Trey Tepichin, CEO & Cofounder of Cloud Dentistry, Dr. Travis Campbell, Owner of 380 Family Dentistry & Angy Rodriguez, RDH, Learning & Development Manager of Cloud Dentistry join the Group Dentistry Now Show.
The panel discusses:
- The challenging staffing landscape
- What is causing the tight staffing market?
- Solutions & strategies to finding staff
- What hygienists are looking for
- What DSOs think about temps
- Much more
To discover more about Cloud Dentistry visit – https://www.clouddentistry.com/
You can email Trey Tepichin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact Angy Rodgriguez, RDH email her at email@example.com.
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Welcome to the Group Dentistry Now Show, the voice of the DSO industry. Kim Larson and Bill Neumann talk to industry leaders about their challenges, successes, and the future of group Dentistry. Visit groupdentistrynow.com for more DSO analysis, news, and events. Looking for a job or have a job to fill? Visit joindso.com. We hope you enjoy today’s show.
Welcome everyone to the Group Dentistry Now Show. I’m Bill Neumann. Thanks for joining us today. We have a hot topic to discuss. It is the dental staffing landscape, something that’s been a topic, gosh, for the past four or five years really right after COVID. So again, thanks everybody for listening in or you might be watching us on YouTube. Without a great audience like you, we wouldn’t have a great topic like this to discuss. We have an RDH with us today.
We have a dentist with us today, and we have an entrepreneur that’s trying to solve the dental staffing problem with us. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Dr. Travis Campbell. He is a practice owner of 380 Family Dentistry in Prosper, Texas. That’s the DFW area. We have Angy Rodriguez. She is an RDH, and we have Trey Tepichin. He is the CEO and co-founder of Cloud Dentistry. So thanks for being here today. Appreciate it.
Angy Rodriguez, RDH:
Angy, why don’t we start with you? Can we get a little bit of your background and company you work for now, maybe a little bit of experience with Cloud Dentistry?
Angy Rodriguez, RDH:
Yeah, definitely. So I am a dental hygienist based out of Arizona. I graduated back in 2017, and right out of school I was really intrigued by the fact that I could temp. You always hear of travel nurses and I was like, oh, I didn’t know hygienists could do that. So right out of school, most of my colleagues went right into working full-time and I was more pushed towards the temping field. So I started temping right away. What I would do is go to offices. I printed out my own little business cards, and I’d give them my card, say, “Hey, call me when you need help.”
And I found really quickly that that wasn’t the greatest way to get work. So I was having a hard time paying my bills, getting booked often enough. And so I started doing some online research and came across Cloud Dentistry. Signed up with a profile with them and I started temping with them pretty quickly and started getting booked pretty easily. I believe when I signed up with them, they were pretty new to Arizona.
I don’t know, Trey, maybe you can answer this once we get to you, but I think I may have been one of the first hygienists on the platform, and so it was very easy for me to find work and be booked. And from there, after a couple of years, I reached out to the company and became more involved with them. But it’s been amazing and to this day I still always recommend travel hygiene or temp hygiene to everyone that I meet.
Thanks, Angy. Dr. Travis Campbell, can you talk a little bit about your practice in Texas and then also you are a dental insurance expert as well?
Dr. Travis Campbell:
Yeah. So I started my practice from scratch in Prosper, Texas 15 years ago, and I still work there. I love clinical. It’s kind of what drives everything. But a few years ago, I started doing education for dental insurance because there wasn’t a lot of options out there. And so I’m around the country all the time giving lectures and teaching and things like that, and it’s been a whole lot of fun. But I started using Cloud, what, three, four years ago and it’s been really great. It’s helped us a lot with several things.
Great. And it’s dental insurance guy? Is that what you have behind your head there?
Dr. Travis Campbell:
There you go. Trey, you are the CEO and Co-founder of Cloud Dentistry. So take us from the inception. Why did you decide to do this? And then it’s probably a longer conversation than an introduction, but I guess we can get to the meat of Cloud Dentistry during this podcast. But maybe the why, why did you start Cloud Dentistry and what did you do before that?
Sure. Well, first of all, Bill, thank you for having me on. I never thought in a million years I was going to end up in the dental space. So I’m actually a lawyer by trade, so hopefully your audience doesn’t hold that against me. I no longer practice though, in my defense. I’m still licensed in Massachusetts and Texas, not actively practicing though. And so by way of background, it was not a straight line from point A to point B obviously to end up here in the dental space.
