When it comes to rostering dental practice staff, several common mistakes can occur. 

These mistakes can lead to inefficiencies, decreased productivity, and potential issues with patient care. 

Here are some of the common mistakes to avoid:

1. Inadequate Staffing Levels

Understaffing can lead to longer patient wait times, increased stress on the existing staff, and compromised quality of care. Overstaffing, on the other hand, can lead to wasted resources and unnecessary costs. 

Finding the right balance and ensuring you have enough staff to handle patient load effectively is essential.

2. Lack of Flexibility

Rostering should take into account the varying needs of the dental practice. Not all days or times are equally busy, and staffing levels should be adjusted accordingly. 

Failure to incorporate flexibility can result in overstaffing during slow periods or understaffing during busy times.

3. Poor Communication

Effective communication is crucial when it comes to staff rostering. Failure to communicate changes in schedules or shifts can lead to confusion, missed shifts, and disrupted workflow. 

Utilise clear channels of communication and ensure all staff members are aware of their assigned shifts and any changes that may occur.

4. Ignoring Employee Preferences and Availability

When creating the roster, it's essential to consider the availability and preferences of your staff members. 

While it's not always possible to accommodate every request, try to find a balance that considers their needs. This can contribute to higher employee satisfaction and morale.

5. Neglecting Skill Levels and Qualifications

Different dental procedures require different skill levels. When rostering, consider the qualifications and expertise of each staff member. 

Assigning tasks to individuals who lack the necessary skills can result in errors and potential risks to patient safety.

6. Inefficient Use of Resources

Rostering should optimize the utilisation of available resources. This includes considering the skill mix of staff, balancing the workload, and avoiding unnecessary overtime. 

Efficiently allocating resources can help improve productivity and reduce costs.

7. Lack of Contingency Planning

Unexpected events, such as staff absences or emergencies, can disrupt the roster and workflow. 

It's essential to have a contingency plan in place to handle these situations. This may involve having backup staff or a system to redistribute tasks among the remaining team members.


To avoid these common mistakes, it's helpful to use rostering software or tools designed explicitly for managing staff schedules. These tools can automate many of the processes, minimize errors, and provide better visibility into the rostering process. 

Additionally, seeking input and feedback from staff members can help improve the rostering process and ensure that it meets their needs and the practice's needs.