dental employment contract

When hiring an associate dentist, establishing a comprehensive dental employment contract is crucial for protecting your dental practice and ensuring a positive working relationship. A well-drafted employment contract not only clarifies the rights and responsibilities of both parties but also safeguards your practice from potential legal issues. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 5 must-haves in your dental employment contract checklist to help you create a strong foundation for a successful employment agreement.

Clear Terms of Employment

One of the most important aspects of a dental employment contract is outlining the clear terms of employment. This includes specifying the duration of employment, whether it's a fixed-term or indefinite contract, and any probationary periods. Clearly defining the start and end dates of employment provides clarity for both the employer and the employee. Additionally, it's essential to include details about working hours, work schedule, and any specific requirements or expectations related to the position.

Compensation and Benefits

The dental employment contract should explicitly state the compensation and benefits provided to the associate dentist. This includes details about the salary or hourly rate, payment frequency, and any additional compensation structures such as bonuses or incentives. In addition to financial aspects, outline the benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, vacation or sick leave policies, and other perks or allowances. Clearly defining the compensation and benefits ensures transparency and helps avoid misunderstandings in the future.

Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Clauses

To protect your practice's trade secrets and client base, it is crucial to include non-disclosure and non-compete clauses in the dental employment contract. A non-disclosure clause prohibits the associate dentist from sharing confidential information, patient lists, or proprietary practice policies with outside parties. A non-compete clause, on the other hand, restricts the associate dentist from working for or opening a competing dental practice within a specified geographic area and time frame after leaving your practice. These clauses safeguard your practice's proprietary information and prevent potential competition.

Termination and Notice Period

Including provisions related to termination and notice period is essential in a dental employment contract. Clearly define the circumstances under which either party can terminate the employment agreement, such as breach of contract, misconduct, or other justifiable reasons. Specify the required notice period that the employee must provide before resigning, allowing ample time for the employer to find a replacement. Similarly, outline the notice period the employer must give in case of termination. These provisions ensure a fair and smooth transition in case of employment termination.

Dispute Resolution and Governing Law

To address potential conflicts or disagreements that may arise during the employment relationship, it's crucial to include a dispute resolution clause in the dental employment contract. This clause outlines the preferred method of resolving disputes, such as mediation or arbitration, and specifies the jurisdiction or governing law that will apply in case legal action is necessary. Including a dispute resolution clause promotes a fair and efficient resolution process, potentially saving time and costs associated with litigation.


Creating a well-crafted dental employment contract is vital for protecting your dental practice and establishing a positive work environment. By including the top 5 must-haves in your dental employment contract checklist, you can ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities. Clear terms of employment, comprehensive compensation and benefits, non-disclosure and non-compete clauses, termination and notice provisions, and a dispute resolution clause are crucial elements to consider. Working with a dental contract lawyer can provide valuable guidance in drafting a strong employment contract that protects your practice's interests and fosters a successful employment relationship.