I was born in Mexico City, spent the first 14 years of my life there, finished off high school in Houston, Texas, and then slowly migrated north from there. So I went to Duke for undergrad, Harvard for law school, ended up practicing as an attorney for seven years, and then just happened to be having dinner with a buddy of mine who’s a dentist. His name is Reza, and Reza and I were catching up. He was a high school friend. I hadn’t seen him in probably 10 years at the time, and we’re catching up over dinner.
And he tells me about what a huge problem the dental staffing is. And this was all pre-COVID, so it’s only gotten worse since then. But even pre-COVID, it was still a very big problem. And he told me that in any given day he was going to be short-staffed three to four days out of the week. And then he was using… And this is scary as an outsider looking in, but he told me that he was using Craigslist to find hygienists at the last minute if he needed to or Indeed. I’m like, oh my goodness.
As a consumer of dentistry, I didn’t like the thought of thinking that when I go to dental offices, sometimes they’re getting people off of Craigslist. But that was the reality. And so it was against that backdrop that the wheels in our heads start to turn. I say to Reza, I was like, this is the era of the sharing economy. There has to be a better solution out there than Craigslist. If I needed someone to walk a dog, I could download the Wag app. If I needed a nanny to watch my kids, I could go to Care.com and get a nanny almost instantly.
So it seemed like there was a huge gap in the dental vertical for a solution like that. And so I think it’s more naivete than courage. I just said, “Look, this is a golden opportunity. We’re taking a business model that has worked in countless other verticals and bringing it to the dental space. Let’s do it.” So I quit being a lawyer and I dove in headfirst into the dental world, and I’ve loved it and I haven’t looked back.
So let’s talk a little bit about the challenges of staffing in dentistry. And you alluded to it, Trey. You said, hey, even pre-COVID there were challenges. I don’t know if COVID was the peak or we haven’t reached the peak yet, and I think COVID really I think changed the way people looked at work in particular. So Angy talked a little about the temping side of things, and so some hygienists in particular maybe left the industry completely because they were fearful or they were going to retire early or for whatever reason.
So a lot of them just didn’t come back. So then you had this incredible shortage. Tell me a little bit, maybe Angy, you can talk about this from the RDH perspective. So what have you seen as far as peers? What are maybe some of the trends that you’ve seen?
Angy Rodriguez, RDH:
Yeah. I think especially during COVID, a lot of things were amplified. But from peer to peer, usually hygienists have a long-standing way in which we position ourselves about how we feel about dental offices. And I know I have a dentist here, so I want to be very polite and careful how I word this, but a lot of hygienists feel that it’s hard to find an office that appreciates you. So it’s hard to find an office that when you request to take time off, they allow you to get that time off.
A lot of the times offices will make you find your own replacement, even if you request for a day off months in advance. It’s hard to find offices that will provide healthcare benefits for you or find an office where you work really well with a doctor. So I feel that a lot of hygienists started looking for alternatives. What else is out there that is not the 9:00 to 5:00 everyday office and how can we help fix some of these issues that we’re facing?
Dr. Campbell, what was your experience? I mean, you said you have had your practice for quite a while, so maybe you can take us through some of the challenges that you’ve had personally.
Dr. Travis Campbell:
I mean, I would say profitability is always a challenge for a lot of offices, but probably number one for most, at least I’m on a lot of groups that have dentists and hygienists in them, and the number one complaint always is teams. How do we build the team, develop the team, maintain the team? And of course, Angy’s right. I mean, everything she’s mentioned is things I’ve heard from other hygienists on why they have challenges with offices and even sometimes some mild challenges in our own office.
So we’ve had to fix those on our end to make sure we have an office that attracts people and people want to stay and things like that, which is why it’s interesting. I always see people look at platforms like this that say, well, it’s all about temping, and yet I would say two-thirds of my team members that have come on since COVID have been through Cloud as temps. And then because they loved the office and the team and I’m not even going to say me, but everybody else they’re working with, they decide to stay long-term.
From what we’ve seen, yes, there’s a lot of challenges, but there are ways to fix them. And that’s what I would say focusing on is important for everybody.
Dr. Campbell, that is a great point. We’re going to talk a little bit more about that as we move through the podcast, the opportunity for that temp to perm. So Trey, maybe tell us about your… So Cloud works with a lot of independent practices and then you work with a lot of DSOs as well. So what are you hearing from your customers as far as the labor market staffing in particular with hygienists and maybe other staff as well?
