Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dental Staff: Why To Choose Temporary-to-Hire

Is it time for your practice to add an additional staff member? You may want to consider Temporary-to-Hire. Whether you need a new Hygienist, Office Manager, Front Desk or Dental Assistant, adding a new staff member can be a daunting task. ETS Dental is ready to help by now offering a Temporary-to-Hire placement option.

So, why choose Temporary-to-Hire?

We spare you the tedious details involved in hiring. While the individual is a temp, he/she is not your employee. All applicable taxes, unemployment liabilities, and workers’ compensation are paid, in addition to the payroll process being managed for you.

Be sure you are getting the best person for your practice. Have you ever interviewed an outstanding candidate only to have him/her turn out to be someone totally different? Not only qualifications, but personality can affect quality of care, office dynamics, and even patient loyalty. With Temporary-to-Hire placements, the individual you select stays on our payroll for a predetermined period of time- consider it an extended working interview. This minimizes your risk by allowing you to evaluate the candidate on the job. At the end of the evaluation period, you can hire our candidate. If you decide at anytime during the temporary period the individual is not a fit, you can terminate the contract.

You can rest assured that you are being given the same quality candidates that you would be receiving for a direct placement. We specialize in finding and placing Dental Staff. We take the time to understand your requirements and the unique needs of your practice. If your situation is urgent, we often have candidates who are available immediately.

For a complete overview of our recruiting capabilities, please call me at (540)491-9112 or email me at You may also visit our website at

Written by Tiffany Worstell, Dental Staff Recruiter at ETS Dental

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Expectations of Dental Associateships

Associateships begin and fail everyday. Why do they fail so often? A simple way to answer this is that either or both sides failed to meet expectations. More specifically, the expectations were never even laid out at the beginning, so one side was letting down the other and never knew why or that he/she was doing this.

Some common feedback I get from owners when I ask them about their previous associates is that it didn't work because that doctor could not produce enough, or that doctor did not want to buy-in, or that doctor needed more mentoring than owner was willing/able to give.

Upfront communication during the interview process could have helped a lot of associateships succeed better, or simply never start in the first place. It is better to find the right person rather than hire the wrong person and have to repeat the interviewing and onboarding process over and over again.

What the owner/practice should lay out upfront:

(simple examples, not comprehensive)

  1. Production goals

  2. Required schedule

  3. Transition plans

  4. Associate's leadership role in the practice in relation to staff

  5. Compensation

  6. Whether the associate will have any say so in equipment, office systems, and staff management

  7. Insurance accepted by the practice

  8. Particular cases or situations which must be handled by the owner

  9. What must be referred out

What the associate prospect should lay out upfront:

(simple examples, not comprehensive)

  1. Income goals

  2. Transition or practice ownership goals

  3. Skill sets

  4. Comfort level with various cases and patient types

  5. Length of time willing to commit to a practice/area

Remember not to rush into hiring an associate or becoming an associate when you still have a lot of questions or uncertainties.

Related articles by ETS Dental you should check out:

  1. Will My New Associate Be Here In 6 Months?

  2. Associate Dentist Interview Tips

  3. Can your Dental Practice Support an Additional Dentist as an Associate or Partner?

  4. Resources for a Practice Owner Preparing to Interview Associate Candidates
Carl Guthrie is a Dental Recruiter with ETS Dental. He covers the Western U.S. Region. Carl can be reached at or

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Business Planning For Your Dental Practice

Dental Practice Owners: Are You Planning for a Record Year in 2011?

Every week, our team has hundreds of conversations with practice owners about their plans for the future. Some of our client practices are growing and want to add an Associate simply to keep up with demand. Others are seeking an Associate to replace a Partner or Associate who will be transitioning out of the practice. A number are interested in expanding their reach and acquiring other practices. Additionally, some owners are nearing the end of their career and looking for an exit strategy.

I am always amazed at how few practice owners take the time and effort every year to develop a business plan. Most of the truly successful practices we work with have a plan in place.

A business plan consists of three parts:
1) A statement of what you want your practice to be in the future
2) An assessment of where your practice is today
3) A realistic breakdown of the steps you need to get from where you are now, to where you want to be

You can do this! In fact, you should do it right now! You don’t need an MBA, CPA or Law degree to write a Business Plan for your Dental Practice. Certainly, advice from a trained professional is helpful, but in most cases you have what it takes to get the basics down on paper.


1. Develop a Mission/Vision Statement for your practice - Simply stated, why does your practice exist? Who do you serve? What do you offer to patients that they can’t get elsewhere?

  • Vision – Write out a compelling description of a future desired state of your practice. Make sure you can clearly picture what your practice will look like in the future. Think in terms of where you want to be. The purpose of the business plan is to lay out the steps between where you want to be and your current reality.

  • Values – What do you stand for? What are the guiding principals by which your practice operates? Write down what your values are. Values motivate us before we achieve a goal and determine how satisfied we are once we attain it. Does your current culture support your values?

2. Assess Current Reality – In a few paragraphs, summarize your results for 2010. It helps to look at your monthly financials.

  • Positive Effects on Growth: In what areas of your practice are you experiencing the most success? How do you optimize those to produce continued results?

  • Negative Effects on Growth: In what areas of your practice are you experiencing the most challenges? What do you need to change to obtain positive results?

  • Current Office Structure – Diagram current office structure. Will your current team, with their current duties and responsibilities, help you achieve the vision for your practice?

  • Equipment – What equipment, systems and software are you currently using? From a technology perspective do you have the tools you need? Or, are you underutilizing equipment and systems you currently own?

  • Understand your key metrics – What is the average per patient production for each Dentist and Hygienist in your practice?

  • SWOT – Draw a box with four quadrants: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Be honest with yourself. Give a lot of thought to each area.

3. What will your practice look like in 2015? – This is the fun part. Now is the time for specifics. There are plenty of ways to grow and be successful. In fact some practices even choose to shrink and be profitable. It is up to you.

  • Will you limit your practice to a certain type of patient base?

  • Will you cater to patient needs by expanding hours, days, and providers in your current facility?

  • Will you expand your facility to accommodate greater patient demand?

  • Will you expand your presence in a market by acquiring or building new practice locations?

  • How many patients will your practice treat?

  • What clinical services will you offer?

  • Will your equipment be all state-of-the-art?

  • Will your practice thrive because of your strong engagement with and ties to the community?

4. 2011 Key Initiatives – Decide on a small, achievable set of initiatives that will help move you toward your goal. In most cases, you can’t achieve your vision in just one year. But, you can take steps toward reaching it. Typically these initiatives fall into one of five categories:

  • Improving office efficiency – Improving your responsiveness to current patient demand by treating more patients; maintaining or improving the quality of care with the same number of resources (team members and operatories) by eliminating inefficiencies in your current systems and processes.

  • Broadening your level of services – Providing your patients with more clinical choices, which in turn improves the value and revenue from each patient visit.

  • Increase Demand – Do a better job of filling your team’s schedule through advertising, referral programs and/or adding new/profitable plans.

  • Add Capacity – Add new Dentists or Hygienists to your practice to satisfy demand. (Don’t take this step until you have the demand and efficiencies to add someone profitably).

  • Buy or create a new patient base – Serve a new patient pool by buying or starting a new practice.

5. Break your goals up into bite-sized chunks - Figure out what your 2011 objectives mean to each team member. It is critical that you involve your team. If you involve them in the process it will improve their buy-in to the plan. They will probably be the source of many of your best ideas. Define what the plan means to each team member:

  • Does it mean they need more training in a certain area?

