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How two entrepreneurs are bringing the sharing economy to dentistry

How two entrepreneurs are bringing the sharing economy to dentistry
Image credit: Cloud Dentistry
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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The twenty-first century has seen cultural and economic changes in many areas, including employment. One of the biggest cultural shifts has to do with sharing—pairing those who have commodities with those who need them. And it’s not just about rides and rooms; the sharing economy is coming to the world of dental employment through the unique, cloud-based startup Cloud Dentistry.

Cloud Dentistry is the brainchild of dental expert Dr. Reza Sanjar and legal expert Trey Tepichin. Touting itself as “not a dental temp agency,” the platform uses high-tech tools to pair dental workers with the practices who need their talents.

How two entrepreneurs changed dental hiring

Sanjar, who is the co-owner of Dental Art in Katy, Texas, envisions sharing the benefits of Cloud Dentistry with the entire world—especially with dental professionals who want to embrace the benefits of working in the sharing economy.

Tepichin is a graduate of Duke University and went on to obtain his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Being a lawyer and economist, he understands the creation of new markets and how to maximize the efficiency of twenty-first century businesses.

Realizing that dentistry would benefit from cutting out the temp-agency middleman, Sanjar and Tepichin set out to build a better job-matching platform. Its basic principle would be similar to the idea behind sharing platforms like Vrbo, Lyft and Upwork—connect talent and resources with those who need them. Most importantly, it would benefit both dental practices and dental professionals.

The result: a cloud-based solution that is more affordable, efficient and user-friendly than the traditional temp agency. By pairing practices and dental workers directly, the platform gives dental practices direct access to the help they need. It also gives dental professionals more control over their careers.

The platform is taking off, and with good reason. Dental practice owners see immediate savings in both time and money. Dental professionals such as dental hygienists, dental assistants and dentists create and maintain their own profiles, allowing them to grow their own brands online.

Why dental practices are dropping their temp agency memberships

Job placement agencies are expensive and time consuming. It’s a major pain point for dental practices, and Sanjar and Tepichin took it on with their sharing-based business model.

To address the financial cost, the co-founders opted to charge dental practices a single thirty-day access fee. Where placement agencies charge a percentage of the worker’s hourly rate (plus sizable permanent placement fees), Cloud Dentistry keeps the fee structure simple and affordable.

As for time, dental practice owners often complain that they can’t get help immediately when they contact temp agencies. After all, lost time is lost revenue. Cloud Dentistry addresses this by allowing practice owners and hiring managers to view a candidate’s profile, check his or her availability and communicate in real time. Practice owners and hiring managers can make timely decisions by searching profiles and reading reviews of each candidate’s work. Jobs can be scheduled for the same day or in advance.

Why dental professionals are abandoning job boards and placement agencies

Of course, the business model relies on qualified dental professionals. More and more workers are turning to freelance or sharing-style work. Cloud Dentistry targets hygienists, assistants, dentists and others who want flexibility in scheduling, the chance to experience a variety of clinical settings or temp-to-perm opportunities.

The technology appeals to today’s workers. Dental professionals can save time by connecting directly with dental practices who need their skills. Dental hygienists, dental assistants and dentists are able to find work without going through a job board or committing their time and money to a temp agency. Instead, they maintain their own online profiles and treat their services as their own small businesses.

Despite the longstanding tradition of finding work through traditional dental temp agencies, both dental practices and dental professionals are moving on. The sharing economy and twenty-first century technology are behind the shift.

Why dentistry is a solid investment

One of Cloud Dentistry’s early objectives was to help dental practices to insource specialists. As the company developed, however, its founders began to see its potential for filling all kinds of dental roles. The company now helps pair a variety of professionals with the practices who need them. This shift in focus is a response to the importance of dental hygienists, dental assistants and support staff. These professionals will always be in demand, and they’ll always require job-matching services.

Of course, there can be no demand without consumers. Fortunately for dental workers, good health and good hygiene are important to everyone. That’s a major reason behind the projected growth of the dental industry. As the population grows older and cosmetic dentistry grows in popularity, that demand will continue to rise.

Dentistry is well established, solid and growing, making it a prime field for entrepreneurs. Its bright future also means that it will benefit by adapting to economic and cultural changes.

Why dentistry is ripe to enter the sharing economy

When it comes to the sharing economy, the dental field lags behind. Traditional job placement agencies are just that—traditional. But there’s a lot about dental hiring that makes it perfect for sharing-style platforms.

It’s time for dental practices to adopt innovative solutions that help them adapt to the modern world. That means looking for workers where they are—online. It also means hiring workers who want flexibility. Platforms like Cloud Dentistry give practices access to the large number of workers who seek sharing-style employment, broadening the field of candidates. 

But it’s not just about finding the right people. It’s also about maximizing revenue. The sharing economy, which supports extremely efficient hiring practices, helps dental practices meet demand more precisely. Through high-tech platforms like Cloud Dentistry, practices can avoid overstaffing and understaffing, getting help when and where it’s needed. This results in increased revenue. Such platforms also reduce overhead; practices save money when they don’t have to pay agency fees.

How dentistry will catch up with the rest of the world

Dental hiring practices have never been ideal; placement agencies have always cost time and money. This is especially problematic in today’s fast-paced, demanding economy and culture. Fortunately, the same kinds of technology that gave rise to the sharing economy are making their way into dentistry. Cloud Dentistry fully employs the sharing concept, providing a tech-based staffing solution that gives both dental practices and dental workers a variety of advantages.
 
Edition: August 2017

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