Sure. I mean, we have a lot of data around this question about what exactly is happening to the staffing marketplace. I mean, pre-COVID it was already bad, but post-COVID it got even worse. And one of the reasons for that is that one out of every five dental professionals, or I should say healthcare workers in general, left the workforce and it was a permanent departure. They didn’t come back. So you have a 20% contraction of the labor pool creating a supply shock. And then the other demographic that was very heavily affected by COVID was the female workforce.
So female workforce participation rates are currently at a 33-year low right now. And dentistry, you look at the hygiene population, the dental assisting population, it’s about 98% female. This is the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And so not only did healthcare labor pools contract because of COVID, but in the female labor pool also contracted post-COVID. So you have this one-two punch that was just brutal for the dental industry. And so dentists are just having a very hard time in general finding hygienists.
I think the ADA did a recent poll, and I think it was about 85% or 90% of respondents dentist respondents said that they were either having an extremely hard time or a very hard time finding dental hygienists. So it’s really become this pervasive, massive problem that affects the core of the dental office. Because if you don’t have the team and the people there to serve the patients, you can’t get going. So that’s what we’ve been hearing in terms of the data. And then anecdotally, we hear a lot of just horror stories about…
I don’t know if it’s a demographic thing or what, and I have to be careful not to besmirched all about great dental professionals that are out there because there’s plenty of great ones, but there’s also a lot that if you find them on Facebook or find them through Craigslist and you have them booked for a temporary interview or a work assignment that about 40 to 50% of the time anecdotally offices are telling us that these people just don’t show up. There’s just very little accountability and they get a better offer or something else comes up and they don’t show up.
And not only do they not show up, but ghosting has become this new thing, right? In the past, if I wasn’t going to keep an assignment, I would maybe make up some story about how my car broke down or something. But in this era, in today’s generation of quick texting and instant gratification, there’s no need to even make up an excuse. They just ghost you and you’ll never hear from them again. So anecdotally, we hear those types of horror stories sometimes and then we have hard data to show that the workforce has contracted significantly post-COVID.
So we have these issues, how are we going to solve them? So why don’t we get into the solution part of this? So what strategies out there… Maybe we can start with Travis. You were having issues. What solutions did you implement really to solve your labor problem?
Dr. Travis Campbell:
So like I said, I’m in a lot of dental hygiene groups, so I reached out to them and just watched and solved the complaints. And it really comes down to the same basic things. They weren’t feeling respected. They weren’t feeling appreciated. They weren’t feeling as part of the team. They didn’t feel like they had the instruments or tools that they needed. As Angy mentioned, a timing issue and a scheduling issue for personal stuff. So lots of these are the main reasons hygienists, at least in the groups I’ve seen, have left or left their current office.
And so we just decided to take those same concerns and make sure that they weren’t problems within our own office. One hygienist has worked for me for 15 years. We’ve had a couple other hygienists that have filled in the gaps over the time. And really the only reasons they’ve left are things outside of control of the office. One left the state. Well, unfortunately, she can’t work for us when she’s not in the same state. So it’s looking at the challenges and the specific concerns the hygienists are having and just finding ways to make it work.
And of course, the number one I think that is what both offices and hygienists tend to argue about together, and yet there is still a solution, it revolves all around money. Hygienists feeling like they should earn more, offices feeling like they’re not producing enough, and yet the solution is and what I deal with all the time is changing coding, changing efficiencies, changing scheduling, changing how the team is trained so that the productivity actually makes it worth having a hygienist there.
I love my hygienist. I don’t ever want to clean teeth. And having them profitable at the same time has been super important as well. And so just again, finding solutions to all the little challenges to make it to where the office can provide the experience that makes people want to come work for them and stay around for a long time.
On the strategy side of things, Trey, tell me a little bit about your thoughts. I mean, obviously Cloud is one of the strategies, right? Having that pool of hygienists and also looking at it from a temporary perspective. I’m curious when the industry is not used to that, when you’re in an industry that is used to hiring full-time, and I would say still the majority of providers are looking for full-time help, do you ever run into challenges with, hey, we don’t want temporary?