  • Does it mean they need to schedule more efficiently?

  • Does it mean they need to improve recall?

6. Install Guardrails - Make sure each member knows their daily, weekly and monthly goals.

  • This is as simple as taking your annual goals and dividing them by the number of working days in a year.

  • The key to exceeding your goals every year is to exceed them every day.

  • Make it a routine to share results on a daily and weekly basis.

  • Reinforce how important each team member’s part is to the practice’s overall success.

  • Celebrate the daily and weekly victories.

7. Create a Budget - This is the tough part. Tips:

  • Zero-based budget – Challenge each cost. Don’t assume you have to pay for something this year, just because you did it last year.

  • Never count on revenue from a new hire or new initiative until it becomes a reality. Most practices count on a very rosy picture when a new team member joins their practice.

  • Fund new initiatives off the excess. Don’t buy something or hire someone unless you can survive a failure. Don’t borrow money and risk your practice because you think a new Associate, a new location, or a new piece of equipment will produce. Wait until you can afford a failure. “Plan for the worst, hope for the best”.

  • Budgeting is the toughest part of the process because it makes you say no to things you really want to do.

8. Print and Bind the Plan - Commit to the plan. Don’t just put it in your desk drawer.

  • Carry it with you.

  • Check progress weekly.

  • Refer to it in team meetings.

  • Get aggravated if you are falling behind.

  • Celebrate the little victories and share them with your team.

  • Bankers and perspective team members will LOVE you when you show them your plan.

You are the leader of your practice. Nobody will do it for you. If you are serious about growing your practice, offering new services, expanding your reach, serving new patients, preparing for a comfortable retirement, you need to write a Business Plan. If you haven’t done so already, start your plan today!

Written by Mark Kennedy, Owner/ Managing Director of ETS Dental, ETS Vision & ETS Tech-Ops. To talk to us about how we can help your practice, give us a call at (540) 563-1688. Find out more at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When To Start Looking For Your Next Associate

You are a dentist and an owner of a successful business. You know the value of planning and you feel that you are ready to take your practice to the next step by adding an associate. What you may not know is that it could take much longer than you realize to find the right associate who shares your vision, clinical philosophy and is willing to put in the hard work to make your dreams a reality.

Factors that affect the quality and depth of the talent pool

There are many blogs and articles that cover the demographics of the dental field. To summarize, there are much fewer new dentists entering the field than there are baby boomers who are retiring. At the same time, patient demand is increasing as a result of population increase and the increased care required by aging boomers. In short, supply is not adequate for demand.

In the past, the talent pool met demand. Now, the unemployment rate for dentists is practically nil. Practices seeking to add help quickly have no choice but to accept an associate from a meager pool, indeed. Will you be satisfied turning over your patients and your practice’s future to just anyone?

Finding the right talent

We have been recruiting associates, partners, buyers and staff for dental practices for many years. We can confidently say that the best associate for your office is likely working with another practice. Our most successful placements were actively employed out of the area when we first came into contact with them. Is their spouse from your area? Do they share your clinical philosophy? What would cause them to leave their current job for a better match? We ask these questions and are able to make the best connections from a nationwide pool of contacts in our network. A successful practice owner simply does not have the time or the means to identify, contact and screen all the dentists who could be a match.

How long does the interview process take?

To answer this question, we analyzed data from our last 250 placements spanning a period close to two and a half years. We found that the average time between the first phone interview and a signed contract was 1 month and 26 days. During this time, practice owners and associate candidates typically have 5-7 phone interviews, two in-person meetings, complete reference checks and negotiate contract terms.

Now that you have an agreement, when can the associate start?

Keep in mind that the dentist who shares your practice philosophy, has the necessary experience and whose personality does not drive you and your staff crazy is likely already employed. He or she will have to give notice. Would you want an associate who would abandon a previous employer? There may also be other factors such as relocation, completing cases, and/or finishing a residency or a military obligation. The average time between an agreement and the actual start date is 2 months and 20 days.


It will take an average of 4 months and 16 days from the first conversation to the start date. That does not account for the difficulty in sourcing candidates. Many factors will affect your ability to source candidates:

  • Practice location: A small city or rural environment could require more sourcing time than a similar practice in a dental school city.

  • Practice type: Do you see Medicaid? Do you have a niche practice? This will limit the number of interested or qualified candidates.

  • Specialty: Do you own a specialty practice?

  • Clinical Philosophy: Are you a Pankey doctor? Do you provide sleep dentistry services? Extra training will limit your options.

As you plan for your next associate, be sure to allow yourself enough time to consider all of your options. Remember, hiring the wrong dentist can cost you thousands.

Written by Morgan Pace, Sr Account Executive/ Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Morgan at (540)491-9102 or Find out more at

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bureau of Labor Statistics Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published its employment numbers for the month of October this morning. We asked Kitchen PR to put together a short summary and analysis of the numbers.

An Analysis of Today's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Report

The full report can be seen here:

Total U.S. non-farm employment rose by 151,000 positions in October, according to the Labor Department, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent for a third month. In total, the private sector added 159,000 jobs, while the public sector lost 8,000 positions, with the most substantial loss being 14,200 non-education local government positions.

Of the 829,000 total gains in private sector employment over the last 12 months, 451,000 positions were with temporary staffing agencies. October, however, saw one of the most substantial gains yet in permanent positions, with additions spread across the services-providing sector. Seasonally adjusted, retail trade added 27,900 jobs from every category except building materials and gas stations. After an unexpected decrease of average weekly private sector earnings in September, earnings rebounded to an average of $779.64 per week in October.

BLS - November 2010

The total number of unemployed people who were either laid off or completed temporary assignments fell to 9.1 million in October, the figure’s lowest level since April of 2009. Among workers who most recently held jobs in management, professional and related occupations, the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in October, down from 4.7 percent a year ago.

While October saw the first gains in total U.S. employment since May, private sector employment has expanded now for 10 consecutive months. Stimulus spending helped fuel a bump in private sector hiring in April of 241,000 jobs. Since then, the impact of stimulus spending has worn off; yet, private hiring has slowly increased its gains to the level we see today. Conventional wisdom says the United States needs to add in excess of 150,000 jobs to make up for the overall population growth, a rate we are at last achieving. Should private sector growth continue on the trajectory seen over the last six months, U.S. unemployment should begin easing in Q1 2011.

Provided by MRI Network and Executive Talent Search. Find out how ETS can help your career by visiting us at ETS Dental,; ETS Vision,; and ETS Tech-Ops,; or by calling (540) 563-1688.

Friday, October 29, 2010

An Aging Workforce Creates New Opportunities for Employers

The average life expectancy for someone born in 1950 is 68.2 years. For someone just ten years older, born in 1940, their life expectancy is 62.9 years and for someone born in 1988, likely just about to be graduating college and beginning a career, their life expectancy is 74.9 years.

While the U.S. retirement age, as defined by the Social Security Administration, is in the process of gradually increasing from 65 to 67, the length of retirements invariably is on the cusp of a sharp increase. The percentage of the employed U.S. workforce that is over the age of 55 has nearly doubled from a low of 12 percent in 1993 to 19.8 percent in January of 2010.

When people do enter retirement, however, they are in better shape both physically and mentally than ever before.

