It’s a New Year. Does that mean more pay in your dental position?

Ask and you shall receive. Seems like that old saying should work when asking for a pay raise in your dental assisting position. But be prepared to be turned down if it isn't in the budget.

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As we progress a little further into 2017, take time to reflect on 2016. Did you advance in your dental career? Did you take on more responsibilities or gain new skills? Has it been more than a year since you last received a pay raise? Then you just might be on your way to more pay. If your office does annual evaluations, start preparing for yours. But if your office doesn’t schedule formal staff evaluations, ask for one.

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Many dental professionals are past due for a raise. If you’re one of them, follow these steps:

1. Prepare for a meeting with either your office manager or employer/dentist. You will need to take time to reflect on the past year and note any new duties or responsibilities you have taken on. Did you gain any new certifications? How did you help the office grow? Did you help with patient referrals or marketing?

2. Make note of your perfect or close-to-perfect attendance for the past year. Most employers notice the employees who arrive early and leave later than the rest of the staff. When you are dependable then you’re more valuable to the practice.

3. Was your dental office busier in 2016 than during previous years? It’s obvious that if your practice is growing and seeing more patients, you’re taking on more work to keep up with the revolving door. Mention to your office manager or employer that you kept up with the changes on double booked days and used your time accordingly during no-show or late cancel appointments.

4. Show an interest in growing the dental practice in 2017 by sharing suggestions about how to recruit new patients, and how to help the practice run more smoothly and efficiently. What have you noticed that could make a difference in the practice? February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. This would be a great opportunity to show your interest in visiting local schools or businesses to promote your dental office, either by teaching oral hygiene or dropping off toothbrushes accompanied by your dental office business card.

5. Be prepared if an increase in pay isn’t an option now, then ask if you can revisit in three months. Showing your persistence and determination about receiving a raise will increase your chances in getting one

In all the years I’ve practiced I’ve noticed that the team members who didn’t give in when it came to asking for a raise received one. Those who didn’t ask rarely got one. So, go figure. If you don’t ask you probably won’t receive a raise!


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Kimberly Morgan, RDH, has over 24 years of experience in the dental field. She is the founder of YourDentalConnect.comto help connect dental professionals with jobs and employees. She co-owns and teaches at the Dental Essentials School of Dental Assistingin Austin, Texas. She is a practicing dental hygienist at a private practice in Austin, and the current vice president for the Austin Dental Hygiene Society. She can be reached at KimMorgan@aol.comor find her on LinkedIn.

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