The dental associate survival guide

Dental Associate Survival GuideWe present the Matthew Sedgwick guide to surviving the first few years in clinical practice as a dental associate.

Whether you have been a dentist for 10 years and have worked in multiple practices or you are joining your first ever dental practice outside of university; working in the field of dentistry can be challenging, but very rewarding.

It is essential to select the right practice to work in. Is it better to work for a practice owned by a dental corporate or an independently run practice as a dental associate?

Small practice or large?

These choices can affect your experience of everyday dentistry. The purpose of this article is to help provide some simple prompts that you can apply that will help select the right practice for you as well as improve your daily working life.


This should be second nature to every dentist after dental school – preparation is key. Read reviews on NHS choices left by patients, check the practice website to understand the philosophy of the practice and who works there currently. For example, if it is a five-surgery practice and there are only two part-time dentists, it might be a good idea to find out why.

On attending an interview you should politely ask the staff how long they’ve been working there, what they think of the practice and check equipment available. They can give you a real insight into the practice and if you accept a job there you have already made a positive connection with the staff.


What is a dental discussion without some mention of UDA targets? However, possibly not for much longer with schemes being piloted. Patient volume is important to you earning a living. Find out how…

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