“The last decade has seen a redefinition of what retirement should and can be,” notes Tony McKinnon, who himself came out of retirement to become president of MRINetwork two years ago. “Retirees represent a growing population which workforce managers can tap into in new and unique ways.”

Keeping older workers on the payroll was once thought of as a deficit—they are often the highest paid, carry large healthcare costs, and sometimes have only limited computer skills—but that equation can change. Hiring contract staffers, who have already retired, lets companies bring on board top talent who have completed their traditional careers—sometimes at a competing company—and who are willing and able to continue to work.

These workers may only want to work part-time and won’t have as much interest in collecting benefits as full-time staff, yet, can offer the perspective and experience of decades in an industry. At a time when many retirees and near-retirees have lost substantial chunks of their savings, more seniors will also be looking for supplemental income than ever before.

“It has become increasingly common for companies to hire retirees as consultants, but it’s normally on an ad-hoc basis. Now is a good time for these post-retirement positions to become a formalised part of the org chart,” says McKinnon. “Not only are the number of candidates for such positions swelling, in the wake of the Great Recession, many organizations are giving long-term perspectives more deference than they have received in the recent past.”

McKinnon notes that some of the most obvious positions for post-retirement contractors to fill could be ombudsmen, mentors, or general strategic or advisory positions.

“After a downturn is a great opportunity for companies to reexamine every element of their business. Making large structural changes now will cost less and can potentially have greater rewards than changes made at the top of an economic cycle,” says McKinnon. “Not only are post-retirement contractors an example of the type of opportunity that exists to change the way things are done, once aboard, they can help to temper the degree to which changes are made.“

He continues, “While companies want to stay on the cutting edge coming out of recession, the sage advice of contractors who have already worked an entire career can balance that goal with decades of experience and keep a company off the bleeding edge.”

Presented by ETS Dental, Phone: (540) 563-1688, Website:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Key to a SUCCESSFUL Private Practice

As a dentist, your main focus is to be able to take care of the oral health of the patients you serve. The clinical scope of your job is broad, and it is what you spend the majority of your time in the office each day doing. It is, after all, why you went to dental school and what pays the bills.

In private practice, the job of a dentist does not end there. One must also be a businessman/woman in order to successfully run a dental practice. This involves hiring and overseeing staff, implementing systems that will allow you to chart treatment, running an accounting department to bill patients, paying expenses and employees, all while making sure that you are keeping expenses lower than revenues in order to insure a profit margin that allows you to live the life you want.

This leads me to one of the most important hats a dentist wears in running a successful practice. Being a salesman! Selling treatment plans is the key to achieving the financial viability of a successful practice. This can be daunting and it is the part of private practice that many dentists know the least about and dread the most. It does not have to be that way.

The concept of how to be successful in achieving a high rate of treatment acceptance is actually quite simple and is based on what is found to be a common denominator in the successful sales people across all businesses. It is asking the right questions or asking the “Golden Question.”*

Rather than talking and talking and having your patient glaze over, you need to ask: “When you think about proceeding with treatment, what are your main concerns?"*. Having the answer to this empowers you to be able to address what is most important to the patient. If one understands their patients’ concerns clearly and addresses them succinctly as they discuss treatment, their case presentation conversations become amazingly effective.

*, “The Golden Question for Case Presentation” by Dr. Ryan Swain.

Written by Gary Harris, Dental Specialist Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Gary at (540) 491-9115 or Check us out at

Friday, October 15, 2010

Utilize Your Recruiter

Does your office have a need for a new Associate? Are you looking for a partner for your practice? Let an ETS Dental Recruiter make this happen for you quickly and efficiently.

Here are a few tips that I hope you will find helpful when working with a recruiter:

  • Be timely in responding to the candidates presented. The candidates ETS Dental refer to you have been thoroughly screened and interviewed before their information has been sent. It is imperative that you reach out to the candidate within a day or two, either by phone or email, to acknowledge that you are interested in meeting at a mutually arranged time.

  • Keep in mind that strong candidates are considering more than one opportunity. If you want to hire the candidate with the strongest credentials, you must act quickly.

  • Provide feedback to your Recruiter. This is an extremely important point. It helps us make sure that we are presenting the appropriate candidates for your review. If you have received information on a candidate that you do not wish to move ahead with, respond immediately to your Recruiter so that the candidate can be notified, and we can find other prospects that better suit your needs.

  • Finally, remember what it was like for you when you were searching for an Associate position. Strive to make the interview experience a positive and professional impression for the candidate.

Working together, we can make your hiring process both a gratifying and productive experience.

Written by Marsha Hatfield-Elwell, Regional Recruiter/Account Executive at ETS Dental. You can reach Marsha directly at (540) 491-9116 or Find out more at

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Growing Again From a New Starting Point

The United States is more than a year removed from the official end of the recession, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Yet, the most common question on the lips of business leaders seems to be, "Really?" After 20 years of the most stunning economic growth and technological advancement in human history, the definition of what normal growth is may have changed. Current projections for real GDP growth are between 2 and 3 percent for much of the immediate future.

Economies around the world have strengthened to a point where a double-dip recession is increasingly unlikely, but a slow rate of growth seems unavoidable. Many of the key reasons for recent growth, both real (introduction of computers, the Internet) and artificial (credit bubbles), have either run their course or been removed from the market entirely. Technological advancements will always continue to increase productivity, but the boost seen in the last two decades may not be duplicated for a long time to come, and that will lead to less immediate growth.

"Looking at the economy on a global level, we are out of the woods, but we still have a long way to go," says Tony McKinnon, president of MRINetwork. "The natural rate of growth for companies over the next five years isn’t going to be what we experienced before the recession. Success is going to be hard earned, and even more of that success will be driven by the performance of impact players than ever before."

For evidence of the slow, but steady state of the recovery, one needs to look no further than private employment levels. The top line number—total U.S. non-farm employment—has bounced up and down wildly in recent months. This volatility has been the result of both temporary census positions coming then going, combined with large local government layoffs. Yet, private employment has settled into a slow, steady rate of growth.

In August, on a seasonally unadjusted basis, private employment was up year-over-year for the first time since early 2008 and the first months of the recession. In economic terms, the labor market has established a new equilibrium from which it can grow, and this is the general trend being seen across the economic indicators.

“We are likely past where we might have seen a large post-recession bump. We are already at a place where growth is happening again,” says McKinnon. “Rather than looking back and seeing where we were, it is time to look forward and see the business opportunities that lay ahead.”

Two years of low labor liquidity first caused job openings to dry up, then uncertainty caused candidates to question the safety of changing positions. Mixed with the job dissatisfaction a recession naturally causes, today’s passive candidate market may be as rich as it has been in years.

“If you’ve spent the last two years saying you were going to start hiring as soon as things turned around, this is that time. The recovery has been more anticlimactic than we were all hoping,” notes McKinnon, “but the recession is over. It’s time to staff up, and go fight for your slice of the pie.”

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Employee Onboarding- Ideas For Making a New Employee Feel Welcome

The new employee orientation and mainstreaming process is known as “employee onboarding.” Keeping in mind that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, your practice should make absolutely sure that new hires feel welcomed, valued, and prepared for what lies ahead during your new employee orientation or onboarding process.

Below is a checklist to assist in bringing your new employees “on board”.

  • Schedule weekly calls from acceptance to start date to inform the new employee of practice initiatives, updates and even social events that they are welcome to attend.

