How Many Staff Should a Dental Office Have?


The dental office staff does much more than just run the drill and sit at the front desk. They are an important part of any dental practice and they assist dentists, dental assistants, and patients as needed. Without anyone to answer patient phone calls or schedule appointments, a dentist would be lost.

In case you have been wondering how many staff should a dental office have, below is a list of professionals in a successful dental clinic.

Oral Surgeon

How many staff should a dental office have? A dental clinic is not complete without the staff of employees to manage and run it. There are many different dental care services, but one of the most crucial is an oral surgeon. An oral surgeon is responsible for providing medical and surgical care to patients who need services like the use of dentures. They oversee anesthesia, assist with surgical procedures, oversee follow-ups with patients, provide prescriptions for pain medication when needed, and write reports on each patient’s examination.

An oral surgeon should be well versed in general dentistry or specifically surgery because that is where their job tends to revolve around. They will look at x-rays of teeth that can show cavities or possible bone loss due to gum disease and recommend the best course of action. They may look over gum disease treatment plans and discuss how to carry them out with a dentist, usually through referrals to other professionals will be given. It is also their job to oversee recovery after dental surgery and check up on all patients that have had such procedures done.

An oral surgeon does not necessarily need any formal education than a regular dentist, but they do tend to hold some professional certifications, varying from state to state. An oral surgeon tends to make a decent enough income working in an office or hospital setting. The average growth rate of this profession indicates an increase in job opportunities popping up that needed more people who specialize in oral surgery.

An oral surgeon will play a key role in any dental procedure done on a patient. Usually work with dentists and other professionals on what needs to be done and oversee the entire operation from start to finish. Because they are also medical doctors, they will prescribe medication that may be necessary for the procedure and to help the patient recover after surgery. If you need oral or maxillofacial surgery, you must find an oral surgeon in your state certified by the relevant authorities to ensure quality care. These surgeons also have residency training at hospitals throughout their careers to prepare them for what they might encounter while practicing.

Pediatric Dentists

Dental care has been evolving since the beginning of time. With this, many people may wonder how many staff should a dental office should have. Dentistry is a profession that is constantly changing and growing to meet the needs of society. The issues involving children’s health and dental care have become more complex and challenging for today’s dentists, opening up a new niche, pediatric dentistry.

Many patients tend to think this term means children when it means child. A pediatric dentist is a specialist who specializes in providing dental services to infants, toddlers, teens, and young adults up to 21 years old. They try their best to make sure all of their pediatric patients feel comfortable throughout treatment since they are still developing emotionally and physically. For some types of procedures, special equipment or techniques designed for smaller mouths and heads are used.

Some pediatric dentists have specific education in providing care for people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, and attention deficit disorder. They also treat people who require oral surgery since the mouth is a small environment.

The answer to how many staff should a dental office is dependent on the demand for dental services. Many health problems are related to a child’s teeth and gums due to genetics or behavior-related habits. If there is a problem, an early diagnosis will help save your child from further pain or possibly their life. Pediatric dentists work closely with orthodontic specialists since these two types of doctors need to coordinate care for many patients who have both issues to take care of.

Dental Assistants

As you look into how many staff should a dental office have, ensure you include dental assistants in your list. Dental assistants complete various tasks, including removing sutures after surgery, applying protective loupes to dentists’ eyes during procedures, taking x-rays or impressions of teeth used for crowns or bridges, sterilizing instruments in between patients, preparing materials that will be used in dental procedures, cleaning restorations after dentists and more have placed them. Dental assistants must work well with others and follow instructions from dentists so that they can work in teams.

You can hire an experienced dental assistant, complete their training, which often includes hands-on experience via shadowing, or train your front desk person interested in becoming a dental assistant. This is becoming more commonplace, especially when you have a busy front office with limited time to train someone.

Dental Hygienists

The majority of successful dental clinics are knowledgeable on how many staff should a dental office have. A dental hygienist’s job is to clean teeth and detect potential problems that a patient may have. For example, if a person brushes their teeth twice a day for 30 minutes each time, there should never be plaque building up on the teeth. However, if a patient has been diagnosed with gingivitis through daily hygiene care by a dental hygienist, the problem could potentially worsen. In addition, other issues such as tooth decay will go undetected without periodic checkups from dental professionals. Dental hygienists encourage people to practice proper dental care and inform them of any issues they notice during their routine examination.

If you are running an associated practice with several dentists, each may have a hygienist who only focuses on that doctor’s patients. However, if your practice is solo, you will need a full-time hygienist to clean all of your patients’ teeth during hygiene appointments, a non-patient-facing appointment. Hygiene includes cleaning and taking x-rays, educating patients on the proper way to brush and floss, showing them how to remove plaque at home and why this is important, and selling products. Your hygienist reviews your treatment plan with patients. If you run an associate practice, the other doctor also reviews it.

