HPI: Dental hygienists, assistants get pay hikes of up to 6%

By Melissa Busch, DrBicuspid.com associate editor

June 27, 2022 -- Approximately eight out of 10 dentists recently have given pay raises -- commonly in the range of 4-6% -- to dental hygienists and assistants, according to poll results released in June by the ADA's Health Policy Institute (HPI).

Within the last year, about 80% of dentists reported giving pay increases to hygienists, and approximately 85% of clinicians reported giving wage increases to assistants. Within the last one to two years, about 14% of dentists reported giving pay hikes to hygienists, and approximately 12% reported raising the wage of assistants, according to poll results collected from June 14-19 from about 1,200 dentists.

In June, dental team recruitment needs remained steady with around four in 10 dentists continuing to recruit hygienists and assistants. As the pursuit continues, dentists have opened their pockets to dental team members.

Though most dentists reported giving hygienists and assistants raises of 4-6%, about 20% of clinicians reported giving them whopping pay hikes of 10% or more, according to the poll results.

Meanwhile, 33% of dentists reported giving hygienists pay raises of 1-3%, and about 23% gave the same percentage increase for dental assistants. Finally, about 13% of dentists reported giving hygienists pay raises and approximately 14% of clinicians reported giving assistants pay increases of 7-9%, according to HPI.

Although many clinicians reported generous wage increases, only 45% of dentists reported offering health insurance to hygienists and assistants. Further, only one in five dentists reported offering their employees paid leave, according to the results.

The most common benefits offered are dental benefits and paid vacation. About 93% reported offering dental benefits and 91% offered paid vacation to employees. Between 70% and 76% reported offering retirement savings, paid sick time, and professional development.


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