Understaffed and Ready to Hire, Dentists Face Applicant Shortages as They Emerge From COVID-19 Pandemic

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Rebecca De La Rosa, D.D.S., prided herself on having a tenured dental team.

But after losing two hygienists and an expanded-function assistant at the height of the pandemic — all of whom had been working for her for nearly 20 years — she has seen a limited number of job applicants and a revolving door of hires who have not lasted at her practice.

“Weeks pass without applicant submissions, and temporary staffing services have no availability,” said Dr. De La Rosa, vice chair of the American Dental Association Council on Communications and owner of a dental practice in Avon, Indiana. “I have experienced interview no-shows and poor attendance from new hires. This reduction in staff in combination with COVID-19-related patient screening and slower operatory setup and teardown requirements has resulted in fewer patients being scheduled.”

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