The Honest Pros and Cons of Temping as a Dental Hygienist or Dental Assistant

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Millions of people across the United States and Canada work as temp employees every week. But why? Why would a dental hygienist or assistant choose to temp vs. full-time employment? Here’s a secret: temping as a dental hygienist or dental assistant is jam-packed with unique benefits. Not only can you potentially earn more, but you have near-unlimited flexibility and a fantastic work-life balance.

Today, let’s look at the pros and cons of temping as a dental hygienist or dental assistant. Here’s why dental hygienists and assistants are some of the most popular temp positions, and why dental pros across the globe are choosing to work on their schedule.

The Pros of Temping as a Dental Hygienist or Dental Assistant

The dental temp space wouldn’t be thriving if it wasn’t beneficial for dental pros. You are in high demand. In fact, dental hygienists and dental assistants are two of the most in-demand jobs on the globe. You can pretty much work wherever you want. And, if you temp, whenever you want.

So, why is temping so popular in the dental space? And why is WORKFORCE the fastest-growing temp solution on the market?

Great Income

Let’s start with the important point: temporary dental hygienists and assistants often make at least the same as full-time hygienists and assistants, if not more. This is not true for temp workers that try to temp solo. Most will earn significantly less (see the cons section). But for temp workers partnering with a staffing solution, they can expect great, weekly pay and the ability to work as many or as few hours as they want.

This one is huge. In the past, temping in the dental space was pure chaos. And dental hygienists and assistants that have gone through that experience are often immediately repulsed by temping.

If you work with a legitimate, well-organized staffing agency, your income will be fantastic. You can measure this yourself. Temp a few shifts and look at the difference yourself. Obviously, temping isn’t really about the money (check the benefits below). But remember that legitimate temping solutions should not force you to give up a liveable income.

Plenty of Flexibility

With dental hygienists and assistants in record-shattering demand, temping gives you the ability to create your own unique schedule. Many of us have family demands, hobbies, or personal goals that are often overshadowed by regular work hours. For temps, your schedule is truly yours. We match our temps and hygienists to practices that truly fit their schedules.

As a concierge staffing company, we don’t work with temporary dental hygienists and assistants to create a schedule; we work for them. You get to choose whatever hours and days you want, and we quickly match you to practices that meet those needs. You set your availability, we do the rest.

For many dental hygienists and assistants, temping isn’t just a way to make extra money or explore new opportunities. It can be a legitimate mental health salve. Burnout rates are at an all-time high. And the stress of fitting your life around your work schedule can be headache-inducing.

We work with dental assistants and hygienists who:

  • Prefer to work earlier or later during the day
  • Want to only work one, two, three, or four days a week
  • Want extra money and need more shifts
  • Are retired and want an extra source of stable income

You dream it; you can make it your schedule. Temping gives you the freedom to schedule work around your life — not the other way around.

You Can Find the Perfect Practice

Are you planning on settling down and working full-time at a practice? Temping is the perfect way to navigate finding a full-time position. You basically get to test drive many different practices. And, once you find the ones you like, you can settle down (hint: we help our temp workers find permanent positions whenever and wherever they want most).

Your job satisfaction is directly tied to how well you like your coworkers, how dentists behave and interact with hygienists and assistants, and the overall vibe, decor, structure, and flow of the practice. Unfortunately, you don’t really get a chance to see these things when you’re job-hunting. You’re stuck with the place you choose (at least, for a while).

When you temp, that’s not true. You can settle down when and where you want. It’s basically a cheat code for job searching. It gives you the opportunity to truly find a place that’s not just a job — but a home.

Get More Experience; Build More Confidence

The dental environment involves lots of equipment, techniques, and procedures. But not every office uses every procedure. And, to be frank, some offices are simply better at teaching. Dental assistants and hygienists that temp get to experience a wealth of knowledge from other hygienists, assistants, office managers, and dentists.

This helps you grow, sure. But it also helps you net more income from having more past experience. Temping exposes you to people, processes, and procedures across a variety of different environments. Not only will you become better at your job, but you’ll also grow as a person.

