The latest ADA Health Policy Institute (HPI) survey, conducted in August, included additional questions relating to staffing and found that recruitment challenges were becoming an issue in U.S. dental offices. For 40.1% of all respondents, filling vacant positions in the dental team was a factor that was precluding an increase in patient volume—comparatively, just 30.6% said that COVID-19-related safety protocols were limiting their ability to see more patients.
Of the total respondents, just under one-third (32%) of owner-dentists said that they were, or had recently been, recruiting dental hygienists. This represented an increase from 24% and 29%, compared with similar polls conducted in October 2020 and May 2021, respectively.
The number of dental assistants being sought for recruitment had also increased. The August survey found that 39% of owner-dentists were, or had recently been, recruiting for the position of dental assistant, up from 36% in May of this year and 32% in October last year.
Dentists were being sought by 13% of all owner-dentists, and the ADA did not report an increase in the current or recent recruitment of dentists.