By Debra Wood, RN, contributor Jul 06, 2021
Dentists remain in high demand, and locum tenens dentistry
offers great opportunities for new dentists to explore the country and try different
work settings before settling in one location. In fact, the current job market
is ripe with options.
“We are back into recovery mode after
COVID-19,” said Nicole Richardson, director of recruiting at Staff Care , a leading locum tenens staffing agency. “The market is coming back
very quickly. There has been pent-up demand.”
Many people put off dental visits during the
pandemic, but now that they are vaccinated, they feel safer seeking such care
and are rushing to the dentist, she said.
Supply and demand
leading to plentiful locum dentistry jobs
More than 201,000 dentists were practicing in
the United States in 2020, which translates to about 61 dentists per 100,000
population, according to the American
Dental Association. But that is not enough to provide optimal coverage and
patient access. The Health
Resources and Services Administration reports a current national shortage
of 10,887 dentists.
“There is a much higher need than there are
dentists,” Richardson said
In addition to open permanent positions,
there is a robust number of assignments for locum tenens dentists across the country.
How new dentists can benefit from
locum tenens jobs
Think it would be fun to live in a rural community
for a while, or are you craving a stay in a metropolitan area? Locum dentistry
lets you try them both. If you love a certain setting, you can often extend
your contract and stay on. If it is not a great fit, you can work with your
recruiter to find another location and practice setting.
While many locum tenens dentists travel
around the country, trying out different locales and exploring the sights, some
want to earn extra money while working a full-time or part-time locum dentistry
job closer to home.
Working as a locum tenens dentist can bring
in extra money for new dentists to pay off student debts, which the American Dental Association reports are more than $200,000 on average.
dentists enjoy the locum tenens lifestyle and float from one assignment to the
next for months, or even years. In addition to the flexibility and travel
benefits, locum tenens dentists do not need to worry about running a business,
hiring staff or billing hassles. Locum tenens can also allow dentists to work
around their volunteer mission work.
New dentists also
find locum dentistry a learning opportunity, to determine which setting they
like best or explore different ways to practice their craft, Richardson said.
“You have varying philosophies
of practice,” she pointed out. “A locum tenens dentist will see that.” She
added that most clients are open to accepting new graduate dentists.
locum dentists can work
positions may be in a private practice, to cover a maternity leave or other leave
of absence. Others assignments are meant to fill a vacancy while the practice
looks to hire a full-time dentist. If the temporary position is a good fit for
both parties, the locum dentist may be considered for that permanent position.
health centers and government facilities also need locum tenens dentists. In a
corporate practice, the new dentist might find a good fit with the work, but
not like the location and try another geographic area within the corporate
locums because they have more flexibility to pick and choose what opportunities
they want to explore,” Richardson said. “Some people like to work for three
months and then take some time off. It’s a flexibility to pick and choose how
much they want to work.”
Thinking about a
locum tenens dentist job?
More than 100 locum tenens dentist jobs
are currently available through Staff Care, which receives thousands of staffing
requests for locum tenens dentists annually. Most assignments are general
dentistry positions, but pediatric assignments and specialty positions are
sometimes available. Some assignments are full-time, while others are one or
two days per week or a solid week to cover a vacation.
The hiring practice sets the pay rates for
locum dentists, and the amount depends on the local market. Liability insurance
is typically covered and the locum tenens dentist receives reimbursement for lodging and
mileage . Some locum tenens dentists travel alone, while others travel with their
pets or a friend or family member.
The team at Staff Care will help a dentist
secure a license in the state where opportunities are available. The company
offers comprehensive licensure services to broaden a dentist’s ability to
provide dental care to patients across the nation.
“If dentists want a locum tenens job, they can have one,” Richardson said. “The number of opportunities
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Contact a Recruiter Now