Yeah, two things to say on that. One, there definitely is some hesitancy from dental offices sometimes to use temporary labor, and I’m seeing that change with Cloud Dentistry and I’ll explain why in a bit. The other point is that even if you’re not interested in temporary labor, Cloud Dentistry has been phenomenal for getting full-time placements, as Dr. Campbell alluded to. You can get full-time hires through Cloud Dentistry, and it’s this temp to perm model. It’s a pay to play game, right?
If you are willing to pay for someone’s working interview, pay to have them come in and try them out for a day, test the fit, see if you like the way the hygienist works, see if there’s a good cultural match there, and then you can make them a full-time offer if you want. And the neat thing about doing it through Cloud Dentistry is you can literally for just a flat fee, it’s kind of like iTunes, right? You pay one flat fee, you can listen to as many songs as you want. Same deal with Cloud Dentistry.
You pay one flat fee and you can hire as many temps through the platform as you want for temporary assignments, book as many working interviews as you want to try out 10 hygienists over the course of a month. And then when you find one that you really like and you want to hire full-time, you make him or her an offer and you hire them. There’s no buyout fees. So that’s a way in which we’re the opposite of a staffing agency. We don’t charge these huge five to $10,000 buyout fees for you to take someone off our platform.
It’s completely free. It’s covered by the subscription fee. So out of all of our offices, about 50% of them don’t just use us for temps, but they also make a full-time hire through the site. So it’s a very effective way, especially in a tighter market, to be able to get those hires because they’re getting so many offers, these hygienists, that the days of just casting a net and hoping that you catch something are gone. You have to say, “Hey, come in for a working interview. We’re going to book your time.
We’re going to reserve it through a platform like Cloud’s,” and then have them show up and try them out. It’s really a very effective way to just get in front of the hygienist nowadays. The other point you made, just to touch on it briefly, was that there’s some aversion to temping in general, that offices don’t like the idea of temping. And I totally understand why. In the past, it was very cumbersome to do it through staffing agencies. The analogy I use here is it’s kind of like the yellow cab model for taxis.
Back before Uber existed, if I didn’t have my car because it was in the shop and I needed to go get groceries, I would never call a yellow cab to take me to the grocery store. And then once I had my groceries, call another yellow cab to take me back because it would be a big hour ordeal on either side of that travel to and from the grocery store to make that happen.
But now with Uber, it happens so seamlessly and so easily that I could very well if my car is in the shop, just take an Uber to the grocery store, get my groceries, get an Uber and come right back, or even just use Uber delivery now that they have that. So what used to not be possible in the past because the technology wasn’t there now is. And with Cloud Dentistry, it’s a similar story. We’ve taken all the friction out of bookings. So if you wanted to book a temp, our average response time to have a confirmed booking after sending out a request is about nine minutes.
So it’s very quick. And then we have less than a 1% no-show rate. And so you can book with confidence. So a lot of these pain points that gave temping a bad name, the no-shows, the hard to find people, the time it took to find someone, to replace someone in your office, all of those have been removed. It’s now a very frictionless experience similar to Uber. So you see a lot of offices coming around to the idea of using temporary labor, especially when they can do it more cheaply than hiring a full-time hygienist.
So a couple of takeaways from what you just said there, Trey. I love the idea of the working interview and I guess it really works, and Angy will talk about this in a second from both sides, right? One, the office is interviewing the hygienist and then the hygienist is also interviewing the office as well. You get a chance to spend the day there.
So you also talked a little bit about the no-show rate, which sounds like it’s a huge difference. Cloud Dentistry it’s around, what’d you say, about 1%? It was pretty astronomical, you said, of like 40% or some crazy percentage like that on the other side of things. Why the big difference with Cloud Dentistry?
I think it’s because we provide accountability. So Cloud Dentistry is a very profile centric site. So all of the hygienists, all of the dental assistants have a living breathing profile on Cloud Dentistry. It’s a public facing profile. If you had to visualize it, it’s very similar to LinkedIn, but kind of like LinkedIn on steroids because it tracks your work history, tracks your no-show rates, tracks all your user reviews. And so the hygienists and the assistants, and even the dentists that work through the platform, when they get booked, they know that their online profile and reputation is on the line.
And so because of that, they tend to show up. They tend to do good work. They want to get good reviews from people. And just that transparency and accountability through a public profile has done wonders to raise the standards of professionalism for these temporary assignments.
And so Angy, from the RDH perspective, I mean, are you trialing the offices as well?
