Dental Career

Full-Time or Part-Time, What’s Right for You?

Dental Career

Full-Time or Part-Time, What’s Right for You?

CDP dentist talking to young patient chairside.

Dentists have more options than ever for how they want to work. From choosing what type of practice you want to join to what expanded services you wish to offer, your career path has many exciting options! More and more, dentists now have amazing flexibility in their schedules, too. Have you thought about whether you want to work part-time or full-time? Here are a few things to consider when building your ideal workday!

Your Workday Will Change As Your Career Grows

Your working life will probably look different throughout your career. It will change over time, sometimes demanding more hours and other times giving you reasons to slow down. Just like you go through phases in life, your career will be made up of several chapters, each of which will come with its own opportunities and challenges.

Deciding to work part-time or full-time will depend largely on your career phase. Young, hungry dentists brand new to the field and full of drive may want to load up their schedule as much as possible. With student loans looming large in their minds and wanting to finally reap those financial rewards, many new dentists look for full-time work or even stack multiple part-time dentist jobs.

Some tips for new dentists? Working as many hours as you can early in your career means more experience early on. You’ll get to hone your skills and learn to work more efficiently. Working faster and with better accuracy improves your production potential. More importantly, it also means a better patient experience in the chair!

Female CDP dentist comforting young male chairside. Working faster and with better accuracy improves your potential for production.

However, overworking yourself also comes at a cost. Dentist burnout is a real risk. Doctors who have opted to go corporate in their first years of work report feeling fatigued and frustrated and sometimes even regret their choice to become dentists. Dentistry is physically demanding. Dentist work-life balance is essential for your health. Working too many hours can lead to many injuries if you’re not taking precautions to maintain your joints and spine. A part-time schedule can give your body time to adapt while allowing you to recharge outside of work. Sure, you might want to cash in early, but could making time for a few yoga classes mean better career longevity?

Phase of Life Might Affect Your Career

Sometimes, it’s not just about phases in your career. While many consider our lives outside work separate from our jobs, they affect each other significantly! The choice to work part-time or full-time may have a lot to do with where you are in your life outside of work.

For example, if you’ve got young kids at home (or you’re thinking about becoming a parent), working part-time will give you more opportunities to be actively involved with your family. While going part-time to be with the kids may have traditionally defaulted to women in the past, times have changed, and now men are increasingly likely to decrease their work hours to spend time with the family. 

For those who have been practicing for many years, you might be looking to enjoy the fruits of your labor but aren’t ready to retire fully yet. Part-time work is a great option for dentists who want to spend more time away from the office without stepping away completely. 

Partnering with CDP can give you the kind of flexibility you want, no matter what phase of life you’re in! Handing off the administrative burden of running your practice can free up time for you to find a better balance in your life, whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking for a different way to do things.

Young female patient smiles at CDP dentist with hygienist watching. Partnering with CDP can give you a great path for the kind of flexibility you want, no matter what phase of life you’re in!

Your Income Needs Might Determine Your Schedule

Your decision to choose a part-time or full-time schedule might come down to your budget. Many newly graduated dentists must consider hefty monthly payments toward their student loans. If you’re hoping to open your own practice, consider how much production it will take to cover overhead (of course, that gets easier on an ownership track with CDP!). Every dentist’s income needs are different. Even if you want to work part-time, your income needs may surpass what you can make in fewer hours. 

Of course, if you choose to live and practice in an area with a lower cost of living, part-time work may be feasible for you. Not only do you benefit from avoiding dense, expensive metro areas when finding your home, but it also benefits your potential patients! Rural and non-urban areas have less access to medical and dental care. Finding a great dentist can be so tough in rural areas, in fact, that many patients just forego routine dental visits altogether. By setting up shop away from big cities, you will support patients who need it. That means less competition, potentially better income per hour of work, and a lower cost of living for you! Careful selection of where you work can greatly impact your decision of how many hours to spend there.

Do You Need Benefits?

An offer may look tempting on paper, but consider how much of that pay will go into your pocket. When evaluating a job offer, consider things like lab fees and the cost of materials, which may or may not be taken out of your paycheck. That’s why full transparency regarding how you will get paid for any practice is essential.  

Of course, your paycheck is only part of how you’ll get compensated. The benefits package that comes with your salary—or doesn’t—can make all the difference for your work’s profitability. This is one of the major reasons many American workers choose full-time work over part-time, historically. Some practices offer part-time positions to avoid offering full benefits to their employees. This is one major way CDP is different. We offer generous salaries and benefits to all our employees, whether full-time or part-time.

CDP dentist giving young patient a high-five. At the end of the day, dentistry is about serving your patients.

It’s About More Than the Money

At the end of the day, dentistry is about serving your patients. It’s about helping them achieve better health and more enjoyment by improving their oral health. You’ll never forget the first time a patient comes to you and says you changed their life by restoring their smile. You’ll help patients overcome obstacles in their professional and social lives. Patients who haven’t smiled in pictures for years can show their full grins in family photos. They’ll be able to eat their favorite foods again because of you.

You’re in a fantastic calling that has the potential to improve thousands of lives through the course of your career. Working more hours may mean you can help more patients. But balancing your work with your life is essential to keeping your energy and enthusiasm high so you can always give patients your best. Whether you work part-time or full-time, you will make a difference for your patients. And we’re here to help you do that! Schedule a call with a Hiring Manager to learn more about a flexible and fulfilling career with CDP!

Speak with our recruiting team! Schedule your call!
Dr. Craig Copeland
Dr. Craig Copeland Chief Dental Officer Community Dental Partners

A graduate of Brigham Young University’s Business Finance department and the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry, Dr. Craig Copeland, DMD first joined Community Dental Partners in 2010 after Co-Founder, Dr. Chad Evans invited him to an interview.

He instantly fell in love with CDP’s mission to elevate dentistry, make excellent dental care accessible, and provide unique and unforgettable experiences for underserved communities. The organization’s culture aligned with his beliefs, and he knew that CDP would offer him the ideal environment to grow.

Today, Dr. Copeland is the Chief Dental Officer of CDP and focuses on helping CDP’s doctors exceed in their careers through mentorship, training, and strengthening CDP’s support systems.

Dr. Copeland lives in Texas with his family, his wife and four children. He’s an avid sports fan; supporting his children in activities such as basketball, gymnastics, and soccer keeps him busy. He also likes to travel to new places with his family whenever possible.

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