Continue to convey your excitement to the new employee in having them join your team by:

  • Sending an email to your employees/close colleagues/vendors announcing the start date of your new hire. Include contact information for the new employee (with their permission) and be sure to cc them.

  • Having others in the practice call the new employee to congratulate and welcome them and to share contact information.

  • Sending a welcome packet of items to the new employee like a company shirt, branded notepads, pens or role-specific tools or resources. Call to follow up.

  • Sending a gift to the spouse/family/significant other welcoming them to the new practice ‘family’. Call to follow up and personally welcome them.

  • Assigning a mentor or peer to call the new employee pre-start date for questions big and small; ensure they’re available for the new hire post-start date.

The mentor assigned to them shares information about the community by:

  • Furnishing all the information that relates to family activities, schools, churches, sports activities, etc.

  • Taking your new hire and spouse/significant other out dinner to connect on a personal level before the start date, even if they live outside your area. A plane ticket is much cheaper than starting the process over.

If there is a relo, make sure…

  • They have all the information and services they need.

  • You book flights for their first day and interim living arrangements.


  • Give them an agenda on what their onboarding plan will look like, including their start time & exact location, and ask for their input.

  • Have HR send the new hire paperwork, including benefits.

  • Update your website and make any industry-related announcements.

  • Have their desk set up with supplies, business cards, logins for email, voice mail and other related technology, pass codes, etc.

  • Show the employee their new work space if the new employee is local.

  • Notify payroll of new hire and cc the new employee to ensure signing or relocation bonuses are available on day one.

  • Have the entire office sign a welcome card that is waiting on their desk.

  • Offer to take new employee to breakfast/lunch on start date or send them an invitation to their welcome party scheduled on their first day of work.


Written by Rob Knezovich, Regional Recruiter/ Account Executive for ETS Dental. You can reach Rob at (540) 491-9107 or

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why Dentists Don't Get Hired

You have sent out dozens of resumes and yet no response or you have had an interview but no further contact from the prospective employer.  Is it them? Is it you? 

Employers over interview often to ensure that they find the best fit for the position and for the business.  All too often they interview candidates, hire someone, but then never bother to follow up with those who did not get the position to simply let them know the position is filled.   Therefore, you never really get to understand what it was you did or did not do that ruled you out of contention. 

Recently, MSN Careers and CareerBuilder wrote an article "Not Getting Hired? 10 Reasons Why."  Good article, and in my experience as a dental recruiter I have seen all of these points first hand.    I have taken their list and related to some Dentistry examples.

1.  You are not honest
The dental community is relatively small, and your history as a clinician will come to light if you are not honest.  In a 2008 CareerBuilder survey, 49 percent of hiring managers reported they caught a candidate lying on their resume; of those 57 percent said they automatically dismissed the applicant.  Inventing details or inflating facts will not help you in the long run.  You will be found out eventually. 

2.  You use foul language or speak ill of past employers
Dentistry, while a relatively tight knit community, is still very diverse.  There are doctors of all backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, etc.  If you are one that feels very at ease and comfortable with new people that is great, but don't let your guard down and just say anything.  Foul language is not appreciated by all, and you can quickly turn a great interview bad with this. 

This same point applies to speaking about your most recent employer.  While tempting to tell how awful the past employer was.  Don't say it.  44% of employers said that talking negatively about other employers was one of the most detrimental mistakes a candidate can make.  Instead of speaking ill of past employers, simply state that you are looking for an opportunity where you will feel like more of the team.

3.  You do not demonstrate the ability to stay long-term
Too many dentists start positions with practices without a strong, long-term commitment.  They just want to "test drive" the practice to see if it will be a good fit.  This is a view that will be detrimental to your job search.  Employers want to see that you have the drive and desire to join them for a long-term future.  When asked, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years," you should answer that question with something regarding that position or the company you're interviewing with.

4.  Google and Facebook reveals too much about you
Nearly 45% of employers use social networking sites to research candidates.  35% of them reported dismissing candidates because of something they found.  If you are on social networking sites, be sure to check your privacy settings, and search for your name on Google, Bing, and Yahoo to see what comes up.  Make sure your Profile Pictures are not risqué or demonstrate poor character to potential employers.

5.  You know nothing about the employer
Learn about the company or practice you are interviewing with.  Check the website, Google them and read articles, reviews, or anything else you can find.  You should then write down some questions and notes for the interview.  It is better to go in with prepared notes rather than shoot from the hip.

6.  You were bored or arrogant
Be enthusiastic, and try to learn and understand as much as possible about the practice.  Point out the things that appeal to you.  Ask questions.  42% of the time arrogance cost applicants the job.

7.  Too much personal information
Stick to the professional points.  It is not necessary to bring up a lot of details regarding race, age, religion, etc.  It can open you up to bias. 

8.  You jump straight to money
Money is important, but it is not the only point of discussion.  You as the applicant should not bring up compensation before the employer.  All too often I have seen doctors hired because the money was right, but the fit was not.  Make sure that there is a strong mutual interest and comfort level.  That goes a lot farther than money.

9.  You can’t prove what you say about your experience
Prove what you say.  If your monthly production is $50,000 per month bring in printouts from you last position proving such.  Also, be able to present cases that back up what you have stated you are competent at clinically. 

10.  You lack experience
Be able to explain and demonstrate, with examples, experience in a given job position.  This goes a long way in showing why you should be considered.  Refer back to #9.

Carl Guthrie is the Western U.S. Account Executive and Recruiter for ETS Dental.  He can be reached at or 540-491-9104.   ETS Dental is a Denatl Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Can your Dental Practice Support an Additional Dentist as an Associate or Partner?

All to often I speak with practice owners that say they would like to add an associate dentist, but after speaking to them I find that they lack the revenues, patient base, or planning to really make this happen. First and foremost, as a practice owner, you have to ask the question, "Why do I want/need an associate?"

Reasons I often hear are: "I am much to busy to keep up with the demand on my practice." "It is time I start transitioning ownership over the next 3+ years." "I want to work less." These are decent starts, but you have to take a look at several other factors.

Is the practice productive enough with one doctor?

You need to determine the number of truly active patients in the practice. A single practitioner needs at least 1500 active patients over 12 to 18 months. You also need to be grossing at a minimum $750,000 annually. Also, considers the types of cases. If your cases are generally very large producers then you patient count may be lower. Bringing on an associate dentist if you practice is doing less than the following will most likely cost you, the practice owner, money. Not make more.

Do you have enough patients for a new doctor?

You need to plan on several things in order to ensure your new associate will be busy and productive. You need to have at an excellent new patient flow. You are most likely not willing to give up your own active patients. That cost you. Marketing, is going to have to be addressed. If you only get 15 to 20 new patients per month you will have to step up the efforts to get more so your associate can work. Take a look at inactive patient records as well, and see what you can do to reach out to them, and get them back.

Do you have enough space?

How many ops do you need on the days that you work?  Do you have op(s) for your hygienist(s)?  If you are working in all of the operatories then where will this associate work?  Space is cruicial to having a successful and committed associate.

What do you normally refer out?

If you are referring out molar endo, oral surgery, or implants you should target associates that can add more value to your practice. Associates with the ability to do these procedures in your practice simply adds to your bottom line. More and more practices are taking this approach. NOTE: if you are looking to add an associate with these skills then you will have to be willing to invest in the necessary instruments and equipment required.

Is this your exit strategy?

