Dental Office Manager Career Guide

Overview

Dentistry is a popular field of medicine that has witnessed significant growth and expansion over the last decade. It involves the examination and treatment of the mouth which includes the teeth and gums. All sorts of dental procedures involving the health, development and hygiene of the teeth and gums fall under the scope of dentistry.

Preventative care is also a large category of dentistry that deals with developing steps and techniques to ensure that patients maintain oral health so as to not face problems with their gums or teeth later on. This involves educating patients on how to promote and maintain oral health.

A dental office manager is a trained individual who can manage the internal workings and value chain of a dental office. The tasks primarily include managing the internal value chain, overseeing the administrative work and generally improving business. You can say that a dental office manager gives semblance and structure to a dentistry practice by providing indirect yet crucial support to the senior dentist.

You too can become a dental office manager if you wish to provide support to the dentistry profession – in many ways you will be looking after the business and operation component of the office.  Furthermore, it is a great way to enter the industry as it is a great learning experience – this holds especially true if you have any future plans to become a dentist or a dental hygienist.

Job Duties

Here are a few common and general job duties of a dental office manager. Keep in mind that these duties are not absolute and may differ from office to office. However use this list to serve as a general guideline. The scope of the duties will depend on the size of the office, number of patients, type of practice, industry competitiveness and the accepted industry practices.

  1. Essentially you will be acting as the liaison between the dentist and the resources of the office. These resources include staff, employees and the office in general.
  2. You will need to be responsible for supervising the office personnel and staff. You must ensure that they have been assigned clear cut duties and job descriptions that add value to the business in terms of cost efficiency or productivity.
  3. The general components of Human Resources such as hiring, firing, training, compensation and so on will fall under your scope of operations.
  4. You will be responsible for using the current resources to their full and efficient use for the sake of profitability or business expansion.
  5. Documentation should be fool proof. You will need to devise fool proof documentation and recording for the sake of archiving and auditing.
  6. The latest laws, regulations and practices of running a dental office must be thoroughly researched. This is essential so that the office is always protected and guarded by the law.
  7. An inventory of the entire office equipment and various assets must be recorded and maintained.
  8. As a dental office manager, you will also need to cater to patient queries, concerns and complains. You will need to address them right away.

Career Outlook

An interesting fact is that although the demand for dentists is high, supply is not able to keep up with it. This may give strong pressure to dentistry and related occupations to take form. Dental hospitals, clinics and institutions may face growth in order to keep up with the increased demand for dentists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) estimates that during the period of 2010 to 2020, total dentistry occupations in the U.S Economy may grow by 14%.

Salary

The average annual salary for a dental office manager is around $55,000 (indeed.com). In this line of work, experience with various businesses and success stories matter the most. As you gain experience in operations along with business development and growth, you may be able to maximize your earning potential.

Education Requirements

There are many dental office manager training programs available. A dental officer manager must have cleared a variety of courses such as business operations, accounting, sales, marketing, human resources, business management, organizational behavior, and so on. It is expected that the candidate should also be well versed with the basic principles of the dentistry industry.

Two resources that should give you in-depth knowledge on the education requirements for dental officer managers are accredited schools listed below, The Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (danb.org) and The American Association of Dental Officer Managers (dentalmanagers.com). Requirements may vary depending on the State.

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