When you are ready to grow your dental practice, one of the most sensible choices you can make is to bring on board a new associate dentist. If you hire another dentist, not only will you be able to treat a more significant number of patients, but you will also be able to reduce the amount of work you have to do.


A dental associate contract is a legally binding agreement prepared by a dental practice in anticipation of recruiting an associate dentist. This agreement is designed to outline the terms and conditions of the assistant dentist’s employment. It lays out the terms of employment, including the compensation and benefits that have been discussed in advance, and it ensures that both the dental practice and the associate are on the same page before beginning their work together.


Before Looking For A New Associate Dentist, Ask Yourself If You Require One


When you reach a point where you cannot care for all of your patients on your own, that is the point at which you should look into hiring an associate dentist. On the other hand, bringing on a new dentist could be the solution if you have an excessive number of patients but need more free time.


If you still need to get a significant number of patients coming through your office regularly, there are better ideas than bringing on an associate dentist. It is expensive, and although it can be nice to be prepared for an increase in patients, you run the risk of being stuck with the bill if the anticipated rise in people does not occur.


This is another valid reason if you are getting ready to retire within the next five to ten years. It is a very popular way for dentists to leave their profession, and one that we will go into more detail about later is to bring on a new dentist and have them take over the practice they have been running.


If You’re Looking To Expand Your Practice, Consider What A New Associate Dentist Could Bring To The Table


It is in your best interest to seek the services of a dental associate who can either do operations that you do not particularly enjoy or take care of procedures that fall outside your area of focus or field of competence.


For instance, if you do a significant number of root canals at your office and want more time to devote to other operations, consider hiring an endodontist. On the other hand, if you want your dental practice to grow and offer more dental implants to patients, consider hiring an associate dentist who has completed the necessary training and earned the relevant certifications in implant dentistry.


A dental associate can also help you stay up to date with the latest developments in the field, including new techniques and materials. This will help ensure your practice remains competitive and attractive to prospective patients.


Work Out How Your New Partner Will Be Integrated Into The Structure Of Your Company


There are a few distinct approaches to taking care of a newly hired associate dentist, and to determine which one is best for your practice, you should discuss the matter with your accounting and business teams. The following are the top three choices:


Employee – You should have no trouble understanding this. You will recruit the dentist as an employee and pay them the agreed-upon salary and benefits in the same manner that you pay your other team members. This will be the only change necessary.


Buy-in partner – is an option that many dentists consider when they are considering retiring, and for a good reason. Your partner dentist will slowly buy into your practice under this arrangement, which often lasts up to five years or even longer. Then, after you’ve reached retirement age, they’ll complete the buyout and take over your office.


Independent contractor – If your new associate is a contractor working on their own, they will be responsible for providing all of their supplies, equipment, and employees. Nevertheless, they will do their business within your office. As a result, you will normally be compensated as a fee for the use of your practice and a percentage of the overall revenue the client generates.


Consider Your Treatment Philosophy, The Culture Of Your Office, And The Members Of Your Dental Team


It is of the utmost importance to give some thought to the culture of your office as well as your treatment philosophy before selecting a dentist who will work well inside your practice. 

For instance, if you run a family dentistry practice, you’ll want to look for an associate dentist who is patient and kind with children while also being able to communicate well with adults.


In a broader sense, you need to also think about the other dental team members. Because they will be collaborating closely with the new associate dentist for the foreseeable future, it is in everyone’s best interest to involve them in selecting a candidate for the position of an associate dentist.


Because the success of your practice is dependent on what your new associate dentist brings to the table, you should give these points careful consideration and make sure that you choose a dentist with whom you can envision yourself having a productive working relationship that will last for a long time and be successful.


Establish For New Associate Dentists A Trial Or Probation Period Of Sixty To Ninety Days


There are instances when things do not go as planned. Even if you go with a dentist who looks like an excellent choice on paper, the experience may be different from your expectations. As a result, most new dentists begin their careers with a probationary or trial period that lasts for sixty to ninety days.


As soon as this trial period is up, you will be given the choice of hiring the dentist full-time or letting them go and continuing your search for a new colleague. Of course, it is crucial to make every effort to discover the ideal dentist on the very first try; nevertheless, having a trial period gives you options in the event that you believe a newly hired employee would not be a good fit for your practice.


Our associate dentists here at Keels Family & Cosmetic Dentistry have gone on to provide exceptional service to our patients. We make sure that they are appropriately trained, have the proper support and resources, and, most importantly, get along with our other colleagues. 


All of these factors allow us to ensure we have a successful practice. The same can be done for you! Call us to get started!