Overview of Online Dental Office Management Certificate Programs
An online Dental Office Management Certificate program can prepare students to run the business end of a dentistry office. After earning this certificate, students will know how to interact with patients, keep patient records, and process patient's insurance.
To make these programs more attractive, they can be completed in an online format, and often they can be completed at the pace that the student chooses to set. Typically, these programs prepare students for entry-level positions in dental offices. Students don't need any prior experience in the dental field before enrolling in a Dental Office Management Certificate program. Schools offering this program often expect students to have basic word processing, grammar, and punctuation skills. These programs can also open doors for students to continue their education and become certified in Medical Assisting and Medical Coding.
Certificate in Dental Office Management
Aspiring students need a high school diploma to apply for an online Dental Office Management Certificate program. These programs typically require up to 410 hours of coursework to be completed. Lasting around 18 months, dental office management programs teach students about an array of different topics like dental anatomy, financial management, patient records, medical and dental terminology, and medical insurance.
A course in dental anatomy teaches students about the function and structure of teeth in human adults, and also about the histology of teeth. This class may touch on the different dental procedures commonly used. It is common that this course it taken in two parts, a lecture section and a laboratory section. At the end of this course those attending will have gained the skills needed to evaluate the condition of a patient's teeth.
Medical and Dental Terminology
One of the main goals of a medical and dental terminology class is to teach students to use dental terminology correctly. Students will study a variety of root words, suffixes, and prefixes to understand terminology, and they will be taught how to spell and pronounce different medical and dental terms. Students that successfully complete this course will be able to identify common medical terms with success.
A class in medical insurance covers basic types of health insurance policies and how they can be used. Students learn about the different processes used in medical or dental coding for payments. Another area that may be covered is how to process reimbursements to patients.
Career Outlook After Completing an Online Dental Office Management Certificate Program
Once earning a certificate in dental office management, students can look for careers as administrative dental assistants. These individuals conduct a variety of administrative tasks, including handling dental insurance forms, managing patient records, and billing patients. They typically work full time. Administrative dental assistants will need to be familiar with dental terminology, which is why someone holding this certificate would fit well in this position.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for administrative assistants and secretaries in all fields, including dental assistants, was $38,880 in 2018. The positions available in this area are expected to decline around 7% over the ten year stretch from 2018 and 2028. However, as of 2018 there were 3,786,800 positions for secretaries and administrative assistants in the country.
Individuals that want to start working in the dental field can earn a Dental Office Management Certificate online, and these programs will cover topics like medical insurance, medical and dental terminology, and dental anatomy. Once earning their certificate, students can move on to work as dental office managers or dental administrative assistants.