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Thursday Troubleshooter: Should dental hygienist take pay cut to move to office manager?

July 25, 2019
This dental hygienist has been offered a new position, but it comes with a price. After 23 years with the practice, she feels she's more valuable.

Problems! Who doesn't have them? If you have a problem or concern in your dental office position, you might be too close to the situation to solve it yourself. Share your concerns with Team Troubleshooter. The experts will examine your issues and provide guidance. Send your questions to [email protected].

QUESTION: I have worked as a dental hygienist in a practice for 23 years. I have been asked to be the office manager because the current manager is retiring. My problem is that they want to cut my salary! I think I deserve to stay at the same rate. I’ve been in dentistry for nearly 40 years. Do you have any ideas? We are a small office with one dentist, two hygienists, one assistant, two receptionists, and an office manager. Thank you for your help.

ANSWER FROM AMBER AUGER, RDH, owner of Millennial Mentor:
I agree with you completely; your salary should not be cut if you take this position. You have been a trusted resource in the practice for more than two decades! As a dental hygienist, you understand how to explain each procedure in the practice, and you are extremely informed so that you can answer any questions patients may have.

The office manager role will require you to learn insurance, master coding, collect payments, manage the entire team, and balance a profit and loss report. Learning these new skills is an exciting opportunity for you. A change in leadership is a delicate place in every practice and having a trusted provider as the face of the office is priceless.

I would advise you not to take the position if you must take a pay cut.         


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Don't be shy! If YOU have a tough issue in your dental office that you would like addressed, send it to [email protected] for the experts to answer. Remember, you'll be helping others who share the same issue. Responses will come from various dental consultants, as well as other experts in the areas of human resources, coding, front office management, and more. These folks will assist dental professionals with their various issues on DentistryIQ because they're very familiar with the tough challenges day-to-day practice can bring. All inquiries will be answered anonymously each Thursday here on DIQ.

About the Author

Team Troubleshooter

This weekly column on DentistryIQ features questions from everyday people who work in dental practices, who have issues they would like addressed by the experts. Those who regularly take the time to answer questions include Rebecca Boartfield, Patti DiGangi, Dr. Chris Salierno, Laura Hatch, Karen Daw, Jill Townsend, Lisa Marie Spradley, Shelley Renee, Judy Kay Mausolf, Robin Morrison, Paul Edwards ... and the list is growing.

Send your question or issue for an expert to address to [email protected].. You'll be glad you did.