If you are hiring an associate with the goal of transitioning out then you need a detailed, written plan for what will happen and when. Talk about these thing up front with candidates. Show them the plan. This allows the potential associate to know what is expected. Let the associate have input, and expect negotiation.

Do you know what Associate Dentist expect to be paid?

You have been in practice for 20+ years. You were paid $70,000 a year as an associate when you first graduated Dental School. Associates candidates now making around $120,000 in a good private practice associateship.

All in all you have to plan well ahead and make sure this will benefit you, your practice, and your associate.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Advice to 3rd & Rising 4th Year Dental Students

For me, the end of the summer is always marked by three things- the start of college football practice, back to school sales, and daily calls and emails from Dental Students wanting to get the jump on their job search. As one who always waited until the last minute to do projects or write papers in school, I admire those dental students that are acting so far in advance. Unfortunately, there is rarely anything that I can do except tell them to keep in touch until practices are ready to start interviewing, which is usually in the fall or spring of the year they graduate.

In the meantime, there are several things that D3s and D4s can do to better position themselves to get their dream jobs. I recently traded emails with a very proactive rising D3 who had some well thought out questions:

What can a D3 do to better position himself/herself to get a job after graduation?

Be active. Take part in activities that allow you to form relationships with doctors who live and work in the area where you want to settle after dental school. If possible, sit in on the local dental meetings. If your dental school allows you to work in outreach programs or to spend summers working in private practices, do so. Dental clubs and fraternities are also a good source to expand your network. Often the best opportunities are not those that are advertised in the local association newsletter. To get in on the best positions you have to know people or know people who know people. The larger your network, the better your chances of having the right contact. Of course, if you are not careful and you get a bad reputation, this will work against you. You should be careful to consider this when posting to Facebook or other social media outlets.

In competitive interviews, what distinguishes those who are offered the best positions?

Personality is very important but the most successful candidates are those who have done the most. That is to say, these dental students exceeded their minimum graduation requirements. Those that extracted hundreds of teeth on a mission trip or who finished their requirements early and took on additional training or who used their assigned patients to ask for referrals to additional patients are those that truly stood out and who had no problem lining up a good job after school. If you are a go-getter who takes your training seriously and who is willing to go above and beyond to land the implant or veneer case, you are exactly who a successful practice owner wants to hire.

How difficult is it to get financing these days?

Luckily, there are a few lenders who have programs designed specifically for dental practices. They know what to look for and so are in a position to loan money when a local back wouldn't understand the risks involved. Matsco (owned by Wells Fargo) and Bank of America are two that come to mind. I have had the best results with Matsco, but I understand that Bank of America is sometimes more flexible. A benefit of going through a dental-specific lender is that they have a support network in place. They offer business coaching, help you develop a business plan, and provide other resources. The funds available to you right out of school are not likely to be sufficient to allow you to open your own practice, but after 1-2 years of experience, you will have a much larger pool of funds to draw from.

What should I consider when deciding where to practice?

One of the biggest mistakes dental students make is trying to stick around in their dental school city. It is a matter of supply and demand. Dental school cities have far more competitive job markets and generally offer far lower long-term income potential as there are fewer patients per doctor. To a lesser extent, going to the big cities is also a bad idea. For instance, The Washington DC area attracts graduates from Howard, UMBC and VCU but is also a hot spot for dental school grads from all over the country. Atlanta, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle are all very difficult job markets. With a bit of experience, these areas can be rewarding, but most dentists will always struggle to earn as much in the big cities as their classmates in other areas. When you factor in the cost of living, the disparity increases. Consider looking at second tier cities that often provide a high quality of life at a lower cost and with greater income potential.

Here are some other blogs with useful information to a dental student:

Joining a private practice vs. a group:

Words of wisdom from the Indianapolis Dental Society:

Job seeker tips for new graduates and residents:

What hiring practices are looking for:

Cover letters:

Landing the best associate position:

Interview Tips:

Resources for those entering the dental job market:

If you are a third of fourth year dental student or a recent graduate, I welcome your questions or insights.

Written by Morgan Pace, Recruiter/ Account Executive at ETS Dental. You can reach Morgan at (540)491-9102 or Find out more at

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Traditional Practice vs Group Practice

Twenty years ago, the vast majority of dentists were solo practitioners who called their own shots and ran their own businesses. Today, group practices represent a significant percentage of the market and now provide an alternative to traditional solo practice. At this point in your career, which setting is right for you?

We have placed hundreds of dentists in both group and traditional settings. While walking a job seeker through the decision process, we consistently hear the same set of “pros and cons” offered for both settings. Here is an overview that we hope will prove helpful to any dentist considering a new position.

There are many types of group practices. For the purposes of this blog I will define traditional practices as those that have a sole practitioner or two partner doctors. Group practices include corporate groups, offices run by practice management companies, and private practices with three or more doctors.

Traditional Practice:


• More income potential as a practice owner or partner
• Freedom to run the office as you see fit
• Freedom to pursue your own clinical interests
• Equity position is more likely


• Complete responsibility for the practice
• Many hours of administrative work outside of clinical hours
• Balancing clinical CE with business development training
• Practice growth is your responsibility

Group Practice:


• Limited or no administrative responsibilities
• Limited or no time required outside of office hours
• Reduced overhead could improve compensation
• Collegial setting
• Larger marketing budget
• Ability to specialize within practice
• Mentors available – clinical and business
• CE program in place
• Ability to negotiate higher fees from insurance companies
• More funds for equipment and technological upgrades
• More common to find benefits packages include group health insurance, 401K, and more


• Less clinical autonomy
• Less or no control on business of the practice
• More colleagues to disagree with
• Quality of colleagues work reflects on you
• Less freedom to pursue niche
• Equity position less likely
• Higher staff turnover

This is certainly not a complete list of all the varying aspects of these two settings. I welcome your comments with any additional Pros or Cons.

Written by Morgan Pace, Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Morgan at (540) 491-9102 or To find out more, check us out at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Is It Time To Bring A Dental Specialist Into Your Practice?

You have worked hard over the years to build your practice into the vision you had in dental school, steadily building a loyal patient base by providing high quality dentistry at a competitive price. You may have even added an associate over the years to handle the ever increasing demand, but you have now encroached the limits of how many patients your practice can see. The question now is, what should I do to handle the load?

Your first thought might be to add another general practitioner. This could be the answer, but one has to consider what is needed to make this work out the best for everyone involved. Ask yourself if you have the physical capacity to add another GP? This may require an expansion to add a couple of more operatories and related equipment. Secondly, unless you are booked out far in advance you may also have to do additional marketing to bring in new patients to be able to keep a new doctor busy. You may even have to look at accepting new insurances or even accepting Medicaid. When adding it all up, you may find that it is really not the best option at this time.

But wait! There is another approach that could very well take the stress off of your tight schedule, maximize the use of your current space, increase practice revenues and add services that you are able offer to your patients. The answer might be to bring a dental specialist into your practice on a part-time basis.

For instance, you and your associate are currently each working a 4-day work week. You already have the space that is unused at least one day per week, so there is no need to expand the physical aspects of your practice. With a very busy practice, you are probably referring out a good deal of work to a specialty practice and are seeing those revenues walk out the door. Whether it be an Endodontist, Periodontist, Oral Surgeon or other specialist, your practice can actually keep approximately 50% of those lost revenues in house by hiring a specialist to come in one day per week to see those patients in need. By having the services of a specialist in-house, you are also able to increase patient satisfaction and retention.