Angy Rodriguez, RDH:
I am. It’s funny that you guys are talking about this because I actually have a working interview through Cloud Dentistry on October 29th for an office. I’m doing a lot of nonclinical work these days, and I find that as dental professionals, if you’re not using your hands, once you get back into it, it’s just so hard to get through a day smoothly. So I decided to pick up a job on the weekends, and I have been getting a lot of messages through ZipRecruiter. Like Trey was saying, with Cloud Dentistry, your profile is a live and breathing thing.
So on Cloud Dentistry, my profile has what I’m looking to get paid. It has all of my newest certifications, my laser skills, everything. As I’m getting these new certifications, I’m updating my profile. I have on there that I’m looking for a weekend job. So these offices that are reaching out to me on Cloud Dentistry know exactly what I’m looking for, which is why I was able to find such a perfect match for my working interview next week versus the ZipRecruiter emails that I’m getting right now.
That resume that I uploaded, I think I uploaded it straight out of not high school, straight out of hygiene school back in 2017. So these offices that are reaching out to me, I think I put on there that I was looking to get paid $30 an hour, which is way under what people are getting paid these days. So of course, I have hundreds of offices reaching out to me and none of them have my newest certifications, none of them know what I’m looking for. And even trying to respond to them, I don’t have my password for ZipRecruiter anymore, so I don’t even know how to log back in.
So like Trey is saying, I’m just ghosting these offices. So again, I just love to emphasize how easy Cloud Dentistry has made it to have your profile up to date. It’s like your resume, like your dental LinkedIn and offices can see that, reach out to you and book you and it just makes everything so seamless.
Well, Angy, you really just led right into the next question, which is this one’s for Travis. So how are you dealing with the increased wage demand of hygienists?
Dr. Travis Campbell:
So again, it’s all about profitability and production. If you’ve got a hygienist that comes in and does a prophy an hour and all they’re doing is a prophy, yeah, I mean, it’s not going to make any sense whatsoever. But if you’re having her come in and a third of your patients are perio and you’re doing exams and X-rays on a regular basis and you’re adding whatever you feel is valuable to the patient, your productivity reaches a level that even with these higher wage demands, it works out.
And at the same time, it was interesting, I was in a seminar of all offices that were two to $10 million in collections per year, and somebody asked the question on who provides raises for their teams or any kind of incentive package, and not a single person in the room failed to raise their hand. I mean, literally everyone. We do this for everyone, even our temps is if you outproduce your income, then we’ll pay you more.
And so it’s bidirectional solution because we want to reward people for working harder, and we also want to highlight those who aren’t making it worth their time and our time and not taking great care of the patients. Because we can think about money all day long, but when it comes down to it in a dental office, money’s just a relator of how much care we provided. And so we want to make sure that our level of care is high, as well as the quality of the people we’re bringing in.
So Trey, any thoughts on that? Do you have any experience with what some of your clients are doing to deal with this increase that RDHs are looking for? It’s not just RDHs. Everybody needs the extra money. So we’re not picking on you, Angy. But just out of curiosity, what are DSOs doing because this is a huge increase?
It is a big increase, and I think it’s a problem that goes across industries. I think back to when I could go to the grocery store and get groceries for the entire week for my family for like 150 bucks and now, no joke, I probably spend like $100 daily going to the grocery store and getting food for the kids and everyone. It’s really insane. So what I would like to think Cloud Dentistry helps with is helping the pricing adjust as more supply comes onboard and as we unlock additional workers.
Because in the past, a lot of these hygienists, they have a full-time office that they’re working for usually four days out of the week. And offices really don’t work the hygienist every single day. Some offices do, but a lot of times offices will reserve one day for non-hygiene matters. And so what that means is that a lot of hygienists have what I call these fractional units of labor, one or two extra days per week or maybe one or two per month.
They go unmonetized and are unavailable for consumption by dental offices, because a hygienist isn’t going to upload his or her resume to Indeed just because they want to pick up one or two or three extra days of work over the course of a month. But with Cloud Dentistry, now we actually have a lot of inventory that has been unlocked where hygienists love the idea of putting up their profile. And even if they just want to work two days out of the month, they will put those labor days up on the platform to be booked.
So from a supply and demand perspective, and I think this is one of the reasons that Cloud Dentistry is appealing to the DSOs, is we actually have a downward pressure effect on price because we’re increasing the supply relative to the demand, which puts downward pressure on price, on wages. And so I think that helps. We get scapegoated a lot because we’re very transparent with the prices and the prices vary a lot by geography.
