The parameters of dental practices during oral check-ups have yet to be researched further, especially taking into account the current changes in the economy. Our recent survey revealed the relationships between the capacity of dental professionals and patient demand for hygienic services. It illustrates more than 100 responses, with a mix of qualitative and empirical data, to provide better insight into how the two variables are connected and show how improved dental hygiene is essential for patients to undergo regular check-ups. 

Increased Hygienic Demand by Patients

According to Human Resources for Health, the evolving functions of dental professionals, hygienists, and therapists have recently attracted much attention. Many believe that work collaboration between dentists and other dental team members could boost the capacity of dental services due to their similar skill sets. Our current survey reflected that 25.37% of dental offices anticipate an additional 10-20 hours per week for appointments. 

In a supplemental survey conducted by the ADA Health Policy Institute, an average of 83% of dental practice schedules were full in February, up from 77% in January. Over 85% of dentists who had under booked their appointments in February cited patient cancellations as a contributing issue, followed by 43% citing decreased patient demand, and 33.9% citing difficulties in filling open staff positions.

Increased Capacity at Dental Clinics

Because of the increasing demand for dental hygiene, numerous openings have become available for dental temps, professionals, hygienists, and therapists. Our survey reflected that slightly more than half (51.49%) of dental offices and clinics were understaffed, and openings for dental team positions are again on the rise. With the planned Canadian federal public dental subsidy coming into effect soon, 51.91% of clinics expect an increase in demand for weekly hours. 

The previously mentioned survey conducted by ADA positively reinforces our survey results, illustrating that roughly 41% of participants have previously or are actively hiring dental aides, while about 35% are hiring dental hygienists. The most frequent difficulty in hiring dental assistants and dental hygienists is a scarcity of candidates. 

One responder in our survey mentioned that, “Although we are fully staffed, it is essential for us to keep a Rolodex of available hygienists who can cover for vacations, sick days, etc.” This quote reflects the increasing demand of dental workers within dental clinics. Over 40 understaffed participants (55.56%) also remarked that they are able to fill 10-20 additional hygiene appointment hours per week.

In Conclusion

From our recent survey and the results of the ADA study, the outlook for hiring dental temps, assistants, and hygienists looks to be positive. An increase in capacity inevitably encourages patients to attend dentists for regular check-ups. As a result, patient dental health will improve as more routine procedures are conducted at dental offices. An empirical investigation published by the National Library of Medicine revealed that the likelihood of tooth loss was dramatically decreased by having more dental hygienists on teams and spending more time educating people about their oral health. 

Based on our results, we believe that more hygienists will need to be hired in the near future to account for increased dental appointments. These professionals must be utilized to their full potential to maximize the benefits that come with increased clinic capacity. 

Created by a practicing dentist for dental professionals, TempStars understands the demand for patient dental hygiene and the unique hiring demands to satisfy dental professionals. Contact us today to learn more about our trusted services, help reduce employee stress, keep your workers and patients happy, and keep your productivity on track.