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Why Temp Work is Critical to the Dental Industry Today

Hygienist Charlotte
Well, no two hygienists are exactly the same; you have your own training, skills, communication styles, and personality that make you unique, and awesome.

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Temporary workers are game-changers in almost every business or field.

The dental industry is absolutely a field where “temps” are not only changing the way we work, but also changing the way we serve and care for patients and their families.

Why the rise in temporary worker support in the dental industry these days? 

Time and time management are becoming important aspects when it comes to the need for temporary workers.  Whether an office is preparing for planned absences or responding to emergency absences due to illness or safety, having go-to, temporary resources allows for a practice to stay agile, productive, and effective.

Temporary staff also create new opportunities for practice growth. Typically, offices use temps to ‘catch up’ on recare appointments or to maintain normal business hours even given staff absences. In 2021, we’re beginning to see increased utilization of temporary workers to help serve patients by extending office hours, allowing the office to open on additional days, and freeing up time for full-time staff to see new patients.

The pros of working as a “temp” in the dental industry 

Temporary work has a lot of advantages. Some dental professionals are “temping” to earn extra income without the commitment of a second job. Others see it as a way to quit their job and become their own boss by working temporary gigs full-time.

Regardless of the reason for choosing to become a gig worker, there are numerous things to consider before agreeing to job assignments.

If you’re considering more temporary work in dental, here are key factors to consider – all of which are critical to the rise of temp work now, too. (Huge thanks to RDH Valerie Witte for helping us think through these!)

Have the power to think through your schedule 

Temp work allows for a certain level of flexibility which many workers appreciate – especially at this time in history. It should go without saying, but being available for the exact date(s) requested is necessary. Offices have hired dental professionals only to have them not show when they are needed. Unfortunately, the same is true for dental professionals that have booked a gig only to have the office cancel last minute or, even worse, after arriving for an assignment.

The number of hours worked can be a concern, especially when you consider some practices request ten hours or more per workday. With musculoskeletal disorders on the rise within the dental community, some workers may limit their day to no more than eight hours. Breaks can help with the long workdays but are not guaranteed, so always ask before assuming you will have time to rest or eat.

Dental appointment times range from very early morning to late evening, making the time of day relevant when scheduling a temp gig. Time is vital due to obligations such as needing to pick up kids from daycare or personal preferences such as being a morning person. As a temp, you have the power to choose whatever schedule works best for your lifestyle.

Value yourself in a whole new way 

As much as we enjoy what we do, we also must pay the bills. Some offices make payments the same day, while others require waiting until their typical scheduled payday. Depending on your local state laws, taxes may or may not be taken out of your paycheck, which I will discuss more in an upcoming blog. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with your state’s requirements regarding taxes.

Some job listings include a set hourly rate, while others may negotiate wages on an individual basis. When determining your hourly rate, make sure to include your education, experience, and skill level. Be aware of the local market rate for your area and skill set — this can be beneficial when negotiating with potential employers. Be confident and don’t undervalue yourself!

Your (commute) time is always valuable 

The saying “Live where you want to, work where you have to” is especially true when temping. After all, time is money and your time spent commuting is valuable and should always be considered – especially today when we’re keeping it closer to home to keep our families safe and healthy. Look into the office’s distance from home and how long the commute will take with traffic. Don’t forget to factor in any road tolls, gas, or wear and tear on your vehicle. After considering these factors, decide if the assignment location is within an adequate range to make the job worth your time.

At the end of the day, each job listing has its own unique pros and cons that every potential worker must evaluate for themselves. Whether you are temping full-time, part-time, or simply earning extra income to supplement your regular salary, deciding which factors are most important to you will help make the process easier and more stress-free for all parties involved.

Next steps 

The Biteline team are big fans of connecting dental pros with open job opportunities – and that absolutely applies to temp dental pros. There are over 250 RDH users and nearly 300 Dental Assistants in the Charlotte Biteline community. Since the launch of our app in July 2019, over 1,500 jobs have been posted to Biteline by 500+ offices in the Mecklenburg area alone.ICYMI:  In the last two months alone, we filled 90% of temporary jobs posted.

If you’re a dentist or an office manager, we are proud to offer two options for posting temporary jobs: Post Once and Biteline PLUS.

For those weeks when you truly just need to fill a spot quickly, opt for Post Once. For one payment of $75, you can easily post a single position. We’ll leverage our network and Facebook recruiting to get it filled lickety-split.

If you find yourself needing to bring in talent on an ongoing basis, sign up for our monthly subscription: Biteline PLUS.

For $150/month, you’ll be able to:

  • Post unlimited positions;
  • Receive unlimited access to candidate profile searching;
  • Experience an even more concierge level of recruiting.

Biteline profiles are displayed for easy review: You’ll be able to see each professional’s availability, desired hourly rate, and any specialty experience at first glance.

Get started today by setting up your profile and making yourself available for more temporary work. The dental industry needs you now more than ever!

Read more fun facts, expert advice, and dental industry news on the Biteline blog.
And don’t forget to share with your dental friends! 


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