Compensation Means More Than Just a Paycheck

If you ask team members what they are paid, they will typically tell you what they are paid per hour; however most dental practices provide benefits in addition to an hourly wage.  If your team only thinks in terms of their paycheck, they will overlook the total compensation they receive each year.


Why is this important?  Your team sometimes compares their wages against colleagues in other dental practices.  You want your team members to compare apples to apples, to know how their benefits are factored in to create their true hourly wage.  Understanding total compensation also helps your team feel more valued.

Therefore, when you meet with individuals to discuss wages, take the time to determine their total compensation package.  Start with their paycheck: wages paid and hours worked.  Then add the cost of medical insurance you cover for the team member along with what you contribute to their retirement plan—matching and profit sharing contributions.

Do not forget dental care you provided to the employee and family.  This is a valuable benefit that team members often overlook, and it’s common for practices to provide thousands of dollars worth of free dental care each year.  Finally, consider other benefits such as uniforms you provided, educational courses you paid for, and/or life insurance you offered.


Benefits often add several dollars per hour to someone’s wage.  Showing this to an employee is usually an eye opening experience and a great way to reinforce the value of your compensation package.  Appreciative team members will then feel even more invested in the success of the practice.

Comments (1)

  1. Dennis Jeffers says:

    Mike…You may have touched on this in the article if I perhaps didn’t read it closely enough but I used what I called a total pay statement once a year and it broke down by line item staff compensation. Seeing in writing and holding it in hand and able to share with a spouse/partner really helped its usefulness. Good article. Regards Dennis Jeffers DDS

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