Orthodontist assistants are invaluable members of a dental team. Even small clinics can benefit from having this type of assistant on staff.
But orthodontist assistant salaries can be a steep price to pay for overwhelmed orthodontists.
Let’s explore how much orthodontist assistants make and why hiring a virtual orthodontist assistant is a more logical choice for many orthodontists.
What do orthodontist assistants do?
Orthodontist assistants work closely with orthodontists and their teams. While they have specific responsibilities, they are also present to assist in other ways.
One task an orthodontist assistant can help with is live charting while you see patients in your clinic. While you ask a patient questions and examine them, your orthodontist assistant can write down important details allowing you to focus on patient care.
In addition to providing hands-on support for patients, orthodontist assistants can handle a variety of administrative tasks. For instance, they can keep patient records updated and accurate.
They can be responsible for answering the phone or contacting patients for appointment reminders. And if they have access to your private practice’s calendar, they can book or cancel appointments.
When your receptionist needs help, an orthodontist assistant can perform insurance verifications and preauthorizations. The assistant can also take care of patient billing, referrals, and anything else your front desk needs.
Whenever your clinic has pending back-office tasks, your orthodontist assistant can get those done between patient appointments.
If your orthodontist assistant is well-trained, they can give at-home care instructions to your patients and make follow-up calls to make sure patients have everything under control.
Finally, orthodontist assistants can handle medical documentation and perform data entry whenever required. This prevents paperwork from piling up on anyone’s desk.
Interested in hiring a virtual orthodontist assistant at an affordable rate? Book a call with our team to learn more about how this works.
How much is an orthodontist assistant’s salary?
Wondering what you’ll need to shell out if you want to hire an orthodontist assistant? To estimate for this type of dental professional, consider the following:
Candidates with more experience may demand a higher wage. Because they perform their job more accurately and effectively than a novice, they are more valued in an overwhelmed clinic.
But you’ll also need to take other elements into account. For instance, many employers offer their employees non-mandatory benefits to encourage candidates to apply and remain with them long-term.
These benefits can include (but aren’t limited to):
- Vacation time
- Sick leave
- Parental leave
- Health insurance and life insurance
- Retirement benefits
- Office perks (like free snacks)
Payroll is also expensive. If you already have someone handling payroll, adding an extra employee is no big deal. But if you’re currently operating solo, payroll is an added expense you’ll need to account for.
The average base salary for a medical assistant can vary. For an orthodontist assistant in the US, the average wage is $18.61 per hour. If your assistant works eight-hour days, you’ll have to spend $38,708 per year on their salary.
If this cost is too steep for you, there are other options. Did you know that you can hire a trained virtual assistant to perform most of the tasks an orthodontic assistant would do? Book a call with our team to find out if this solution would be a good fit for you.
How you can grow your private practice with a virtual orthodontist assistant
You don’t have to hire a full-time orthodontist assistant as an employee to work in your clinic. Virtual assistants can serve the same role at a much lower cost from anywhere in the world.
Here are some of the benefits of hiring a remote orthodontic assistant to support your practice:
1. Cut costs while still paying your assistant a fair wage
Paying a US assistant a fair wage is expensive for your dental clinic. While the average salary is between $18 and $19 per hour, it can be even more depending on the demand for talented staff in your area.
You could end up spending over $50,000 per year to retain a skilled candidate. While some clinics can pull this off, others may not have the same margins to play with.
Healthcare Virtual Assistants from Hello Rache live in the Philippines and cost a flat fee of $9.50 per hour. With eight-hour work days, that’s equivalent to a salary of $19,760 per year. Additionally, you’ll avoid other expenses for these workers, such as benefits or taxes.
If you’re wondering whether this wage is ethical, consider that healthcare professionals, like registered nurses, make an average of only $20 per day in the Philippines. And to make that wage, they often have to go through three hours of commuting daily.
When this same type of professional works for you as a virtual orthodontist assistant, they make two to three times as much as what they’d usually average — and without the commute. You save tens of thousands per year, and they get to make more, which means everyone wins.
Plus, these healthcare professionals already have the skills a virtual assistant needs to fully support orthodontists. You won’t need to worry about hiring an administrative worker who knows nothing about your profession.
2. Go home at 5 p.m.
Overworked and tired going home late? Virtual assistants can be the affordable solution you desire.
Let them complete your administrative tasks so you can spend your time elsewhere.
You can delegate cumbersome tasks to your virtual assistant. For example, why should you multitask and take notes during an appointment when your Healthcare Virtual Assistant is available to do it? And why should you stay late to transcribe those notes when that’s your assistant’s specialty?
With an HVA, you can fill your days with work you love to do while also making those days shorter. This can help you mitigate the risk of burnout. You’ll have more reasons to love your profession.
3. Support the rest of your staff
Is your receptionist just as overwhelmed as you are? You don’t need to hire an extra clinical receptionist to give them a hand.
Your virtual orthodontist assistant can perform front desk tasks to get your receptionist’s focus back on your patients. For instance, if you get too many phone calls, consider handing them to an orthodontist assistant while the receptionist greets people in person.
You can also hire an additional virtual orthodontist assistant at a lower salary than an in-person receptionist to increase your capacity. While your in-person receptionist interacts with your patients, your virtual receptionist can:
- Perform preauthorizations and insurance verifications
- Prepare bills and invoices to speed up the payment process
- Read and respond to emails
- Forward calls to the appropriate team member
- Call patients for appointment reminders
Alternatively, if you don’t have a receptionist yet, you can build an entirely virtual reception area. Thanks to modern technology, virtual assistants can check in patients and take copays without being there in person.
4. Grow your revenue by taking on more patients
You already know you’ll save tens of thousands per year on an orthodontist assistant’s salary with a virtual assistant. As a result, you’ll have better margins, improved cash flow, and more time to spare.
If you prefer, you can keep your practice as is and shorten your workdays. But you can also grow your practice and take on more patients with your newfound free time.
As you grow your clinic, you can bring on additional virtual assistants to support your private practice. With time, you can even hire additional employees and bring on another orthodontist or dentist to your team. You’ll only be limited by the potential pool of talent and patients in your area.
Alternatively, you can take a flexible approach to hire your virtual assistants. If you want to stay small but still want to occasionally take on more patients to accommodate peak seasons, you can vary how many hours of support you get from your virtual orthodontist assistant.
Only need 10 hours a week to complete a few transcriptions? No problem. Prefer to hire four virtual orthodontist assistants for a few months to clean through a backlog of administrative tasks? You can do that, too.
You can build your virtual dental team up and down as you see fit.
Get the help you need with a virtual orthodontist assistant
When you hire a virtual orthodontist assistant, you won’t need to free up the cash flow that’s required for a full-time employee. Instead, you can start with as few or as many hours as you’d like to ensure that your staff and your patients remain fully supported.
Book a call with our team, and we’ll get you a virtual orthodontist assistant that fits your needs.