage

March 14, 2023
A remote dental assistant will help you with the staffing shortage. And because they can be hired from outside your area, you have more great people to choose from.

The dental industry has been facing a chronic staffing shortage for years, and it’s become more pronounced recently due to the pandemic and The Great Resignation. There’s been an increased demand for dental services due to population growth, the demographics of an aging population, and a greater focus on preventive dental care.1

This shortage is partly due to the rigorous education and training required to become a dental professional, as well as the competitive job market. The compensation and working conditions offered by dental practices may not be competitive enough to attract and retain skilled professionals. Also, as many dental professionals near retirement age, new professionals will be needed to fill these roles. This shortage of dental staff can lead to long wait times for patients, increased stress for staff, and reduced quality of care.

The shortage affects everyone, from staff to patients.

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The resolution

One innovative solution to this problem is to hire a remote or virtual dental assistant. Remote dental assistants are skilled professionals who have dental experience and can perform many tasks remotely. These include answering the office phone, scheduling appointments, answering patient questions, insurance coordinating, patient treatment coordinating, and providing administrative support. By hiring a remote dental assistant, practices can provide support to patients from anywhere, at any time, which decreases their worry about the staffing shortage.

The benefits

One key benefit of hiring a remote dental assistant is that it allows you to access a pool of talent beyond your local area. You can find an experienced assistant who may not live near your office and wants to work remotely. With a remote dental assistant, you can save on the cost associated with an on-site employee, such as office space, equipment, and supplies. Additionally, a remote assistant may be able to provide more flexible scheduling and support during busy periods without the need for overtime pay or benefits.

Remote dental assistants can also improve efficiency. They have access to the latest technology and can work in a quiet and distraction-free environment, which allows them to work more efficiently than in-office assistants. This increased efficiency can help improve the overall quality of patient care as the practice is able to see more patients in a shorter amount of time.

Another key benefit of hiring a remote dental assistant is reduced stress. By having a remote assistant to help manage tasks, dentists and in-office staff can focus on providing high-quality patient care. The dental practice can provide a better patient experience as patients are seen in a timely manner and receive the care they need.

The chronic staffing shortage in the dental industry is a serious problem that affects both practices and patients, and it’s becoming even more important for dental practices to find innovative solutions. Hiring a remote dental assistant can help combat this shortage by providing cost savings, improved efficiency, increased accessibility, and reduced stress for all members of the dental team.

This article originally appeared in DE Weekend, the newsletter that willelevate your Sunday mornings with practical and innovative practice management and clinical content from experts across the field.Subscribe here.

Reference 

  1. Meyerhoefer CD, Panovska I, Mancki RJ. Projections of dental care use through 2026. https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2016.0833

About the Author

Jenn St. Pierre

Jenn St. Pierre graduated in 2015 from the dental assisting program at Carrington College with honors and as a student mentor. She holds an active California Registered Dental Assistant license and has experience working in general dentistry, endodontics, and remote assisting for a prosthodontic office. For more information, contact Jenn at [email protected], (701) 314- 4041, or visit myremotedentalassistant.com.

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