5 Tips to Quit a Dental Practice with Grace

By: Dr. David Rice, DDS

Breaking up is never easy, for anyone. It’s also not something to take lightly. I see way too many threads on social media where one thing isn’t perfect and a young dentist or dental team member is out. That’s not cool.

That said, there are times and places when we need to move on from a dental practice because it’s the healthy thing to do. Here’s how to quit a dental practice with grace.

5 Ways to Quit a Dental Practice Gracefully

  1. Give More Notice
  2. Face-to-Face is Best
  3. Formal Letter of Resignation
  4. Know What You Can Control
  5. Stay in Touch

1. Give More Notice

It’s true the traditional, acceptable notice to give is two weeks. Think about it though, you’re a dental professional, when you move on, you’re moving on from more than a practice, you’re moving on from patients. 

When your practice relationship goes south, it’s likely a surprise to those patients who know you, like you, and trust you.

Your willingness to stay for a month, or longer, if your practice needs you, shows what an incredible pro you are.

2. Face-to-Face is Best

Although we live in an email, text, and DM world, this isn’t the time for any of them.

Leaving your practice is like breaking up with a significant other. As the person initiating the breakup, you likely are over the emotional side, after all, it’s likely how you got to this break-up place. 

Putting in your notice to leave the dental practice face to face, as hard as it may be, shows you care enough about the practice, no matter what they did, to do the right thing.

3. Formal Letter of Resignation

Along with quitting in person, having a formal letter of resignation is ideal. It accomplishes two big goals for you:

  • It shows you to be a consummate professional.
  • It shows you have made a definitive decision.

Once you’ve made the decision to quit, you already know staying is a recipe for leaving again later. Immediately after your face-to-face conversation, hand your employer your formal letter, kindly smile, and exit stage left.

4. Know What You Can Control

It’s rare that quitting is as bad as you’ve imagined. It’s also rare it’s totally smooth. You can only control yourself. When you follow this recipe, you’ve done your part.

When your employer or other members of the team treat you badly, that’s on them.

Take a deep breath, stay professional, and be the bigger person. It may be difficult in the moment, but it will be worth it once you’ve moved on.

CAVEAT: If anyone in the practice is abusive to you emotionally or otherwise, document it, void #1, and protect you!

5. Stay in Touch

Just like in your personal life, sometimes we’re better matched to be friends than to be in a dental practice relationship.

When that’s the case, it may take a time buffer and that’s okay. It’s also okay to stay friends and stay in touch. 

Don’t overdo it. You were the one who moved on. That said, be a friend. Life’s too short to lose great people.

💡 TIP: Watch some more of my thoughts on all of these five points here.

Let Us Help

Have a question? Are you thinking of quitting and need some one-on-one advice?

Head to @igniteDDS or @igniteDentalAssistants on Instagram and DM us. We are happy to help!

NEXT READ: Simple Tips on Patient Communication

David Rice

David Rice

Founder of the nation’s largest student and new-dentist community, igniteDDS, David R. Rice, DDS, travels the world speaking, writing, and connecting today’s top young dentists with tomorrow’s most successful dental practices. He is the editorial director of DentistryIQ and leads a team-centered restorative and implant practice in East Amherst, New York. With 27 years of practice in the books, Dr. Rice is trained at the Pankey Institute, the Dawson Academy, Spear Education, and most prolifically at the school of hard knocks.