So because we have price transparency, somehow people think that, oh, Cloud Dentistry has something to do with that, but we don’t set the prices. This is all supply and demand economics at work here, and all we do is we try to increase the supply as much as possible, which creates downward pressure on price and wages.
Angy, what are hygienists looking for when they’re trying to choose where to work, whether it’s temporary or whether it’s maybe the opportunity to go temp to perm?
Angy Rodriguez, RDH:
Yeah, I think like Dr. Campbell was saying, I appreciate that he’s so willing to hear out his staff and make sure that they’re providing a good work environment for them. When we’re looking to temp, at least personally, I don’t speak for all the hygienists on the platform, but for myself, I do normally have a higher rate on my profile, mostly because I have to remind offices that I’m using my gas to drive. I set my distance on the platform. You can set how far you want to travel. I set mine to 30 to 45 miles because I want to make sure I get as many bookings as possible.
I’m using quite a bit of my gas. I have my own liability insurance I’m paying for. I’m paying for my own health insurance. So that’s part of the reason why the rates temping are so high. Of course, speaking with this office that I have a working interview with, I’ve been able to message them through the platform back and forth and we’re talking about, well, if we hire you permanently, what are you looking for as a rate? Once you start talking to an office about being hired permanently, they’re going to be able to provide healthcare for you or health insurance for you and different benefits.
So of course, I’m willing to lower my rate once we get hired on permanently. And I think a lot of hygienists are just looking to make sure that offices are willing to provide those benefits if you get hired on permanently. I also think like Dr. Campbell was saying that there has to be a conversation with the doctor as far as how much we’re expected to produce. I’ve been really lucky.
One of the offices that hired me on through Cloud for about a year had a fantastic doctor and she worked a lot with me on warm handoffs, reiterating treatment that was planned for the patient. So that when the patient’s coming in, they trust their hygienist because they see us so often. If we’re reminding them, “Hey, Dr. Campbell, just so you know, he talked to you about this crown last time. While I was cleaning around it, I noticed the margin was really soft. Make sure you talk with Dr. Campbell about it again today.”
And just that conversation will produce for the doctor maybe in a week when that crown gets redone. So we’re really just looking for communication with the doctor. We want to produce for the doctor. I think as long as we’re having those conversations, it really makes the work environment that much easier to work in.
Thanks, Angy. Advantages, this is a big topic and I think there’s a ton of confusion around this. So contractor versus W-2. There’s some confusion in the market that it’s illegal to have contractors. Trey, why don’t you talk about this? Given that, and I didn’t know this, that you actually are a lawyer, even you don’t practice and no, we won’t hold it against you. This is good to have. You obviously aren’t W-2-ing on Cloud Dentistry, is that correct? So how does that work?
Sure. So let me start with a disclaimer that this is not legal advice. You need to get your own legal advice if anyone’s listening. But high level, Cloud Dentistry has done research into this to make sure our business model is obviously compliant with the laws, and we try to give people choice and power over their own careers. And so we actually let you choose when you sign up for Cloud Dentistry whether or not you want to work as a W-2 or whether or not you want to work as a 1099.
And in some states… I mean, the law varies from state to state. In some states like California, for example, it’s a little bit more strict, but we give people the choice. And given the choice, 98% of our users both on the office side and the professional side prefer to be 1099s. And if you’re a 1099, we have something called Cloud Direct Pay, where to give the offices that extra comfort, Cloud Dentistry is the entity that issues the 1099 form to the contractor. So we interface vis-a-vis the IRS.
Our company name is the one on the tax forms. So it creates a layer of a buffer between the office and any kind of potential IRS liability. So that’s point number one. And then point number two, for any offices that are hesitant to use Cloud Dentistry’s Direct Pay feature, we’ve done probably about 200,000 placements to date, maybe more as contractors. And out of those 200,000 times, we’ve only had about I want to say two dental professionals that have ever challenged their classification legally against Cloud Dentistry.
And in both of those cases, Cloud Dentistry prevailed with the regulator to have our 1099 classification upheld. So this idea that it’s illegal or can’t be done, it’s just a complete misnomer, right? We’ve done it 200,000 times. And in a few cases where people have raised legal challenges against us, we’ve prevailed in 100% of those. So it can definitely be done. The laws do vary state by state, and we try to be cognizant of that.