Front Desk Receptionists

An ideal dental clinic should know how many staff should a dental office have. A receptionist is a person who greets a patient when they first enter the office, answers phone calls, and schedules appointments. This person sometimes also greets patients when they show up for their scheduled appointment time so they can see a dentist or dental assistant as soon as possible. A receptionist may also be responsible for obtaining x-rays and putting patient files in order. The front desk receptionists are the first point of contact for patients arriving at the dentist’s office. They are responsible for getting new patients checked for appointments, updating insurance information, making payments, and scheduling future appointments. Other responsibilities include generating reports to track balances on accounts and maintaining accurate records of every patient in the office.

Dental Laboratory Technician

As you look at how many staff should a dental office have, remember to include a dental laboratory technician. This person takes impressions that dentists send out to a dental lab and then makes final restorations called non-prefabricated crowns because they are not premade in a lab. These crowns are made according to what the dentist has determined is required for each patient based on their clinical findings, photographs, and other diagnostic aids. Your front desk person often schedules these appointments because it usually requires several visits over 4 to 6 weeks. And scheduling these appointments can get complicated if you see patients who need multiple teeth restored at one time. That is where an experienced scheduler comes in who can juggle all of your patient’s appointments over several weeks to ensure there are no scheduling conflicts. You may also delegate this task to one of your technicians if they have the experience and ability to handle the scheduling process with ease.

Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry is a discipline that uses state-of-the-art techniques and materials to achieve the desired look of your teeth. For this reason, cosmetic dentistry can be associated with the beautification of teeth. This makes cosmetic dentists a vital consideration when determining how many staff should a dental office have. A cosmetic dentist, also known as a dental specialist, offers services to everyone, including other dentists.

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the leading branches of all dental specialties. This branch requires treatment planning and execution skills due to its complexity. Skilled professionals help in improving your smile by giving your teeth their natural beauty back again. Many cosmetic dentistry procedures help you get that gorgeous healthy smile again, like porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, implant-supported prosthetic teeth, etc.

A dentist who performs cosmetic work has attended specialized courses in this field after completing her graduation from an accredited school of dentistry. The dentists have learned about various problems like discoloration, fractures, chipped or broken teeth, malocclusions, crooked teeth, etc. Dentists specializing in cosmetic dentistry are well aware of the different types of materials required to perform a particular procedure.

The process of selecting the materials will depend on the dentist’s professional qualification. A general dentist is unlikely to know about this aspect properly once one does not have special training or education, so they will not be able to explain to the patient regarding substitute materials that could be used in place of the original material under specific circumstances.

Bookkeeping Experts

Another crucial thing to note on how many staff should a dental office have is the aspect of bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is the way of recording or tracking financial transactions. Its records are used for reporting and analysis.

Bookkeepers shall keep clear records of transactions like invoices, giving them information about every transaction they did, like contracts made. Money paid/received, etcetera to determine their company’s financial standing.

Bookkeepers should have good knowledge about tax regulations because they should be responsible for filing taxes to the government twice a year. They also have to submit information about the company to taxation authorities every year. The size of a dental clinic impacts how many staff should a dental office have. A bookkeeper may be part-time or full-time. It depends on how large the company is or someone who needs to do this job in their home-based business. This person should be skillful enough to write down everything they see in their daily work.

Business Manager

As you seek how many staff should a dental office have, ensure you list at least one business manager in your employees. A business manager in a dental clinic works to create an environment favorable for both the doctors and patients. The aim is to ensure that patients are satisfied with their treatment while at the same time making sure of the doctors’ needs.

An effective manager will make sure they are on good terms with all staff members to maintain efficiency within the clinic. They are responsible for ensuring they have enough staff available when needed. They monitor workflow, productivity, and patient flow by scheduling appointments when necessary.

They also need to be able to deal with any complaints that may arise from either party, ensuring that all parties remain happy throughout their contract. A key role in this department is communication. Every dental clinic owner should be keen on how many staff a dental office should have for top-notch coordination of office cleaning services. Many issues can be solved through good communication, so all staff must be on the same page.

A business manager will provide reports to doctors at regular intervals, providing statistics and reviews on patient flow, finance management, and scheduling. This allows doctors to make any necessary improvements to keep patients happy and coming back while also allowing them to plan accordingly.

They handle billing directly with patients as well as handling employees’ schedules. They must ensure a proper work/life balance is implemented into these schedules so that they don’t interfere with personal life or cause undue stress.

Why should you be keen about how many staff should a dental office have? Staffing is an important factor in getting patients seen promptly. The use of technology has allowed for shorter patient visits, but the need for staff remains because of the time needed to work through patient charts and communicate with their superiors.

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