Pay rate rising for dental hygienists, assistants during pandemic

The American Dental Association Health Policy Institute launched a poll at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to track the economic impact on dental offices.

During the week of May 17, 1,712 people responded to the poll. Dental practices that were recruiting were asked how pay rates for dental hygienists, dental assistants, dentists and administrators compared to before the pandemic. There were 891 responses.

Of the total responses, 70.7 percent said dental hygienist pay rate increased compared to before the pandemic, 28.7 percent said their pay rate stayed the same and 0.4 percent said it decreased. For dental assistants, 73.1 percent experienced a pay rate increase, 26.4 percent said their pay rate stayed the same and 0.5 percent experienced a decrease.

Eighty percent of dentists affiliated with a dental service organization said dental hygienist pay rate increased compared to before the pandemic and 20 percent said their pay rate stayed the same. For dental assistants affiliated with a DSO, 73.3 percent said their pay rate increased and 26.7 percent said their pay rate has stayed the same.

The majority of dentists not affiliated with a DSO said dental hygienist and assistant pay rate increased compared to before the pandemic. For dental hygienists not affiliated with a DSO, 70.4 percent said their pay rate has increased, 29 percent said their pay rate is the same and 0.6 percent said their pay rate decreased. Of the dental assistants not affiliated with a DSO, 73.1 percent said their pay rate increased, 26.4 percent said their pay rate remained the same and 0.5 percent saw a pay decrease.

For more poll findings, click here.

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