When is a good time to add an associate dentist to your practice? The short answer is when you have enough consistent demand; however a lot of factors go into this decision.
First, you need to consider how far you are booked out and if this demand is cyclical or consistent. Typically, when dentists are consistently booked out more than three or four weeks, it can indicate they have enough demand to start adding days each month for an associate dentist.
Next, consider if you are losing opportunities to see patients with acute needs because you do not have time to do root canals, extractions, or restorative services. How much production could you keep in-house by freeing up room in your schedule?
Also think about where you are in your dental career. Do you want an associate dentist to help you work less, or do you need extra help because the practice is experiencing a growth spurt? If you want to work less, that frees up additional days for the associate. If your practice is growing, you can create more days for the associate as time progresses, and by having an associate in place you have opportunities to ramp up your marketing efforts even more. The more days you have available, you more attractive you typically are to potential associates.
Finally, before you add an associate, it’s important to involve your CPA and advisors. Our role includes helping you understand the cash flow impact of hiring someone—you do not want any surprises that adversely affect your income. Also, we provide guidance on how to conduct a thorough search for the right associate. Hiring the wrong fit is very costly.
If you are considering the addition of an associate, please do not rush your decision. Take the appropriate steps to ensure you do what is in the best interests of your practice and patients.