Your dental assistant has more power than you think

The first full week of March was set aside as “Dental Assistants Recognition Week.” If you didn’t celebrate these valuable team members during this time, it’s never too late to tell them thank you for the vital role they play in not only your relationship with your patients but also the success of your practice.

According to numbers from Sikka Software, in 2016, dental assistant production (per assistant per practice) was valued at $133.86. Meanwhile, hygienists produced $63.61 per hour (per hygienist per practice). By the way, dentists topped out at $216.24 per hour (per dentist per practice). The numbers show the power of the assistant and the value of a skilled assistant has never been greater to a practice, said IgniteDA co-founder Kevin Henry and author of the book, “Battling and Beating the Demons of Dental Assisting.”

“If you look at a dental practice as a small business, every employee must do everything he or she can to impact the bottom line,” Henry said. “So many dental practices underutilize their assistants and have them doing tasks that don’t impact the bottom line of the practice as much as they should.”

Henry suggests revisiting your state’s dental laws to see exactly what an assistant can legally do in your state. Then, make sure he or she is up to date with the latest training. Also, while skills are important, make sure you are taking time to tell them you appreciate what they do to help you and your business.

“In a recent survey I did of dental assistants around the country, the majority told me that the nicest thing a dentist ever told them was, ‘Thank you,’” Henry said. “Uttering these two words takes very little time and no money, but the rewards from showing your appreciation can be game-changing for your assistant.”

 

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