All in all, adding a dental specialist may be the answer to your capacity challenges. There are many practices out there that are benefiting greatly by this type of arrangement. There are also a good number of specialists who prefer to work in multiple offices each week. It tends to be a win – win –win for everyone involved…the practice owner, the specialist and the patient.

How do I find that Dental Specialist to join my practice? One way is to call me. I work with practices all across the country to provide Dental Specialists for their hiring needs. I will be happy to discuss your need and attempt to find the person that would be the answer to your challenges.

Posted by Gary Harris, Dental Specialist Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Gary at (540) 491-9115 or Find out more at

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Creating a Team Environment

Do you need to jumpstart your office with a new attitude? Try looking at each member of your team as an individual and appreciate what each is able to contribute to the office, as well as to the overall success of the business. Encourage teambuilding and create an atmosphere of respect at all levels.

Teamwork and cooperation are the core of success. Without compassion and trust for one another, people cannot work together as teams, nor are they able to work at their highest potential. When fear is present, individuals work harder at protecting their security and their image than in conducting creative, productive, and consistent work activities.

Find out more at:

Written by Marsha Hatfield-Elwell, Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Marsha at (540) 491-9116 or Check us out at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Great Tips and Words of Wisdom from your Dental Colleagues in Indianapolis!

See the link below for the full story.

For the current student and new graduate:
1. Learn more about the business of dentistry.
2. Take CE classes outside of the dental school to gain a real world perspective.
3. Begin the search for a position earlier and look at more out-of-state opportunities.
4. Know what you want to gain out of your first position (ie. partnership, hours, mentorship, compensation etc.) and look beyond the financial incentives.
5. Talk to as many dentists as you can before getting out of school.

For the practicing dentist or practice owner:
1. Join the local Chamber of Commerce
2. On partnerships, focus on your relationship with your potential partner. Do you genuinely enjoy their company and feel they have your best interest at heart?
3. Hire staff for attitude and integrity.
4. Talk to dentists you know about everything from equipment and staffing to financial planning.
5. Keeping average employees too long instead of recruiting the best.

Written by Rob Knezovich, Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Rob at (540) 491-9107 or Find out more at

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Owner Dentist seeks more vacation, shared responsibilities, and a structured plan for retirement.

The solution to this problem may be entering into a partnership with another dentist. Partnership can be a great opportunity for owner dentists to share responsibilities, give the freedom to take additional time off and create a structured plan for your retirement. Finding the right person to partner with is a very important part of this process, but there must also be a documented plan for building and maintaining this relationship.

In my experience as a dental recruiter, I often run across Associates who have spent several years working as a successful member of a group practice but left disappointed because they were offered the opportunity to buy-in to the practice only after they played a significant role in growing the practice to its current size. When this happens, the owner loses a valuable member of the team and the Associate often becomes discouraged and skeptical about joining another practice.

The key to avoiding this as an owner dentist is to have a detailed, documented plan in place when you hire the Associate. This process is not limited to, but should include:

· Having an appraisal done prior to the Associate joining the practice

· Documenting the payment terms and timeline for the buy-in

· Helping the Associate build their patient base as they are starting out

· Establishing your goals and timeline for retirement up-front

· Discussing management styles and clinical philosophies before you hire him/her

· Being an effective communicator

· Understanding the Associate's personal and professional goals

Establishing a partnership is not an easy thing to do, but the hard work will definitely be worth it as it can allow you to share some of the burdens associated with managing and running a business and significantly reduce the stress of ownership. With this freedom you can enjoy more quality time with family and relax knowing that you have a plan for the future.

Written by Marcia Patterson, Dental Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Marcia at (540) 491-9118 or Find out more at

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What To Do and Not To Do At A Job Interview

Why is it that some people stand out more in an interview? What are those people doing, or not doing, that makes them make a more favorable impression? The following article has some great tips for your next interview and some humorous real life examples of interview blunders.

Written by Tiffany Worstell, Dental Staff Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Tiffany at (540) 491-9112 or Find out more at

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Job Seeker Tips for New Dental Graduates and Residents

By Carl Guthrie

New Dental graduates are officially entering the job market this month, and Dental Residents are completing their programs in just a few more weeks.  Here are a few tips and reminders. 

1.  New associates need to understand that private practices vary widely in the ways they are operated.  The owners that are successful and need to hire are obviously successful and have a system that works for them.  If this is the first associate hire for the owner, things will change as progress is made along the learning curve.  If the practice has had a successful run with associates in the past, then the owner will most likely be less adaptable since he/she knows what type of doctor works out.

2.  Do not rely on everything you heard in dental school.  New doctors do not make $120,000 or more in every practice.  Some earn $90,000 or less.  There are many schools of thought across the country of how an associate agreement should be created.  Be prepared for contradictions of what you think you know.

3.  Owners are focused on what you, as an associate, will do for the practice.  A job seeker needs to always be aware that he/she is selling something to a prospective employer.  The owner in many areas has some choices in who to hire, or the owner is in a position to wait for who he/she believes is the “right fit.”  When applying and/or interviewing for positions, present what you as a potential associate will bring to the table in terms of skills, production, philosophies, and work ethic.  Do not jump to what the practice will do for you.  You must create YOUR value first.

4.  Return the phone call.  You still cannot get a job or an interview by solely email or text message.  If you get a call back in regards to a position then you must return that call ASAP. 

5.  You cannot overdress.  Got the interview? Wear a coat and tie.  No excessive jewelry, perfume/cologne, or facial hair.  Use common sense in your preparation here.

6.  Check your ego at the door.  Owners want to hire a confident associate, but they do not want to hire one that is overly confident or conceited.  Be grateful for the interview.

7.  All the bells and whistles do not make the practice.  We all like shiny new things and the latest technologies, but some practice have not quite made that leap yet.  This does not mean it is automatically a bad deal.  I have seen most, if not all, associate deals break because of personality conflicts or philosophical differences.  Never have I heard a doctor quit because the practice did not have digital x-ray.

8.  You and all your dentist friends will not find employment in the same city.  The most popular cities are often the hardest places to find employment.  Even though you believe a certain area is a great place to live, you still need to research the potential of finding a job before making your final relocation decision.

Carl Guthrie is the Western Region Recruiter and Account Executive for ETS Dental.  He can be reached at or 540-491-9104.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Will My New Associate Be Here In 6 Months?

As recruiters, we are frequently asked, “What is your success rate?”.

We took a look at the placement history of more than 1,200 dentists we’ve placed over the past nine years. 93% of the Dentists we’ve placed in full-time positions with independent practices and clinics were with their new employer after six months. In calculating this number we did not include five “high turn-over” practices and two practice-management clients. We also did not count any Dentist who did not make it through their first week “working interview”.

Lessons Learned:

• Practice owners should interview multiple Associate candidates – If you limit your candidate pool to the few you can find by networking with local suppliers or running a local advertisement you are severely limiting your chances of finding the best candidate. It typically takes our recruiters 1,300 networking phone or email contacts to make a placement. The majority of Dentists we place relocate from somewhere else. Most have ties to the area. When a practice asks us to conduct a search we:

  • Reach out to any Dentist candidate who has previously expressed interest in a similar opportunity. (We’ve interviewed more than 15,000 dentists and have contact information for more than 80,000 others)

  • Post on more than a dozen web sites, including Monster and CareerBuilder. receives more Dentist inquiries than either of these major sites.

