How the Great Resignation is harming dentistry

One dental leader connected with Becker's Oct. 4 to answer the question, "What is one trend holding the dental industry back?"

Editor's note: Response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Barry Lyon, DDS. Dental Director for Dental Care Alliance: A trend holding back the dental industry is "The Great Resignation." Every individual dental owner and every DSO has experienced the frustration of losing employees, searching for a replacement, finally finding someone and then losing them once their next job entices them to leave. According to the [American Dental Association,] 35.8 percent of dental practice owners are recruiting dental assistants, 28.8 percent are seeking dental hygienists, 26.5 percent are looking to hire administrative staff and 13.1 percent are in search of associate dentists.

The turnover of dental staff and providers directly impacts patient care, customer service, workplace satisfaction and the bottom line. When an office is short of providers, patients are directly affected when their appointments are rescheduled. Workplace satisfaction is altered when the remaining staff must add the missing staff member's duties to their own already busy days. A shortage of providers has a direct bearing on the office's bottom line when fewer patients are seen. Finally, processing new employees through human resources and training them on office tasks and procedures takes time and costs the owner dentist or the supporting DSO money.

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021, with the healthcare industry among those most impacted. This is an excellent opportunity for offices, large and small, to closely examine their day-to-day operations to improve employee retention and office culture.

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