The Cons of the Traditional Temporary Dental Ecosystem

On paper, temporary dental work has cons. In fact, we would argue that temping was absolutely not worth it in the past. Between wrestling with hyper-complicated end-of-year taxes and dealing with an inordinate amount of work trying to secure daily positions, most dental temps working in sub-par ecosystems have a horrible, horrible time. But things have changed.

At WORKFORCE, we eliminate all of the frictions listed below. We handle the tax complexity by doing deductions for you and letting you only deal with one tax statement at the end of the year. We pay weekly. And our robust app and world-class support systems help you rapidly find work across any schedule. You focus on the dental work; we take care of everything else. Better yet, it doesn’t cost you a dime.

Let’s take a look at some of the pain points temporary dental hygienists and assistants face in the traditional temp landscape.

Tax Complexity

Want to file a separate tax form for every single dental office you work with? If you’re not using WORKFORCE, that’s probably a reality. And it’s not a fun one. According to US and Canadian law, dental offices are “supposed” to onboard you as an employee (not a contractor) if you work as a temp. But most don’t. This leaves you on the hook for a significant amount of taxes.

Even if you are properly onboarded, you’ll need a tax form from every place you temp at during the year. Yeah… that’s not going to be fun. You end up in debt to the IRS or CRA, and you spend way too much time dealing with tax headaches.

How WORKFORCE solves tax complexity: We employ all of our temp workers. That means we handle the deductions, and we provide you with one, simple tax form at the end of the year. Easy-peasy. 

Payment Headaches

What happens when you work with multiple different dental offices, all on different pay schedules? Well… a nightmare. That’s what happens. Before we worked together, dental hygienists and assistants regularly tell us they wait months to get paid. And those payments are coming across a bunch of different systems.

It’s horrific. Checks get lost, offices forget to make payments, and temp workers end up on strained budgets forever waiting for that next check.

Unless you’re working with a partner like WORKFORCE, we would honestly consider payment headaches to be your biggest barrier. You have a life to live and bills to pay. You can’t wait around for months for 15 different checks.

How WORKFORCE solves payment headaches: We pay you weekly for all hours worked. You focus on working and enjoying life. We’ll sit around waiting for checks and making calls.

Scheduling Nightmares

Temping is supposed to provide flexibility — not neverending scheduling conflicts. When you try to brave the temp world alone (or worse, use a sub-par basement or staffing agency) that flexibility quickly transforms into a scheduling monster.

What day are you supposed to be where? And what happens if a shift falls through and you have to take another one on an off-days to keep your income consistent? Worse, how do you deal with scheduling across offices when they’re all trying to get you to shift your schedule around to accommodate unique shifts?

It’s not fun.

How WORKFORCE solves scheduling nightmares: At WORKFORCE, we take scheduling seriously. Our world-class app lets you put in your schedule and quickly get shifts at dental offices that desperately need your help. We take care of the leg work. All you have to do is focus on the work and your wonderful life.

Time Cost Issues

Temping without using staffing solutions like WORKFORCE is a serious, no-joke time sink. You have to call offices, market yourself, and deal with taxes and missed payments. You’ll likely spend an extra 20 hours a week dealing with all of the “extra” stuff. In the end, your time-to-income ratio is horrendous.

How WORKFORCE solves time cost issues: Don’t temp for basement agencies and don’t temp alone. Partnering with a WORKFORCE doesn’t cost you a dime. And we’ll spend hours each week making sure you are fully booked and paid.

Try A Few Shifts!

At WORKFORCE, we make temping easy. We’ll:

  • Onboard you and handle all of your deductions ourselves (you get one tax form at the end of the year!)
  • Let you build your own schedule and quickly get paired with dental offices
  • Give you unlimited freedom to accept and decline jobs in real-time
  • Let you check in and out of jobs straight from the app (no clock-in/clock-out headaches!)
  • Pay you every week
  • Provide you with world-class tech and a superstar level of support

The best way to know if temping works for you is to try it. Take a few shifts on your off days. Once you see the benefits, you’ll be hooked. Ready for the perfect work-life balance? Sign up as a dental hygienist or dental assistant today. No strings. No money. Just work that fits perfectly into your life.

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