  • Constantly reach out to military Dentists who will soon be ending their commission.

  • Network with soon-to-be Dental School and Residency grads.

  • Screen and present all viable Associate candidates, not just the one or two who happen to read the local Dental journal or advertisement in the Sunday paper.

• Full-disclosure is critical – Contrary to popular belief, when an Associate relationship doesn’t work out, it typically has little to do with an Associates’ clinical skills. Typically the Associate and the practice had not come to a clear understanding of their respective needs and expectations.

• Discuss everything up-front – We’ve seen a number of well meaning practice owners and associate candidates decide to “work something out” after the Associate starts, rather than addressing the issue up-front during the interview and negotiation process. Compensation issues, scheduling, support, clinical philosophies and long-term goals should all be discussed prior to an offer or contract is extended.

• Be Prepared to Hire – With the exception of a few saturated Dental school cities, there is truly a shortage of Dentists. A solid Associate candidate often has the choice of multiple opportunities. Many practices lose outstanding Associate candidates simply because they weren’t prepared.

The work you do up front in recruiting and preparing for your new Associate will pay dividends for years to come.

Written by Mark Kennedy, Managing Director of ETS Dental. Find out more at

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Secret Lives of Dentists

I remember the first time that I ran into my family dentist in town rather than in his office. I was a teenager at the time, so I should not have been shocked that my dentist had interests other than plaque removal and collecting issues of Highlights. In reflecting on this incident I got to thinking. What do dentists do when they aren’t in the office?

As a grown up (sort of), I now have the answer.


I am a recruiter who focuses on finding associates, partners or buyers for dental practices around the country. As such, I have access to over 30,000 CVs and resumes saved in our computer system. Using our software’s keyword search functionality I was able to query the system for key words as they appear in the Hobbies and Interests sections of those documents. Keep in mind, only 10% of CVs or resumes list personal hobbies or interests. Also, certain keywords (running, reading, writing) appeared too often in job related descriptions and so are not included. Still, the results are fascinating, even if not altogether scientific.


Dentists are an active, open minded group. Over 90% list travel as a key interest or hobby. Of course, the dental industry magazines are filed with ads for CE events in exotic and otherwise beautiful locations, so this comes as no surprise.

Dentists are also avid participants in sports. 30% list an interest in “sports” while those who mention specific sports prefer Golf (18%) over Basketball (17%) and Tennis (16%). Others of note: Soccer (12%), Football (10%), Volleyball (7%), Baseball (5%) and Hockey (3%). Cricket comes in as a statistically irrelevant 1%. Incidentally, Yankees fans mentioned their team by name more than Red Sox fans by a 5-4 margin.

Outside of traditional sports, Dentists also enjoy skiing (14%), swimming (14%) and long walks on the beach (13%). Yoga trumps Aerobics and Pilates 4% to 1.4% and 1%, respectively. 9% enjoy camping while 6% garden and 4% appreciate the outdoors in general.

The arts are clearly an important outlet. Painting is the preferred release of 9%. 2% prefer poetry. Music is listed by 23%. Dancing occupies the evenings of 7% while 4% prefer to play guitar and 3% like to sing. Those 3% are brave souls - karaoke received a scant 6 total mentions. Presumably that 3% sing sober, but 2% of dentists enjoy wine enough to mention it on their CVs. Only one claimed to be a “partier”. 18% enjoy cooking and 5% confess to shopping.

Collecting is a passive hobby. 1.1% collect coins, .8% collect stamps and .4% collect antiques. 7% prefer to spend their quiet time watching a good movie.

Horseback riding stimulates 3.7% of dentists. 3.4% prefer to drive with 1.2% of those enjoying a good race. Safety first, though. Fast cars (3%) are preferred to motorcycles (.5%).

Companionship is important to all of us. While a keyword search of “family” returned too many unrelated results, it was also an extremely popular mention. Pets are also popular with dogs preferred over cats by more than 3-1.

While not representative of most dentists, we have also spoken with a dentist who enjoys clamming, one who writes musical compositions for Wii games, one who was a “Who” in a movie and one who performed with Men Without Hats.

It is not all lab coats and fluoride. Clearly Dentists do have a life outside of practice. The logical follow up question? How many of the above activities are claimed as a business expense?

Posted by Morgan Pace, Dental Recruiter with ETS Dental. You can reach Morgan at (540) 491-9102 or Check us out at

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dental Implants

In 1952 Swedish professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark became very irritated when he was unable to remove any of the bone anchored titanium microscopes that he was using in his research. The titanium had bonded to the living bone tissue which, at the time, went against conventional wisdom.

Further experimentation showed that titanium could be integrated into living bone without rejection or long term soft tissue inflammation and with a high level of predictability. Professor Brånemark called this osseointegration.

Osseointegration was first used in a patient using titanium roots in 1965 and forty years later the teeth that they were attached to were still functioning perfectly. Subsequent years of study and research have refined dental implants and they have become the answer to many patients problem of missing teeth.

With Dental implants people are able to avoid the problems associated with lost teeth such as difficulty eating, pain and an unattractive smile. Traditional dentistry has utilized bridges, partials and dentures, but each has its problems. Bridgework involves altering natural teeth to provide a stable foundation for support of replacement teeth, while removable partials and dentures can, at times, be very unstable causing difficulty eating, speech difficulty and denture sores.

Dental Implants have been placed since the 1980’s by oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and periodontists began placing them in the mid 1990’s. A maxillofacial surgeon is trained to not only deal with gum infections and the pockets around the teeth caused by the gum infections, but the surgeons are trained to know exactly what anatomical components are potentially invaded in the insertion of the implant. Their training makes them knowledgeable about what possible problems could arise, and they would know how to avoid them. The training a periodontist receives also qualifies them to be able to effectively place implants and deal with any associated challenges. Although there are implant courses readily available, no other dental specialty is trained in these surgical treatments, so one’s first choice for a dental implant should be an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon or Periodontist.

Written by Gary Harris
Dental Specialist Recruiter
ETS Dental
Phone: (540) 491-9115, Email:

Source: Dental Implant Center:

Source: Academy of Osseointegration:

For additional information on Dental Implants check out these links:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do What You Love

I think of myself as very fortunate, and for many reasons. I have been married to a wonderful man for 24 years, and I am the mother of three fabulous children. I had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom for 18 years, and loved just about every minute of it. Mind you, I had my moments. When it became time for me to re-enter the professional world, I was lucky enough to land a job as a Dental Recruiter with ETS Dental, a professional Dental Recruiting firm. My previous career (before children) was in the banking industry, so I really was starting all over. I am happy to say that, as luck will have it, I have found a career that I truly enjoy, and I am appreciative of that fact because I know many people do not like their jobs or career picks, and that makes for an unhappy life.

Do What You Love, Love What You Do
You’ve probably heard before that life is too short to have a job or career that you don’t absolutely love doing and for which you feel great passion. When you do something that excites you all day long, you have a far better chance of excelling, you’ll have a lot more fun, and you’ll get paid in the process.

It’s amazing, though, that so many people DON’T do what they love doing for a living. Keeping a roof over the head, paying the bills, getting side-tracked with various obligations, and other distractions can too often get in the way of pursuing our life passions, our dreams, our secret wishes and desires.

