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What is An Associate Dentist?

Dental associates are dentists who are contracted as independent dentists at dental practices where they are not the owner.

Been browsing your local dentist’s website and noticed the mention of an associate dentist several times? Are you wondering what kind of a dentist this is? Well, you might not know that in the UK, most dentists in both cosmetic and general settings work as self-employed associates. It’s not a reflection of their experience, level or role but rather an indication that they do not own the practice.

Associate dentists will work at the practice regularly, but are not full-time employed and will often work at multiple dental practices at once and attend them when their speciality or area of dentistry is called upon.

For example, your local practice might offer advanced gum disease treatments with a periodontist. However, that periodontist will not be at the practice daily and will only be scheduled to work when one of the practice’s patients needs them. In this case, the associate will have a relationship with the practice owner, where the associate typically makes payments to the practice owner in return for the use of their premises, equipment, technology, materials and staff. 

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Defining the role of an associate dentist

Associate dentists, whether working in the dental practice as an employee or independent contractor, will perform routine dental procedures required to improve a patient’s oral health.

That said, you’ll often see the mention of the associate dentist more prominently in complex cases, or with advanced cosmetic procedures that exist to improve the appearance of teeth, gums or the patient’s bite.

An associate dentist’s role will typically not be confined to one area of dentistry but rather span across several treatments and procedures in which they have particular experience or a special interest.

Dental associates can carry out complete oral examinations, make diagnoses and treat multiple dental problems. Their title just means they’re not always tied to one dental practice but can be found in several, perhaps within a particular radius.

Specialist Associate Dentists

It’s quite common to find associate dentists who have trained in particular specialisms, making their services invaluable, so much so that you’ve likely been treated by an associate dentist if you’ve needed a root canal or specialist orthodontic care.

Expert fields of dentistry:

