Every dentist who opens a new practice needs a staff to open with them.
You can think of these "dentist essential employees" as a skeleton crew — the team required to get an office up and running, as opposed to the nice-to-have employees who may help you grow in the future.
But what do those skeleton teams look like at a dental practice?
These are the essential roles that you’ll likely have to fill as you open a new dental practice.
1. Dental Assistant
One of the most important employees in your back-end office is the dental assistant.
Assistants may perform a variety of services in the operatory, including possibly prepping the patient for consultation, sterilizing equipment, laying out hand tools, taking X-rays, and working with the dentist while they perform a procedure.
Hiring a reliable dental assistant is likely important. You will rely on your assistants every day, and they help set the tone for patients to give them a positive impression of your practice before you ever meet them face-to-face.
2. Dental Hygienist
Along with dental assistants, dental hygienists work in the operatory performing routine procedures like teeth cleanings.
They may be able to instruct patients on the proper care of teeth and gums and advise patients about how to avoid plaque and periodontal disease. They work as the first line of information and help for patients when it comes to general instruction on oral hygiene so that you can work directly with patients about what may work for them.
As a result, dental hygienists help you make the most of your valuable time as both a business owner and a dental professional.
3. Front Desk Receptionist
The receptionist is the first person your patients see when they arrive at the office, so a positive and calming demeanor is important.
The receptionist answers the phone, schedules appointments, and may take on some of the clerical responsibilities associated with billing. Receptionists can also wear many hats, eventually branching into other occupational areas like marketing when they’re not engaged with other duties.
4. Office Manager
Depending on the size of your dental practice, you may need a dedicated office manager to oversee daily operations. This person handles all the tasks that contribute to the smooth functioning of the office itself, such as ordering equipment, overseeing the job search process, coordinating staff schedules, and more.
Although you may eventually want to hire an accounting specialist to handle employee payroll, office managers can also work with payroll software or other programs to help get your practice up and running.
Like a front desk receptionist, your office manager may also take on additional tasks like marketing, social media management, and other duties that don’t yet require a full-time employee.
5. Medical Billing/Coding Specialist
Medical billing and coding specialists play major roles in communicating with insurance companies to ensure you can get paid for your services.
Their coding education allows them to work quickly and “speak the language” of insurance companies to help you work together efficiently.
Learn More about Opening a Practice
Hiring important employees is just one step to opening a new dental practice.
To learn more about how you can seek to succeed with a new practice, read through our checklist for opening a new dental practice.
Treloar & Heisel and Treloar & Heisel Property and Casualty are divisions of Treloar & Heisel, Inc.
Insurance products are offered through Treloar & Heisel, Inc.
This content is intended for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as advice. Treloar & Heisel, Inc. and its divisions do not offer legal or tax advice. Please consult with a professional concerning these topics. The tasks that may be conducted by each type of employee and required licensing may vary by state.