How to Manage the Dental Hiring Market

It’s no secret there’s a labor shortage across industries, even in the dental market. In order to stand out above the rest, dental practices and dental service organizations (DSOs) are finding creative ways to attract talent and fill hiring gaps among dental clinicians. Here’s how the skilled labor pool breaks down in dentistry today.

Dental assistants and hygienists

Dental assistant and hygienist positions took a hit during the pandemic, and now offices are scrambling to fill those roles again as businesses operate under the new normal. The problem is that there aren’t enough qualified dental professionals to fill those vacancies since those who lost their jobs have either taken on new roles or aren’t ready to return to work yet for personal or professional reasons. Dental service organizations (DSOs), in particular, have an advantage of offering a full-time salary with benefits rather than hourly pay to recent graduates.


Now more than ever, dentists are in high demand, particularly associates in private practices and dentists in DSOs, many of whom suffered income reductions or layoffs during the pandemic. Similarly, with increased hours from those who kept their jobs and a high rate of burnout because of the demands brought on by the pandemic, many independent dentists are turning toward DSOs to reduce management stress or pre-retirement associateships to continue earning.

Generation gap

Boomers and Gen Xers, in particular, are having higher rates of success finding positions due to familiarity in their roles and specialties. Many from these demographics are opting for part-time work leading up to retirement or as a way to ease back into the workforce, an approach that is of appeal to private practices. Alternatively, Millennials and Gen Z are eager for full-time positions at DSOs and are willing to relocate for a desired position.

What’s next?

Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies to figure out the right hiring process for your dental practice.