184 How Much Do I Pay My Dental Team
Hi, guys, and welcome to another episode of The Delivering WOW Dental Podcast. I am so excited about today's episode. Today, we're actually talking about, how do you pay your dental team? And actually this came up because a member of my mastermind actually sent me a message today. And she said, "I'm not sure what to do. I would love your advice." And what she said is that a team member had actually come up to her and had asked for a raise. So this is a very common thing that happens in our practice. We'll have team members say, "You know what? I really need to earn a little bit more. Can you help me?" So it puts us in this dilemma because a lot of times we're thinking, "Well, I'm not sure if I can afford to pay my team member anymore," or, "I'm not sure if they really have the skillset," or, "How can I pay them more?" And all these things go through your mind.
So I wanted to come on and really help you to navigate this because there are some really creative ways that you can actually empower your team to actually do more for the practice and ultimately give an ROI for the practice. And I'll tell you a quick story. Recently, we have had one of the ladies in my office and she had come in to help to follow up on insurance claims and to be a secondary person to answer the phones. And recently we decided to actually move her into the role of scheduling coordinator. Now what's really interesting is that because she was at a pay grade of where she started, I actually wanted her to be able to earn more. I thought that if she was now scheduling coordinator, she would have a different skill set. And now she would be able to actually earn more money for the business.
So, although she didn't have any experience in scheduling, I actually said, "You know what? I want to let you know that I feel that you can do this. And I have seen you interact with patients. so we're going to give you training. Of course, we're going to teach you these scheduling frameworks and the case acceptance framework. But as always, we are going to set some goals of how many patients you're going to get rescheduled." And we said that we would actually start with perio scaling and root planing. So we created a filtered list and she went through and what's really interesting is that at the end of the month, and I told her this, I said, "You know what? I want to pay you more, but I want to make sure that we can earn more for the company with the value that you're going to add.
So if you can show that you can add more value and more revenue, it's not going to be a problem to actually increase your salary." So we put in the training and we gave her the support and wouldn't you know it, she actually scheduled the number that we had given her. In fact, she actually exceeded that by about 25 or 30%. So I just want to say that to say this, once we are empowering our team, we let them know that they can do it. And we actually give them higher goals that will bring in more revenue. What happens is that now, if they are the right fit team members, who really want to excel, who want to get to the next level, who wants to keep evolving and elevating in their knowledge, they will actually be up for the challenge.
So it's our responsibility to look at training them. So going back to the doctor that said, "My team wants to have more. I'm not sure what to do." One thing that you can look at really is how can we be very clear with our team of our expectations for the different levels of pay that we offer in our practice. And this is actually looking at something called a pay grade system. So essentially how this works is that you can create different levels. So say, for example, you have a dental assistant and the dental assistant comes in and they have the skill set to do very minimal dental assisting skills. So they can assist in fillings. They can set up your trays. They can sterilize the instruments. Then that person would come in with the level one pay grade because they would have those specific things and skill sets that they can do.
Now, as the dental assistant starts to develop their skillset and they invest in themselves in additional training, then now what happens is that they're able to add more value. So some of these things would
be things like delivering night guards or doing in-office bleaching. So this allows the practice to actually make more revenue because those tasks can actually be delegated to the team who can actually earn revenue for the practice while the doctors actually in the other room, treating another patient. So looking at being able to check supplies and inventory, placing orders. They're now getting more into an admin level of being an assistant. So that would be a different pay grade. So as we start looking at level three, we can start asking ourselves, "Can the dental assistant do things like do ortho adjustments?" Or, "Do adjustments to dentures and relines, making custom trays."
These are things that are definitely a different skill set, being able to place sealants. And once you do, then what happens is that they can bring in more revenue. I actually have a dental assistant in my practice and she orders all of the supplies. She's amazing at making all of the temporaries. She also can work at the front. She can make phone calls. She can make appointments. She can discuss treatment plans. So what happens is that because of her skillset, she's able to actually bring a higher ROI to the practice because she can actually do certain procedures. She even actually does all of the conversations about Invisalign. She does all of the scans. She does all of the pre-photos.
This is a different level of a dental assistant. So as you start looking at your current team, if they're wanting to earn more, what you want to do is actually look at creating a pay grade. And this will allow you to actually specify what would be a level one, a level two, and level three, and the pay that you would typically give for that level. So now they know their earning potential and they know that if they want to make, for example, $3 or $5 more an hour, what it will actually take. So hopefully that serves you. You can create a pay grade standards, not just for dental assistants, but you could also do it for your front desk. You could do it for hygiene and the same thing with that. Like there's a different hygienist that comes in, that is doing pro-fees and some scaling and root planing versus a dental hygienist who's coming in and now knows how to utilize lasers. Or can go ahead and have the patients get started with perio protect.
That's a different skillset and that can come in at a different pay. All right. So hopefully it serves you. I see so many dentists that unfortunately are actually losing team members, or they're saying things like, "Well, we can't afford to pay you." And what I always say is, "How can we? How can we support you? How can we help you?" Because when we do what happens is that our team works even harder for us because they want to continue to serve. They want to be able to let us know that they appreciate us helping them to grow. So hopefully this was helpful for you. And as you have team members come to you as they will in the future and ask for raises, I want you to actually have this document where you can go ahead and show them, "We would love to be able to pay you more. Let's go ahead and get the training put in place. And once we do, we can look at elevating your pay."
All right. So hopefully that serves you. I really appreciate you taking the time to invest in your knowledge, to be able to grow your practice, and to invest in listening to this podcast, to show you how.
Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Delivering WOW Podcast, with Dr. Anissa Holmes. We'll catch you next time.