Vetting a Dental Office Through Due Diligence

  • Once you are in conversation with a dental office, start by asking how many patients you are expected to see per day. If you do not receive a direct answer, ask how many patients are seen by the current dentist daily. Use this to anchor your idea.
  • Ask to see a typical treatment plan with radiographs in the dental office. Build your idea of whether dentistry is practiced ethically to ascertain whether your production through ethical treatment planning will match the status quo.
  • Inquire what mix of procedures you will perform as an associate. You are looking to hear that you will develop your own roster over time.  You are also looking to treatment plan your own cases and work on your own treatment plans, rather than being allocated only the procedures that the owner doesn’t want to do.
  • Ask if you’ll be sharing procedures with colleagues or working on another doctor’s treatment plans. If you are working on another doctor’s treatment plan, you may find that you would have planned treatment differently. It’s harder to explain to the patient why two doctors under the same roof are treatment planning differently. The solution to that problem is to work on your own planned cases.
  • Ask about the dental office treatment planning philosophy. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, find a dental practice that allows freedom to execute your own treatment plans.
  • Get a feel for the chance at mentorship. In an ideal world, at your first job you would work closely with a general dentist who can train you, impart wisdom, and be available for a second opinion. Unfortunately, that’s an ideal. Often when interviewing, the owner doctor will make promises of mentorship but may not hold their word. Prepare to take continuing education courses rather than hoping for a mentor. If you speak with the lead doctor of the office, try to gauge their feelings about teaching a new associate.

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