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Dental Hygienist Practice: Should You Open Your Own?

Dental Hygienists are vital in a dental office. They work together with the dentist to provide the care patient’s needs. Of course, each role has different responsibilities. A dental hygienist may screen the patient, take x-rays, clean teeth, apply sealants and fluorides, educate patients on hygienic practices, and handle the necessary documentation. It seems a dental hygienist can handle most daily functions a dental practice provides, and in fact, they can!

Dental Hygienist Working Alone

Depending on your state of practice, a dental hygienist can work alone—no supervision from a dentist required. As of 2019, 42 states allow dental hygienists to offer the treatment without direction from a dentist. The only states that do not allow this practice are Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, and North Dakota.

As long as you don’t live in one of those 8 states, you can open your practice.

Benefits of Having Your Own Practice

You’re the Boss

With your practice, you run the show. You can set up the practice however you want regarding the atmosphere and more. This allows you to make any dreams you had of being a business owner come true! Furthermore, as the owner and boss, you get to:

  • Choose who you hire

  • Pick the treatments you offer

  • You can even choose the patients you treat

In short, you get the utmost freedom to operate the business how you want.

Improved Work-life Balance

As a dental hygienist working under a dentist, you don’t get to choose your hours or days. If you open your practice, you get to do just that. Maybe you don’t want to offer services on Wednesdays, so be it! You can choose to work longer hours on certain days while cutting back hours on other days. You’re the owner, so you can control your work-life balance.

Potential to Earn More Money

Working under a dentist, you most likely earn a set salary. If you open your practice, you have the potential to earn more. You can increase your hourly rate, work more hours, or find ways to cut back on other costs. If you’re interested in earning more money as a dental hygienist, opening your own practice might be the way to go.

The Downside

You’re the Boss

Wait, this is on the pros and cons list? Yes, it is. When you’re the boss of the practice, all responsibility falls on your shoulders. You have to manage other’s schedules, act as a manager, business owner, and maybe more. Your role is no longer limited to offering just dental services.

Uncertain Wages

As discussed previously, you have the potential to earn more money. However, your wages are also uncertain. It may take longer than you expected to make a profit. You may find hidden expenses you didn’t anticipate. You also have to shell out large sums of money to get all the equipment and staff you need. Only then, after a significant amount of money is spent, will you see the chance of earning.

As with most life decisions, there are ups and downs to be considered. We believe the ups in this situation outweigh the downs. Are you interested in starting your own dental practice and making a difference in other people’s lives? If so, Stynt is here to help you with your staffing needs. Join us by filling out our form or downloading our app today!


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