The ADA News is launching a new series, Focus on Workforce, which will highlight some of the challenges dental offices face with recruiting, hiring and training dental team personnel, and also offer resources so that the dental team can focus on patient care.
Staffing shortages are the most common limiting factor for practices that want to see more patients, according to data from the ADA Health Policy Institute , which has been tracking poll results on the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. dental economy.
When dentists who reported schedules below 100% were asked in January which factors prevented their practice from reaching capacity, 1 in 3 said they had trouble filling vacant staff positions.
In terms of staff recruitment, a third of the respondents indicated they had recently or were currently recruiting dental hygienists and 39%, dental assistants. Among those recruiting dental hygienists, 73% found recruiting the position to be “extremely challenging” compared to 55% of those recruiting dental assistants.
Manny Chopra, D.M.D., vice chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice, said the nationwide shortage of dental team members provides an opportunity to continue to support and encourage the existing staff members towards excellence.
The series will spotlight myriad topics to help dentists navigate the challenges associated with the nationwide workforce shortage. Future articles will cover hiring, licensing, education and staff retention, as well as state-level actions to alleviate the struggles dentists face during the pandemic and beyond.
For support with recruiting, hiring and training your dental team, visit ADA.org/dentalstaff .