Courses in dental management are normally taken near the end of a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine degree program or in continuing dental education programs. They may be part of the required coursework for one of these dentistry programs or be available for elective credit. Those completing a full dentistry program will be able to get licensed as a dentist in their state after they pass the required examinations. They can then use their credentials to open their own dentistry practice and manage their employees.
Students in dental management courses learn about the procedures of operating a dental office and working with patients, and they study professional ethics. Other common courses include those in records management and office procedures, both of which may be taken for elective credit in a dentistry program or as continuing education courses.
Here are some of the most common concepts you'll come across in dental management courses:
- Office operations
- Communications skills
- Business marketing
- Record maintenance
- Health insurance law
List of Courses
Office Procedures for Dentists Course
Overall management of a dental practice is typically the responsibility of the dentist. In this course, dental students learn what it takes to provide quality service to patients in the front office and in the exam room. Students are introduced to scheduling and record management software. Additionally, the course covers hiring, training and communicating effectively with office employees and patients. This course may be an elective in some programs.
Managing a Pediatric Dental Practice
This course provides information on the business side of pediatric dentistry. Subjects covered include marketing to families, legal issues and managing employees. The course generally emphasizes the importance of creating a welcoming atmosphere for children arriving for a dental appointment. Pediatric dentistry management courses may also include behavior management of young patients.
Record Management Course
Each state has its own laws regarding dental records. In this course, dentists and dental office employees review federal and state record maintenance, retention and confidentiality laws. Discussion includes the application of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to dental offices and the use of electronic dental charts for accurately recording dental procedures. This course is often offered through continuing education programs at dental schools and community colleges.
Risk Management Course
A course on managing risk in dental offices is focused primarily on managing legal risk and avoiding law suits. Major topics covered include dentist liability, malpractice insurance and state tort laws, which are the laws that protect patients who are harmed during a medical or dental procedure. Students learn risk avoidance measures, such as the maintenance of accurate dental records in accordance with state and federal regulations, which can be used as evidence in a legal defense. The course may also address health risks, with respect to infection control and dental equipment sterilization.