Dental Talent – 5 Factors to Remember When Applying for Dental Associate Jobs

Climbing up the career ladder is a process that often varies from person to person, depending on luck, external factors, and one’s professional experience. Job-hunting has always been a complicated process, requiring many different methods to secure a stable job with good benefits: networking, having a well-written résumé or knocking the interview out of the park.

However, there are a few factors you’ll want to keep in mind when looking for new employment, especially in dental recruitment. Understanding these factors will help you determine whether or not the practice is a good fit for you. Here are five factors to remember:

Your Unit of Dental Activity (UDA) Value and Target

If you’re an NHS dentist, you’ll have to take a look at your UDA value and target, as this will influence your salary. Before you sign the contract to join a practice as their new dental associate, you’ll need to find out what the UDA value is and how many UDAs they expect you to complete every month and every year.

Dental associates that work full-time usually complete between 5,000 to 7,000 UDA every year. However, what you can achieve depends on your personal capacity and the staff and facilities’ efficiency at the practice.

Licence Fee

Since you’ll be using the practice’s facilities, you’ll have to pay a licence fee, which is a lot like rent. It’s a percentage that the practice owner will deduct from your UDA value. The licence fee should be around 40 to 50 per cent, so keep this in mind when applying for dentistry jobs to make sure you understand the salary you’ll be receiving.

The Facilities You Can Access

The licence fee covers your usage of the practice’s facilities, so it’s essential to know which facilities you can access once you start working. You’ll want to find out if you can easily access the practice’s sites and if you’re expected to show up at multiple locations. The facilities must include dental equipment, instruments, and implements that are routinely used in administering dental services, along with the corresponding furniture.

The Number of Patients

Your income relies on the number of UDAs you complete, so you must ensure that you see enough patients to reach your UDA target. When you’re invited to an interview for the position, be sure to ask about the average patient numbers they receive. Depending on the nature of the interview, you can even ask to see their daybook. Doing this will allow you to determine if the numbers will help you hit your target.

Notice Period

Taking on a new job is always filled with excitement and anxiety, as the company’s role may not be a good fit for you. If you join a dental practice and decide you’d like to work elsewhere after two weeks, you’ll want to consider the notice period. The dental industry’s standard notice period is three months, which can be too long for some people. Consider discussing a reduced notice period during your interview for the first three months of your employment, as it will protect both parties if your time there doesn’t work out.


Applying for dental associate jobs is an exciting next step in your career, but it’s essential to dive into it with all the information you need. By keeping these five factors in mind, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you and dental practices are a perfect match.

Dental Talent is a platform that connects practices with the best candidates. We are in association with The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry to resolve many of the practices’ recruitment challenges. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!