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Finding the right practice to join

Whether you’re fresh out of dental school and looking for your first job or are deep into your career and feel like you need a change, finding the right dental practice to fit your goals and needs is a big career decision.

Here are some ideas on how to select the right practice to join.

Geographic location

Dentists tend to plant roots and build a long-term relationship with their patients, staff and community. Therefore, it is very important to carefully choose the geographic area where you will work and live. Along with listing specific destinations that interest you, consider whether you prefer an urban setting, suburban or rural. Think not just about the location of the practice but housing options as well.

Practice philosophy

If your ideologies are a mismatch with the overarching vision of the practice, this can lead to conflict or unhappiness over the long haul. From your desired level of community involvement to the balance of business goals with personal and family commitments, your thoughts on this equilibrium ought to roughly be in harmony with the ownership team.

Practice size and workload

From potential earnings to the preferred number of workdays and types of responsibilities you’ll be assigned, the size of the practice can affect your daily, weekly and yearly routine. A large support staff and a full team of dentists comes with pros and cons and it’s often up to personal tastes which environment you prefer.

Desired patient demographics

From location to price point to specialties offered, different dental practices tend to attract different patients. Think about which patients you want to serve are and what types of treatments you want to perform on a regular basis.


When you consider compensation, look at all the elements in a potential package, including review retirement plan contributions, vacation time and healthcare.

Don’t be in a hurry

Looking for work can be a stressful endeavor if you’re between jobs, or need to make a sudden unexpected move, but landing in the wrong place can cause more problems than it alleviates. Take the time to vet any practice you might join just as much as they’ll be vetting you.

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