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The Cost of Hiring a Locum Tenens Dentist


When a dentist needs to take time off from their practice due to illness, maternity leave, or any other reason, hiring a locum tenens dentist can provide a solution to ensure continuity of care for their patients. Locum tenens dentists are temporary practitioners who can fill in for the absent dentist and help maintain the practice’s operations. One of the most important considerations when hiring a locum tenens dentist is the cost. In this article, we will discuss how much it costs to hire a locum tenens dentist and the factors that can affect the overall expense.

Factors Affecting the Cost

The cost of hiring a locum tenens dentist can vary depending on several factors. One of the primary considerations is the length of time the locum tenens dentist will be needed. Hiring a locum tenens dentist for a short-term assignment, such as a few days or weeks, will generally cost less than hiring one for a longer-term assignment. Additionally, the location of the practice and the demand for locum tenens dentists in that area can also impact the cost. In areas where there is a high demand for temporary dentists, the cost may be higher due to increased competition for their services.

Hourly Rates and Daily Fees

Locum tenens dentists typically charge an hourly rate or a daily fee for their services. The hourly rate can range from $60 to $100 or more, depending on the dentist’s experience and the location of the practice. Some locum tenens dentists may also charge a daily fee that can range from $600 to $1,000 or more. In addition to the basic fee, the hiring practice may be responsible for covering additional expenses such as travel and accommodations for the locum tenens dentist.

Payment for Services

The payment structure for locum tenens dentists can vary. Some locum tenens dentists may require payment upfront, while others may be willing to work out a payment schedule with the hiring practice. It is important for the hiring practice to clarify the payment terms with the locum tenens dentist before entering into an agreement. Additionally, the hiring practice may need to consider the cost of any necessary insurance coverage for the locum tenens dentist, such as malpractice insurance.

Agency Fees

Many hiring practices choose to work with locum tenens agencies to find and hire temporary dentists. These agencies can help streamline the process of finding a locum tenens dentist and may also provide additional support services. However, it is important to note that working with an agency typically incurs additional fees. These fees can vary but generally range from 30% to 40% of the locum tenens dentist’s total compensation. While working with an agency may increase the overall cost of hiring a locum tenens dentist, it can also provide valuable support and resources for the hiring practice.


Hiring a locum tenens dentist can be a cost-effective solution for maintaining a dental practice’s operations in the absence of the regular practitioner. The cost of hiring a locum tenens dentist can vary depending on factors such as the length of the assignment, the location of the practice, and the services provided by the locum tenens agency. It is important for hiring practices to carefully consider these factors and clarify the payment terms before entering into an agreement with a locum tenens dentist. By understanding the cost implications of hiring a locum tenens dentist, practices can make informed decisions that best meet their needs and budget.