Where to Find Reliable Dental Staff Might Surprise You

woman dental assistant wearing mask looking at reader

When you need to hire a dental assistant or help for the front office, nothing can replace a friendly human assisting you chairside and greeting your patients. But since the pandemic, there are fewer and fewer smiling faces ready and willing to work. 

It’s no secret that dental practices are struggling to keep staff such as hygienists, assistants, and front office in place.  

It’s also no secret that to run a full schedule, you need a full staff. 

Being short staffed is stressful to say the least. When you don’t have enough people present to get the job done, it puts added work on your existing staff and limits your ability to grow. 

We’ve been experiencing a huge staffing shortage in the dental industry ever since reopening after the pandemic temporarily shut us down. [1]

The concern going forward is that staffing will remain difficult. With current workers under added physical and emotional stress, it’s likely that more dental professionals will leave the field, increasing the staff shortage problem.

Challenges like this force us to look at new ways of working. We must adapt and learn to work more efficiently. 

It’s no coincidence that at this point in our history, AI has exploded. 

Artificial intelligence has literally made an impact on all aspects of our lives. AI has applications in our smartphones, cars, TVs, schools, grocery stores, hospitals, and more.

While AI isn’t a magic wand to replace people, nobody would argue that it does alleviate some of the time-consuming tasks that bog down our days and add stress to our lives.

Learn more about how to start using AI software in your dental practice HERE.

Wait, Are You Suggesting I Add a Robot to My Dental Practice?!

No, not exactly (although isn’t your Cerec machine kind of robot-like?). Anyway, we don’t have a robot staff member for you. 

What we have is a solution that makes the jobs of your existing human staff easier. A solution so that if you’ve got a lean staff, they won’t end up burned out from the extra workload.

Artificial intelligence driven software helps keep your staff happy before another one bites the dust. 

You might be skeptical of adding new software to your practice at a time like this. But we want to show you the big picture. Hear us out. We’re suggesting that it might be exactly what you need right now.

Sometimes what feels like an insurmountable challenge…

…is simply the catalyst for change that we appreciate down the road. 

AI helps your human staff by figuring stuff out fast. 

Think about the old days when you needed to look up a business. The thought of flipping through a phone book is quaint. But imagine the slowness and inconvenience compared to the technology we have now. 

Today, information comes as fast as our fingertips can tap our screens. It would be silly for us to go back to the old way, don’t you think?

Imagine how many hours your screen tapping has cumulatively saved you over the last several years. That is, unless you find yourself distracted and heading down a rabbit hole, not that that ever happens. *wink*

Having artificial intelligence driven software like Dental Dash alleviates time consuming tasks that clog the flow of each day. 

Just like Google saves you from lugging out the phonebook and stopping to nurse a papercut, Dental Dash saves you and your staff from being slowed down from information overload.

When you’re short staffed and have turnover, you need systems in place to prevent your day-to-day operations from getting bogged down.

An Easy Way to Be Productive While Short Staffed

It can feel like the weight of the world when you’re responsible for keeping your patients cared for and your staff happy.

According to a poll taken by the ADA, more than 80% of dentists surveyed said that hiring is more difficult now than before the pandemic. [2]

Doctor wearing personal protective equipment using computer

The reality is that we’re seeing a surge in demand from patients who have postponed dental appointments over the past 2 years coupled with a shortage of dental professionals to take care of them. 

We have no choice but to adjust and find ways to work smarter. It’s as if AI knew we’d be needing this (hmm, did it?) because it truly stands to alleviate the bottleneck we’re experiencing. 

Has this customer service scenario happened to you recently? 

A patient comes into your office after a 2 year hiatus because of the pandemic. 

During their cleaning, the hygienist determines they need scaling and root planing. She also notices a cracked tooth and takes a photo. 

Doctor comes in, diagnoses a crown and a nightguard and tells the patient to come back soon to have the cracked tooth fixed. 

The patient is brought to the front to present the treatment plan and schedule their next visit. 

There’s currently only one person working in the front and she happens to be on the phone with a different patient’s insurance company. 

Apologetically, the hygienist dismisses the patient and says, “We’ll call you to let you know what your insurance covers and get you scheduled.” And with that the patient leaves the office. 

Nobody exactly dropped the ball here, the problem was there simply wasn’t an available person when the patient needed attention. 

What’s worse, there grows a backlog of patients needing their insurance checked, treatment plans presented, and appointments scheduled, so the front office gets more and more behind. 

Such is the difficulty of being understaffed. And you can see how this might start to cause patients to look elsewhere for their care. 

So you need a system. 

Just imagine:

  • An instant insurance verification
  • A suggestion for who to call for a last minute opening
  • A service to add to an existing appointment that increases production

Those are only a few things that take Dental Dash seconds to complete using artificial intelligence.

Can your human staff complete those tasks? Of course they can, but how long would it take a person in your front office to complete those tasks with the help of Dental Dash versus without the help of Dental Dash? And how much longer still when you’re down a staff member?

It’s the Perfect Time for Artificial Intelligence Driven Dental Software

Situations like the one above have always existed in dental practices. But since the pandemic, with the shortage of dental staff, what used to be an occasional gaffe, is happening daily in some offices.

dentist talking with patient in the dental chair

You want to be treating patients. That’s why you became a dentist. 

Back when you were learning how to prep teeth in dental school, you probably didn’t think much (if at all) about how you’d navigate a global pandemic, supply shortage and staff shortage as a practice owner. 

While we can’t hide from the current staffing problem in our industry, we can adapt and find ways to work well using new innovative technologies.

Dentists are smart, nimble-minded business owners. The type of people who know how to integrate new procedures, learn how to be better clinicians, and stay on the upward curve of personal growth.

Using AI driven software to help your employees work smarter is a necessary business decision to keep up with current technology. Especially right now.

Final Thoughts on Dental AI

Do you still take x-rays using films and a darkroom? Hopefully not. 

Does that technique still work? Sure it does, but who would want to go back to that tedious way of capturing images? Nobody! Because digital radiographs are superior in quality and probably the best part – they’re fast!

Just like when digital radiographs and paperless charts came onto the scene, it makes sense to use the tools available today that make dental practices work better. 

Today, that means incorporating AI into your practice management software and seeing the easy flow of a full staff return… whether or not you add warm bodies.

Dental artificial intelligence like Dental Dash alleviates situations where there are too few people to process too much information at once.

With Dental Dash, the AI takes over the overwhelming task of constant decision making for your front office. AI reduces information overload, and tells your staff the quick actions to take to provide the type of customer service that keeps your patients coming back. 

There really has never been a better or more necessary time to find ways to work smarter since most of us are being forced to work leaner. 

Dental Dash offers a free trial period. Why not give it a try and see for yourself? We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…. and relieved!

If you’re new to our community, reach out to us and ask about our complimentary fee schedule analysis. It’s something we’re offering to our new offices, but only for a limited time.

Click here to schedule a free fee schedule analysis.

Resources:

  1. https://www.dentistryiq.com/practice-management/staffing/article/14209556/dental-staffing-shortage-huge-struggle-continues
  2. https://www.ada.org/en/science-research/health-policy-institute/dental-statistics/income-billing-and-other-dentistry-statistics
  3. https://www.ada.org/publications/ada-news/2021/august/staffing-challenges-becoming-major-issue-in-dental-offices
  4. https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2021-archive/june/dentists-face-applicant-shortages-as-they-emerge-from-covid-19-pandemic
  5. https://blog.hubspot.com/service/customer-service-stats