  • Endodontics: Focuses on treating the internal tissues of the teeth, including procedures like root canals and re-root canals.
  • Orthodontics: Specializes in aligning the jaw and teeth, often by fitting braces, and addressing issues related to bone misalignments in the mouth and jaw.
  • Periodontics: Dentists (periodontists) who focus on the health of the gums and surrounding tissues, including the treatment of gum diseases.
  • Prosthodontics: Prosthodontists focus on restoring teeth with artificial devices such as dentures, dental crowns, dental implants, and even dental veneers.  
  • Paediatric Dentistry: Dedicated to the care of children’s teeth and gums.
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Dawn SwansonDawn Swanson
10:27 24 Nov 22
I have been with the Gentle Dental Practice for 8 years, the care and service I have received has always been 5 star. I have recently used their new hygienist Nicky who is great. Looking for a new dentist just contact their very friendly and proffessional team.
George HorseyGeorge Horsey
18:54 15 Nov 22
Dental Impant Surgery:I had my dental implants fitted recently and I am extremely happy with the outcome. Ali and the team have done an amazing job since I lost my 2 front teeth over 6 years ago. I had to wait for the surgery for a long time due to my age and the issues surrounding having implants at a young age.I finally had the surgery 12 weeks ago and had my two new crowns fitted last week. They look absolutely amazing and the whole procedure was way less painful than I ever thought it would be.I would highly recommend getting your implants done at the Gentle Dental Practice, you won't regret it!A massive thank you to everyone at the practice!
Deeban SkandalingamDeeban Skandalingam
12:06 03 Nov 22
Fantastic work on my teeth and I would highly recommend! My teeth turned out better than I had even hoped for. If you are in need of any dental work, you would be doing a great disservice if you didn't speak to this practice first. The staff were extremely friendly, there were text updates and all in all an excellent service from start to finish. If you haven't guessed already, I am thoroughly pleased with The Gentle Dentle. Thank you!
Pippa HarveyPippa Harvey
14:54 26 Oct 22
Like many people, I have an immense fear of dentistry, and dentists, due to previous experiences.I had two broken teeth and one that had been treated incorrectly by an NHS dentist. I had been in daily pain for about 18 months, and had been put on a 6 month waiting list by my NHS dentist.I called gentle dental to explain my problem and they offered me a same day appointment. They were kind, compassionate, understanding, patient and validating. I’m not sure anybody ever feels completely comfortable in the chair, but It’s the closest I’ve ever come!The work needed was carried out, all of the staff were kind and welcoming, and it showed me that the dentist doesn’t have to be a dreaded place!Thank you so, so much gentle dental! I will definitely be returning.
Tilesh PTilesh P
15:45 14 Sep 22
Dental Implants - 3 New Teeth - June 2022I had the most professional and pain free experience when getting my new tooth implants at Gentle Dental. Honestly I put it off for some many years because I just didn't want to go through the pain. But my experience was totally the opposite. Ali and the wonderful girls were there every step of the way. All my questions got answered and I was reassured everything would work out well. And it did. I was worried for no reason.I did think about going abroad to have it done but when you consider the risk factor, time and professional standards - it made no sense to me. I have known Ali for a long time and knew I would be in the best hands and if there were any issues these would could be resolved easily.If you are thinking of having dental implants at Gentle - don't waste any more time. Just book and get it done.Was it painful ? No, uncomfortable for a few days, yes for sure.I just wish I had it done sooner. Thanks guys, love my new teeth 🙂
Edward CrameEdward Crame
13:43 04 Dec 21
Very happy with all aspects of the work they have done. Very clean, professional and well run business.
Lynn HuddartLynn Huddart
12:43 24 Nov 21
Dr Ali Rifai was professional and I am very pleased with the outcome of my Invisalign's. I have been with this practice for many years and would highly recommend. The staff are very friendly and nothing is an issue.
Jonathan PlumbJonathan Plumb
11:52 24 Nov 21
Can't thank this practice enough for all their help. I don't post reviews very often, so when I do, it's because an impression has been left! Dr Ali saw me at short notice to help fix a broken tooth. The nurse (I think her name was Danni) was so helpful and kind, as were the rest of the team. Thank you for being there for me in my hour of need (the same day i asked for an appointment!)
Eva AugustEva August
07:11 06 Nov 21
I’m so happy to find this practice. I suffer from anxiety and high sensitivity to pain. It was very stressful for me going to dentist after years of fear. The team not only make me calm and welcome but I FELL ASLEEP during treatment with Dr Marshall ! So understanding and caring. Thank you!
Marc NevittMarc Nevitt
11:35 11 Oct 21
I have been using this dentist for well over a decade and can honestly say my teeth would be in a far worse situation if wasn’t for the Gentle Dental practice.My most recent visit was for a filling .. barely felt the injection!I would highly recommend this dentist to anyone, but especially if you’re teeth require a high level of care like mine.
Emma BrauerEmma Brauer
08:44 04 Aug 21
This place was recommended to me by family and for a nervous patient the best experience. The reception welcome is cheerful and friendly, beautifully modern area with hot drinks and water on offer.I needed implants, crowns and bridges followed by whitening, so lots of appointments. My dentist Mr Ali Rafai was superb from start to finish, so professional and personable. Throughout the whole process I was cared for wonderfully plus lots of laughs along the way. The constant care during appointments was very comforting, no rushing, and I knew I my needs were Mr Rafai's priority. Plus check up call the next day without fail to make sure everything was going well.Absolutely deserves five stars!
Alan SamuelAlan Samuel
13:30 14 Jul 21
Fantastic experience with Ali. It took 18 months including bone grafting, removing and replacing failed dental implants, invisaline for my bottom teeth which were all over the place and some veneers but now I'm delighted with the outcome.Ali was always very clear about how this wasn't an overnight solution in an honest and forthright manner which gave me confidence that he would deliver results.I was offered several overnight solutions from other dentists locally at a fraction of the cost but when I see how much effort and detail that went into my plan, I know i made the right choice.
Kurt JohnsonKurt Johnson
17:48 14 May 21
I have got no complaints about this Dental Practice. They were all very friendly and accommodating and always professional.My dental treatment was also really good, everything went according to plan and the results are great!I am VERY happy with the outcome and would recommend them anytime!
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