Dental Associateships


Dental Associateships in Washington, Texas & Nationwide that protect both the Dentist and Associate

Dental associateships present benefits to both the associate and the owner. Of course, the owner of the practice can benefit from having the production of a dental associate to increase revenues and decrease the workload on the practice owner. In addition, the owner can potentially groom the associate for a subsequent buy-in. On the other hand, the associate can gain the necessary experience that can help him/her establish knowledge in the field and eventually become an owner at that practice or another. Since many new dentists do not have the resources (time, money, experience, goodwill) needed to establish their own practice, they can search for associate dentist jobs to gather these resources that can help them establish their own practice later on.

What Exactly is a Dental Associateship?

A dental associateship is a working relationship between a dentist/owner of a practice and a dentist (often younger) who does not have ownership of the said practice and will work as an employee or independent contractor for the dentist/owner of a practice. This career path enables fresh dentists to gain the experience they need to set up their own practice or move into a more specialized field.

It also enables them to focus on improving their clinical skills while also earning a decent salary. Fresh dentists can practice complex treatments and procedures, like dental implants, oral cancer screenings, and orthodontic treatments, by employing the latest dental technologies. While working as a dental assistant, the dentist doesn’t have to worry about the expenses associated with setting up their own practice or legal issues, like dental insurance claims and management.

What Dentists Look for In A Dental Associate?

With so many associate dentists out there, it can be hard to stand out. Here are some of the qualities most dentists look for in a dental associate:

Similar Treatment Approach

The dentist/owner of the practice has to make sure that their associate dentists share a similar approach to dental treatment. This ensures that the both can work together in treating the patient and that they share similar values.

Knowledge and Skills

Dentists look for associates with experience in different dental procedures and those who are always keen to learn new things. Knowledge of dental care protocols and guidelines, current technologies and techniques, as well as the ability to work with other dental professionals are all essential requirements.

Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude is important to be successful as a dental associate. Candidates should have an enthusiastic approach to their profession and demonstrate the ability to work well with both the dental team and patients. A confident smile, a friendly demeanor, and excellent communication skills are also key qualities that employers look for.

Patient Care

Dentists look for candidates with a genuine passion to provide the highest level of patient care. New patients should be made to feel comfortable and reassured during their treatments, so experience in building patient relationships is important. They should be able to guide patients about protecting natural teeth, maintaining good oral hygiene, and making informed decisions about their dental treatments.

Hiring an Associate Requires Due Diligence

Many dentists make the mistake of hiring an associate without proper due diligence. There are several issues that dentists have to consider when hiring an associate, especially when the plan is for such associate to eventually buy into the practice and become an owner, including the following:

  • The compensation of the dental associate
  • Whether the dental associate will receive employment benefits
  • Whether the dental associate has ownership expectations
  • Whether the owner has ownership expectations for the associate
  • Personality compatibility (or lack thereof)

As you can see, with dental associateships, it is critical that you hire a law firm that focuses on dentistry, like Cohen Law Firm.

Protecting Both the Dentist/Owner and Associate

The relationship of dental associate and owner must be fair for both parties. The dentist/owner is essentially welcoming an “outsider” into his practice, and the practice is likewise new territory for the associate. Without a properly written associate contract, problems may arise.

A reputable law firm that focuses on dentistry, such as Cohen Law Firm, will be able to draft contracts and agreements that will cover all bases and protect the owner, including non-disclosure and non-competition arrangements.

These may seem like fundamental items, but they are often neglected, particularly by law firms that do not focus on the dental field.  This is why it’s a good idea to hire a law firm that specializes in dental associateships.

Associates can benefit from such a law firm as well. As an associate, you’d want to be compensated properly and you’d want your interests protected as an employee or independent contractor. You’d also want terms and conditions clearly highlighted like what you are expected to provide to the practice and what the practice is expected to provide to you. You should also make sure that terms of the termination are clear, including whether you’re going to be eventually terminated by the practice or you are going to buy-in and be a part of the practice.

Finding the Perfect Fit

Cohen Law Firm can help both parties find a fair dynamic. The firm concentrates on setting up dental associateships in such a way that the dentist/owner and the associate are both happy. This is to ensures a successful and smooth associateship.

If two parties are perfect for one another, this will pave the way for a buy-in. The dentist/owner can welcome the associate as an owner by allowing them to purchase an interest in the practice. This is typically done via asset sale, but in some circumstances via stock or membership interest sale. Further, in some cases, the dentist/owner can sell its entire practice outright to said associate, called a “walk away sale”. This is why it’s important that you find the perfect fit and this is where Cohen Law Firm can help you.

What to Do Now

If you already have contracts drafted, have Cohen Law Firm look them over to ensure that they have everything needed to protect the interests of both parties. If you’re just starting, then contact the firm so they can help you find the perfect fit and draft contracts to protect said interests.

Dental associateships can often make or break a practice. Maintaining optimal dental production and a chemistry among the staff in the practice is critical. This is why it’s important that you hire Cohen Law Firm to help in the process. You want a deal that benefits all parties and a competent law firm that focuses on the realm of dentistry. Cohen Law Firm can help you.


    Contact us or give us a call to discover how we can help.

    Call Now