Can’t do anything about it? You’re stuck? Well, perhaps there are reasons at the moment or circumstances that are tough to alter for awhile; however, don’t let go of those dreams and desires. Stay open to possibilities, and brainstorm about how you can make them actually happen. Even if it takes time, it really works. If you never even try, you won’t give yourself the chance.

Excerpt from Brainstorms & Raves

Posted by Marsha Hatfield-Elwell, Dental Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Marsha at (540) 491-9116 or

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Comparing Job Offers

When you receive a job offer, it's important to take the time to carefully evaluate its details so you are making an educated decision to accept, or to reject, the proposal. The last thing you want to do is to make a hasty decision that you will regret later on.

Consider the entire compensation package - salary, benefits, perks, work environment -not just your paycheck. Weigh the pros and cons and take some time to mull it over. It is perfectly acceptable to ask the employer for some time to make your decision. Employers often use checklists to help organize their assessments of applicants and to help rank them. Applicants should consider using the same method in order to make the best decision possible when choosing new positions.

To help in this investigation of offers, job seekers may find these simple checklists below useful when conducting their comparisons. Feel free to add to the checklist as you discover items that are important to you.

Part of the text above came from this website:

Written by Rob Knezovich, Dental Recruiter/ Account Executive for the Midwestern US. You can reach Rob at (540) 491-9107 or Find out more at

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why It's A Good Idea to Work With a Dental Recruiter To Find Your Next Associate

Shortage of Dentists – Over the past 20 years there has been a 32% drop in students entering Dental Schools in the US. At the same time the demand for dental services has increased dramatically.

Common Methods Don’t Work – Many practices around the country have been looking for Associate(s) to join their practices for years. Conventional methods of locating new Associates simply don’t work anymore. How many times have you seen the same ad in the ADA Journal? How many responses did you get when you put an ad in your local newspaper?

Cost – Paying for a Professional Recruiter is not cheap. But, when you consider the alternatives you will find that it is money well spent. Some recruiters charge upfront fees to do a search, however there are firms like ETS Dental that do contingency searches and you only pay a fee if you hire someone that they present.

Cost of NOT using a Recruiter – Take a moment and consider what it really costs you to find an Associate using conventional methods.

Cost of your time – As a practicing Dentist, your time is probably worth somewhere between $150 and $350 an hour. At an average of $225 an hour, it would cost $18,000 if you personally invested 80 hours in a search. Considering your chances of success, most find this is neither time nor money well spent.

Lost Opportunity Cost – Most successful practices are booked up for at least three or four months. Think how much new patient/referral revenue is lost every day from not being able to readily accommodate new patients. What would it mean to you to bring on an Associate six months sooner? (Example: $1000 Net collections per Associate per day – Less $350-$400 for Associate Pay = $625 x 104 days (4 days a week for 26 weeks) = $65,000.

Cost of Not Being Open Five or Six Days a Week – What would it mean to your practice if you could stay open one or two additional days a week? One would expect your net collections to increase from 10% to 40%. Most of this money would go directly to your bottom line since your fixed cost would remain relatively stable. (Example: Your Current Weekly Net Collections x (10% to 40%) = $???,???.

Cost of Your Vacation Time – What would it mean to your practice if you could keep it open when you take a vacation. One Dentist told us it costs him at least $30,000 for him to take a one-week vacation. How much does it cost you? ??,???.

Cost of Not Having a Choice – If you found just one Associate Candidate but you didn’t think there was a real fit, would you hire the Associate anyway? What if you settled for the only Associate candidate you’ve seen in months or even years? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a choice among multiple candidates when you make a decision that is this important to your business? What would it cost you if you hired the wrong Associate? $???,???.

Cost of Selling a Practice – Many Dentists are interested in selling or getting ready to sell their practices. The going rate to engage a Practice Management Firm to sell your practice is 10% of the practice value. This means that it would cost you $70,000 to sell your practice if it were valued at $700,000. Even if you find your own buyer, you still have to pay the Practice Brokerage according to most exclusive contracts. Wouldn’t it be better if you paid a recruiter to find the Associate of your choice then pay your own Lawyer and Accountant $5,000 to $15,000to sell the practice to your Associate?

There are many advantages to working with a dental recruiter during this very important process. Research the firm that you are considering working with. Ask your colleagues, who have recently hired Associates, who they worked with and ask if they would work with them again. Most importantly, make sure that you understand how the recruiting process works. Communication is key to finding your next great Associate!

Written by Marcia Patterson, Dental Recruiter for the Northeast at ETS Dental. You can reach Marcia at (540) 491-9118 or Check us out at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Who Is Answering Your Phone?

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” For no other position is this more important than for your front desk. The person that manages your front desk often sets the tone for the entire office and, especially if it is a phone call, you may not get a second chance to "wow" that prospective patient.

So, what does a patient get when they call into your office? To find out, it probably would not hurt to give them a call. Have a family member or friend call the office. Ask them to evaluate the person to see if they come across as polite, helpful, and as a good listener. You might be surprised by the feedback you receive, and you need their brutal honesty.

We all know that the front desk can be like air traffic control, and the importance of this position is tremendous. Is he or she aware of the impact that they play on your office? Are they able to handle the multitude of tasks that can bombard them at any given time throughout the day? Can they do so with a smile on their face?

You work hard to retain your patients and get them to give you referral business. You want your patients to tell their spouses, family, friends, and coworkers that you are the best and that they need to go see you. This is your lifeline- the grapevine that keeps your practice growing. Make sure that you have the right person there to ensure that the level of care you give starts from that first moment of contact.

Posted by Tiffany Worstell, Dental Staff Recruiter at ETS Dental. You can reach Tiffany at (540) 491-9112 or To find out more, check us out at

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What are hiring dental practices looking for?

What are you feeling while trying to find a job when all the ads you see are for “experienced” general dentists. I speak to GPs everyday that are in the same situation. Don't sell yourself short. If you are seeing the same job ads I am then you should apply to what you see. In this market you cannot restrain from applying to the ads out there. Especially if you are in markets like Southern California, Southeastern Florida, Boston Metro, New York Metro, Atlanta, Metro, etc.

The first step is getting noticed by potential employers. Luckily most practices do not have computers searching CVs for keywords. They are looked at by an actual person. Usually, this is the doctor or office manager. Practices look at resumes for a few things first: Where did you go to school and when did you graduate. Next, they scan over for notable CE, GPR/AEGD programs. They are also looking to see if they know who you are, or if they know any of your references if you listed any.

Everyone is going to put on their cover letter or resume an objective stating how great they are with patients and staff, that they are team oriented, willing to learn, etc. You need to tell the practice what you can do to better their bottom line. Production averages, can you do molar endo, implants, surgical extractions, and more. In this current climate GPs are looking for ways to keep anything they can in house. You have to sell yourself in numbers, as well as in patient care standards and personality. Your personality will come out in a face to face or telephone interview, but you have to get them to take a serious look at you first via what is in your CV and/or letter.

Another important step in increasing your possibility of finding a great opportunity is in networking groups, study clubs, and local dental associations. These are really the way to meet these owners face to face and introduce yourself as an up and coming star in the area. You need to be a networking pro. It is fine being a member of an association on paper, but reach out and start introducing yourself today.

A final note: from experience, when great jobs openings exist with great practices they are rarely advertised on job boards. They are filled by word of mouth. Most of the job openings that I uncover as a recruiter are not listed. I keep in touch with practice owners constantly. When they have a need, it is my job to figure that out from what they are saying, and help they fill that need.