How to Choose the Right Dental Hygiene Temp Agency

How to Choose the Right Dental Hygiene Temp Agency

 Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH
How to Choose the Right Dental Hygiene Temp Agency

Dental temping jobs are great for any hygienist, assistant, or dentist who wants the flexibility to pick up extra work without the commitment of long-term employment. When you work with a dental staffing agency, you can easily get dental hygienist temping jobs to fit your schedule. Be it one day a week, full time, just on certain days of the month, and even in different towns.

Dental professionals who like to travel a lot, have a spouse with an atypical work schedule or have kids in school, dental temping jobs just make sense! And sometimes, they even pay more than regular hygiene jobs.

What Is A Temporary Staffing Agency?

A dental staffing agency is a group that pairs dental professionals and dental offices together to fill in employment needs. It might be through a physical office that you call directly, or an app you use on your phone.

Dental temping jobs are where you fill in for another dental hygienist while they’re sick, on vacation, or on maternity leave. Or maybe the dental office is growing and needs help seeing all of their patients, but isn’t ready to hire somebody just yet.

Some dental temping jobs are even like trial runs to find the right dental professional. A temp-to-hire option would be where you and the office get to “try each other out” so to speak, to see if it’s a good fit.

But most of the time, dental staffing and temping agencies are there to help keep offices running when they’re short on staff for one reason or another.

When you choose to work dental hygienist temping jobs, you’re usually an employee of the dental staffing agency. So, they file your employment paperwork, tax forms, and are the ones responsible for cutting you a check (or direct deposit.) That way you don’t have to worry about when or if you’re getting paid, because the details are all worked out through the temp agency or dental staffing platform.

Choose The Right Temping Agency 

Not all dental staffing organizations are the same, so you’ll want to choose one that works for your schedule, lifestyle, and needs. Similarly, not all dental offices will like to use the same dental staffing agency. You might want to work with more than one or two agencies/apps to help find the best fit.

Depending on the type of agency you work with, you might get a call first thing in the morning asking you to work. Or you could use a mobile platform where you set your days/hours/availability through an app. Sometimes the app-based platforms are more attractive because dentists and office managers can “see” and “choose” who they’re selecting to fill in for their dental office.

1. OnDeim

OnDeim is a dental temping app where you’re able to set up your profile, availability, and geographical area. You can even set your hourly rate (you can’t do that through a temping agency). After your profile is set up, you can immediately start searching for jobs and connect with dental offices that need a temp RDH. When you work, you get paid directly through onDeim, allowing you to keep more money in your pocket than conventional dental staffing platforms.

The biggest perk of temping with onDeim is you can select exactly when and where you want to work. If you’re not available, you’re not penalized for failing to take a last-minute gig. You’re truly in control of your work schedule, making it almost feel like you’re your own boss. They also provide crazy benefits like paid time off (yes… you get PTO!), healthcare benefits, malpractice insurance, workers compensation insurance, employer-paid taxes, weekly pay and much more!

2. Traditional Dental Staffing Agencies

Until recently,  nearly all RDH temp jobs were through a traditional dental staffing agency. These organizations act like 3rd party match-makers, pairing hygienists with dental offices who need someone to fill in for them. You give all of your employment paperwork to the agency and they process your payments. Sometimes they know about openings well in advance, while others are short-notice because of someone calling in sick. If they know it’s a day you’re available, they call you that morning with your assignment. You simply go wherever there’s a need when there is one. As you might guess, you’re not really able to pick-and-choose the way you would temping through a dental staffing app.

Dental Professionals Control When They Work

As dental hygienists, having a traditional job means we have to work our personal lives around the schedule of the office we work at. But if you want more control over when, where, and how often you work, having dental temping jobs is the perfect way to balance your work-life commitments.

Being self-employed is something that a lot of entrepreneurs and CEOs enjoy, simply for the sake of the flexibility to adjust their work schedules and environment. As a hygienist, we don’t have that option. But temping gets pretty close.

Being a temp hygienist means you can choose whether you want to work or not and who you work with. Maybe you like to work M/W/F or have the option to work Saturdays leading up to the holidays. You can even select which hours you’re available to work. You’re your own boss because you’re the one telling yourself when to go to work.

Temping Jobs Cons 

Even though dental temping jobs have a ton of perks, there are also some downsides to them. The biggest one is that some dentists and dental office managers just don’t want to work with a dental staffing agency, because they have little control over who comes to their office that day. On the flip-side of that, more professionals are shifting to app-based placement platforms, so dentists and hygienists can screen each other first and know whether or not they want to arrange a temping gig.

Second, you’re not necessarily guaranteed work when you’re solely relying on dental hygienist temping jobs. If an office doesn’t need a temp, there are no work hours to pick up. But right now, there seems to be a shortage of hygienists in a lot of areas, so finding temp jobs isn’t as big of a challenge as it has been in years past. However, if you’re not taking the jobs when agencies call you, they might stop calling you altogether.

Temping Jobs Pros

Controlling when and where you work gives you more freedom as an individual, and in turn, it can help reduce burnout rates. Plus, it keeps things new and fresh, allowing you to work in different types of offices—like pediatric, cosmetic, or implant practices—to find what you like.

Temping as a dental hygienist is perfect for busy moms who need more flexibility around their kids’ schedules. Or if you and your partner like to travel a lot, temping gives you the freedom to leave town without worrying about if you have the vacation time to take off from a “regular” job. You could even work as a traveling hygienist if you wanted, traveling around with your RV and exploring new areas just for the sake of fun.

Dental staffing agencies allow you to set your specific availability. You don’t have to work when you can’t or don’t want to. You’re in complete control over when you want to go into the dental office.

Make Sure It’s The Right Fit For You! 

Some dental temping jobs are set up so that an office can find a new hygienist for their practice. If you’re looking for a long-term gig, temping is a great trial run to see if an office is a good fit for you.

Not all staffing agencies or apps offer the same flexibility. So be sure to check around with how you set your availability, where you work, and the type of work you want to do. The more control you are concerning your work hours/environment, the happier you’ll be with the temping job. It’s ok to try a few different agencies or platforms to find a good fit.

Dental Hygieneist Temping Recap

Working as a temp dental hygienist is perfect if you like flexibility or want to pick up extra hours for special expenses. Today there are plenty of apps and agencies to choose from, some of which offer more control over when you work than others. You can choose one that allows you to select your availability, location, and hours, or you can go with an agency that will place you and call you when there’s an opening. It’s up to you when and if you want to work, giving you more freedom and control of your RDH career than ever before!

 Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH
Written by Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH"Teeth Talk Girl," is a registered dental hygienist. She started her dental health journey on YouTube, educating the public through videos.
Last updated onSeptember 22, 2023Here is our process

Related Articles

Recommended reads