**Auxiliary Staff Ratios**
It is probably the best time to visit this topic in light of increasing wages and difficult economic times ahead. In good times additional staff can go unnoticed, that is the additional billings make up for any staffing inefficiencies and hit on profitability. However, in an environment of stagnating or decreasing billings these additional staff can play havoc on profits and in many cases lead to business losses. Dental businesses, like any other businesses, operate on certain margins. There is risk and significant capital costs associated with setting up or purchasing a dental business and as such a return on that investment is needed. We don’t shy away from the fact that for the majority of dental clinics in Australia these returns over the last few years were excellent!
However, as economic storm clouds gather, particularly over small business, these returns can easily turn to losses. Moreover, for those owners who have debt repayments, particularly in the context of increasing interest rates (if variable options were taken), it can mean they land themselves in significant financial strife.
Accordingly, it is important we visit staffing ratios as one mechanism to cap expenses (there are several others which we’ll discuss in due course).
There are exceptions but generally we see it as below.
R = Reception
S = Sterilisation Person
TC = Treatment Coordinator
1 Chair Operating = 1DA/1R
2 = 2DA/1R
3 = 3DA/1.5R/0.5S
4 = 4DA/2R/1S
5 = 5DA/2.5R/1.5S
6 = 6DA/3R/2S
7 = 7DA/4R/2S
8 = 8DA/4R/2S
9 = 9DA/5R/2S
10 = 10DA/5R/2S
*0.5 means sharing a staff member (i.e they do both reception and sterilisation on the day).
A TC gets involved at any number of chairs as long as there is a dentist to do larger 15K+ treatment plans and patient demand for it.
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