And if you do have any concerns as an office about your utilization of Cloud Dentistry and how you’re using Cloud Dentistry and are worried that you might create legal issues, I mean, definitely consult your own lawyers and accountants. But like I said, we have a phenomenal track record from the perspective of prevailing on these claims and not having any issues around contracting people under the 1099 scheme. The other thing to note is going back to the price discussion, a lot of offices actually are preferring to 1099 their workers now because…
We did a little mini study on it. And you end up relative to fully loaded W-2 costs with healthcare, insurance, taxes, everything else, you end up actually paying about 15% less when you hire contractors through Cloud Dentistry, even though the contractor rate is slightly higher than the W-2 rate. Once you factor in all those extra costs associated with a fully loaded W-2 employee, you actually can save money as a result of using this Cloud Direct Pay feature and having Cloud Dentistry be the company of record vis-a-vis the IRS.
So as we start to wind down this podcast, I have a couple final questions. Our audience just really is made up of pretty diverse crowds. So we’ve got the large DSOs out there with thousands of locations, and then we have the scaling groups. We have somebody that might have three or four or five locations, doctor owned and led. What are your thoughts? And anybody can answer this. How do you think DSOs feel about temps in general? Angy, have you had any experience with that?
Angy Rodriguez, RDH:
Yeah. Actually I don’t know if I’m allowed to name-drop the DSOs. I’ve had great experiences with them, but MB2 Dental One partners, I’ve come across them and they’re always very happy to have me as a temp. I know that we have on our platform the ratings. They can see how many times I’ve no showed or canceled. Of course, I have none on there. And they could see our reviews from other offices.
So I’ve always had a really pleasant experience with them. And I find that talking to my peers, a lot of them end up getting hired through some of these larger DSOs. They seem to be friendlier towards temps than maybe some of the more private offices are.
That’s great. Trey, your experience with the groups on the platform or maybe the ones that have been a little hesitant?
So I think the ones that have had a lot of success with Cloud Dentistry are the ones that view our platform less as a staffing solution per se and more as a workforce management solution. So a lot of these DSOs will end up just saying, “Hey, look, we have so many offices. We have a big bench of hygienists that we already know and have in our network, but it’s a big pain to schedule them from office to office and know who’s available when,” and it’s taking up hours and hours of someone’s time or multiple people’s times within the DSO.
And so they use Cloud Dentistry more as a workforce management solution where they just tell their people, “Hey, create your profiles on Cloud Dentistry. We’re going to have an account there too, and we will book you through Cloud Dentistry and tell you which office to go to.” And you can actually favorite different people as an office and DSO. You can add favorite icons to the professionals that you have worked with in the past that are part of your internal bench.
And that way as an initial search, you search to see who from my internal bench of people that are already vetted, that I already know have availability, and see if you can fill a position within your various offices. And then if you can’t, you have a huge list of hundreds literally of hygienists that are ready to go at a moment’s notice. They can also fill that spot and maybe become favorite of yours down the road once you’ve tried them out in your office. This workforce management solution or workforce management approach has been very, very popular with the DSOs.
And I’ve heard anecdotally from some of the DSOs that they used to have a team of five or six people in-house to manage all the recruitment, all the shuffling of different hygienists and assistance from office to office. Logistically, it’s very complicated and very time-consuming, and that they were able to go from five or six employees doing that down to one employee doing that, and they were able to repurpose five of their employees towards more productive ventures. So I think that’s where DSOs find the biggest savings and the biggest value from Cloud Dentistry.
Last question, we can let Travis answer this one first, but future of staffing, this is get the crystal ball out and tell us what your impressions are from a practice owner and also maybe with some of the new innovations like Cloud Dentistry. Are you hopeful for the future of staffing in dentistry?
Dr. Travis Campbell:
I’m absolutely hopeful for the future of staffing and just dentistry in general. The thing is you’ve got to think about all markets tend to adjust to whatever’s going on within them. And so while there is a lack overall of team members for the number of offices, offices are also coping as well. They either use things like Cloud to find people quicker, easier, or there’s a lot of dentists that are moving towards assisted hygiene or even no hygiene models, which is probably never going to become the majority use, but it’s going to over time balance out the supply and demand of teams.
And then of course, the education side of it is opening new hygiene schools and assisting schools because there’s a large push for that. So I would say in the next few years, we’re going to go back to that balanced market where we have similar supply and demand if no other reason than there’s multiple forces that are interacting together to fix the current challenge that’s there.
