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Are Dental Temp Agencies Worth It?

Let’s face it. There are a lot of myths and preconceived notions out there surrounding dental temp agencies. Everyone in the dental field knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who worked with a temp that was “terrible.” Or perhaps it was the other way around, where the temping dental hygienist was placed into an extremely sub-par work environment.

Dental temp agencies are like root canals. Everybody has heard stories, but there are actually some really great options out there. And just like endo treatment, there are a lot of benefits of following through in establishing a relationship with some type of reputable dental staffing agency (for practice owners, office managers, and dental staff alike!)

As a practice owner, you depend on a specific number of the “right” type of people to keep your schedule running smoothly. When you’re well-staffed, you know you never have to turn a patient away. The more efficiently things run, the better flexibility you have to pursue professional interests like expanded services.

The problem is that a lot of traditional dental temp agencies continue to leave a bad taste in the mouths of dentists and practice managers. Fortunately, there are more modern adaptations and alternatives to the conventional temping agency to help dentists thrive. When you’re able to know what to look for, you can easily find a resource that helps you do what you do best: focus on your patients.

Before we delve in too deep, let’s re-visit some common dental temp agency FAQ.

What is a Dental Temp Agency?

A traditional dental temp agency works with professionals like hygienists, assistants, dentists, and front office staff to fill openings. Such as if one of your current employees calls in sick or has a family emergency. They screen applicants and pair professionals with offices who have openings based on those individuals’ availability. You could think of them like a matchmaker of sorts. The match might not always take, but at least it’s there.

What are the Pros of Dental Temp Agencies?

Flexibility — Any time you’re shorthanded but don’t have time to interview or hire new staff, you always have the option to book the appointments now and fill your team with a temp once the time comes.

Short-term Investment — For a lot of dentists, it’s more affordable to bring in a temp here and there than it is to hire someone full-time while business is slow, or the practice is still growing.

What are the Cons of Dental Temp Agencies?

Expense — Some dental temp agencies have what a lot of dentists will consider to be “hidden fees.” So just be sure to read the fine print and know what you’re getting into.

Placement Fees — If you’re hoping to hire a long-term employee via the temp agency, there can be high placement fees in some cases. Some dentists may decide it’s just not worth the added expense.

Communication Delays — The dental temp agency is your “go between”, so it’s not an option for the dentist and the temp to communicate one-on-one. This can lead to delays.

Lack of Control — Depending on the policies of the temp agency, you may have no say-so in who they send to work at your practice that day. Whoever shows up is who you get.

Quality Control — Due to the short-term nature of temping, some agencies don’t always have access to the highest quality of dental professionals.

Is There a Better Solution?

Absolutely. Considering how long dental temp agencies have been around and the technology that’s available these days, it’s easier than ever to connect to and directly fill your staff openings with hand-picked dental professionals near you.

Take Cloud Dentistry for instance. This unique dental staffing online platform allows dentists to completely avoid staffing and placement fees, see who’s available on the days they have openings, look over the individual’s qualifications, and talk to them directly to fill their spot.Basically, the Cloud Dentistry platform — even though it’s technically a 3rd party of sorts — is eliminating the middle man.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are still plenty of thriving, well-established temp agencies out there when you really have a spot that needs to be filled. But given the fact that there are alternatives where you can connect with hygienists or assistants directly, it’s just an easier (and more confident) choice for most dentists to make.

You’re probably saying, “so what’s the catch?!” Ah yes, there’s always a catch, isn’t there? With platforms like Cloud Dentistry or similar dental matchmaking services, the hiring party does pay some type of a membership fee. But I know from just looking at the Cloud Dentistry website that it only ranges from $57 to $87 a month, max, and they don’t even charge you a penny if you hire a long term placement. Say what?! When you can tap into a set-up like that, it comes out being super competitive when you consider the hesitation that a lot of dentists have about temps altogether.

Basically, you’re getting:

• One fixed, low monthly rate

• Unlimited hires at no extra fee

• The ability to screen and locate your own temps

• Freedom to message people directly

• See who’s available and when

• Flexibility for long-term hires at no extra charge

• Faster and more streamlined, thanks to real-time communication

• More control over hiring

• Guaranteed peer-reviewed professionals with background checks (and license verification)

Give it a Try Today!

I’m not going to lie. If I retire from writing one day and decide to temp here and there back in the operatory, I’m definitely starting with an online profile via Cloud Dentistry. As a hygienist, it also gives me the chance of seeing who needs a job filled before I commit to anything. But if I were a practice owner, I would definitely consider a platform like what Cloud Dentistry has to offer. It’s affordable, I like to know what I’m dealing with, and I don’t have to wait for someone to relay messages. Cloud Dentistry took dental temping, put it on steroids, and set the bar for how things ought to be done when it comes to dental hiring. Go ahead and give them a try!


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