5 Things to Consider When Building Your Dental Team

Tips for Successful Team Building

The early stages of your dental practice are some of the most important. This is a season of new growth and opportunity, and the way you approach it matters. Once you’ve purchased your practice, you can start working toward your personal and professional goals, and finally turn your dreams into a reality. 

One of the most important first steps is building your dental team! These are the employees who will become the face and backbone of your practice, so these hiring decisions are critical. 

Today, we’re sharing 5 things to consider as you interview and onboard new staff members. Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re rebuilding from the ground up, keep these tips in mind. 

1. Create a dental team that aligns with your passions.

When you envision your ideal dental practice, what types of services do you see your dental team offering? What do you want to offer your clients? Before you make any hiring decisions, first think about the areas that you want to specialize in.

Are you interested in pursuing general and family dentistry only? Or, do you want to branch out to other areas such as dental implants, orthodontics, prosthodontics, or advanced cosmetic dentistry? There’s no right or wrong path to take, but it’s important to choose team members who can share and support those passions and goals. Otherwise, you could find yourself stuck in a place you never wanted to be, without the right resources to work your way out. The dental team you create should be as excited about the future as you are, and willing to work to get there. 

2. Write a dental practice mission statement.

Once you know which areas of dentistry you want to pursue, your next step is to write a dental practice mission statement. Clearly state the objectives you have for your practice and the initiatives you plan to establish. 

This statement will inform all of your decisions from this point forward. It will not only influence the areas of dentistry that you choose to specialize in, but it will also help you more clearly understand the types of dental team members you need to get there. 

Effective practice management hinges on clarity and transparency. If you don’t have a clear vision for the practice you want to create, then how will you know who to hire? Keep the mission statement close by, and refer to it throughout this process to ensure you’re choosing individuals whose goals and attributes align with it. 

3. Consider company culture.

When you’re in the throes of opening a dental practice, it can be easy to rush the hiring process. However, this is actually the perfect time to do the opposite.

Instead of hurrying through these next steps, take a deep breath and a step back. These are big decisions, and they require big thought. Before posting a job description or conducting an interview, evaluate your life and where you see your practice heading. 

In addition to the services you want to provide, think about the kind of culture you want to create. How do you want your employees to feel when they walk through those doors every day? What about your patients? What about you?

Company culture refers to the collective attitudes and behaviors of an organization. As you evaluate candidates for your dental team, consider their personalities and demeanor as much as their skill sets. A well-rounded employee is someone who checks all the boxes in terms of technical aptitudes and character traits. 

Once you’ve set parameters around your vision, mission, plan, and culture, you can take the next steps toward building (or rebuilding) your team.

4. Conduct periodic reviews.

Once you have your dental team in place, you may find that, over time, there needs to be some adjustments. Periodically, it’s helpful to evaluate and review the team members you have in place and decide if the current structure is still benefiting your practice. 

Is each employee meeting the needs of your patients? Are they helping you reach your personal dentistry goals? If the answer is negative, then it may be time to look at some coaching or mentoring for your dental team members. After all, it’s important that they not only share your vision for your dental practice, but are equipped with the skills and mindset to get you there. 

If you find this task to be too difficult, stressful, or time-consuming, then consider reaching out to HR consultants who can take the reins for you. These professionals are trained and experienced in every aspect of recruiting and staffing, and they can help balance the load. 

5. Confidently delegate.

Once you’ve built your dream team, be sure to give them enough room to do what they do best. Remember that you are not the team. You are the team builder!

Your job is to provide the utmost in patient care, and create an environment where all employees feel respected, capable, and empowered. Work on your practice, build a team of excellent dental professionals who are as caring as they are competent, and then step back. 

If you’ve sharpened your team management skills, then you can do so with confidence. You’ll know that you’ve established a team of trustworthy employees who have caught the vision you’ve created. With the right people surrounding you, you’ll be able to take your dental practice to new heights together. 

Create a dental team that works.

Your practice is only as strong as the employees behind it. A successful dental team can bring new patients in the door and keep your current ones happy. They’ll also keep your reputation strong and allow you to reach the goals you set for the future. Looking to expand your technical and clinical knowledge? Become an AOS member today and enjoy access to a range of in-person and online orthodontics courses. Led by esteemed dental experts, and covering all aspects of the orthodontics field, these courses can help you enhance your practice one step at a time!

To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.

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