And like I said, currently for the individual offices or the DSOs that are feeling like they’re having this challenge, I would still suggest going back to looking at why the hygienists are leaving or why the hygienists that are temping aren’t willing to stay more long-term and figure out that solution. I mean, in most cases, it’s just have better equipment or instruments or have better team cohesion, better organization or efficiency clinically.
I mean, there’s so many aspects to it, but I would say if you’re not doing X interviews for all of your people, then I’d suggest starting because find out what they liked and what they didn’t like and just incorporate that into what you do in the future. And for our office, we don’t really have a challenge with team members. Because the few times we have people move away, we can capture long-term team members pretty quickly right after.
Thanks, Dr. Campbell. Angy, how about you with your crystal ball? What do you think for your peers out there, what does the future look like?
Angy Rodriguez, RDH:
I’m very hopeful. And listening to Dr. Campbell speak, again, it makes me so happy to hear dentists speaking like this. Just the fact that the staffing issue has forced hygienists, doctors, assistants to communicate more, to talk more, to network more before getting a job, I think just having that communication is really going to… I know right now it’s hard, but I think it’s really going to move the dental field forward. So I’m very hopeful.
That’s great. And Trey, maybe you could talk a little bit about the future of Cloud Dentistry. Are there any things that you’re working on? I’m sure the platform’s constantly evolving.
Yeah. I always joke with people that because it’s a startup company and we’re always iterating on the product that give it three months and you look back and you hardly recognize the platform anymore. The first version of Cloud Dentistry that we launched with the alpha version, I would be ashamed to show it to you guys today. It was garbage, frankly. And so it’s been a very iterative approach. We keep taking feedback from all of our users trying to add the features and functionalities that they desire, improved gamification so that we have better accountability.
And all those things are continuing to evolve and be developed. The latest thing that we’re working on is a lot of dental professionals want to get paid instantly. This is the instant gratification society. And so we were trying to figure out a way where instead of having to wait two or three days for the payment processing to go through, is there a way for us to get the payments to them instantly?
And so we have a feature now that’s going to be released pretty soon that upon the completion of an assignment, the professional will get paid according to the last test, it’ll take about less than two hours to get them paid. So very close to instant payouts are on the way. And we’re doing a lot of other overhauls to the platform to really lean into this whole workforce management concept so that people don’t just think of us as a temporary labor solution, but as the labor management solution for their practices. So a lot more cool things to come.
Very cool. Trey, if people want to get in touch with you or they want to find out more about Cloud Dentistry, how do they do so?
It’s very easy to create an account. I tell professionals out there and dental offices that everyone should have us as a first line of defense because there’s no charge to create your account. And look, you can look at all the professionals on there for free. So unlike ZipRecruiter or Indeed or Craigslist, we have to pay money to get access to this stuff. With us, there’s no charge from looking. So you just go to CloudDentistry.com and create your free account.
It’s as easy as setting up a Facebook or a LinkedIn. And if there’s any questions and people want to reach out to me to give me product feedback or ideas or to get more involved with Cloud Dentistry on the business side, on the investment side, really whatever your interest is, I’m always happy to talk to the community. That’s why the platform has succeeded. We’ve constantly been getting feedback from people. You can just email me at Trey, that’s T-R-E-Y, @CloudDentistry.com. I look forward to hearing from people.
Thanks, Trey. Dr. Campbell, if people want to find out about the dental insurance guy, I think you said it was dentalinsuranceguy.com, so that’s pretty easy. If they want to email you, what’s your email address?
Dr. Travis Campbell:
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, so D-R-T-C-A-M-P-B-E-L-L@gmail.
All right. Thank you, Dr. Campbell. And Angy, if anybody wants to get in touch with you and find out about your experience working for Cloud or temping for Cloud, how do they do so?
Angy Rodriguez, RDH:
Yeah. If anyone wants to book me on Cloud Dentistry, I’m under Angy Rodriguez. You’ll see my five star review on there. So they can book me there if you’re in Arizona. And if not, you can email me at Angy@CloudDentistry.com and I can help you create your profile and get used to using the platform.
Excellent. Well, thanks, everybody, Trey, Angy, Dr. Campbell. Appreciate everybody being on today. Great conversation. I don’t know if we solved the world’s staffing problems, but maybe made them a little bit easier, so I thank you all. And thanks everybody for listening in or watching us today on the Group Dentistry Now Show. I’m Bill Neumann. Until next time, thank you.
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