Dental Office Manager: Training & Certification

Mar 20, 2021

Dental Office Manager Training: Essential Information

Dental office managers job duties include administrative tasks, billing, and customer service. In order to fulfill these duties, students in a dental assisting certificate program learn about effective customer service, scheduling and bookkeeping, telephone etiquette and insurance protocol. They also learn patient care techniques and gain a fundamental understanding of dental procedures. After graduating, students must pass a national dental assisting examination in order to practice. Applicants for these programs need to already have a high school diploma or GED and submit immunization records.

dental office manager on phone

Steps to Becoming a Dental Office Manager

There are a variety of training programs, certificates, and college programs for becoming a dental assistant and office manager. Some either started as entry-level dental office staff after college or are changing fields later in life. While there are many dental office managers who had alternative paths to their careers, those who want to become one will go through similar steps:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Enroll in dental office manager training or college program.
  • Gain experience in an office through an internship or work.
  • Earn a dental office manager certificate.

Dental Office Manager Certification Programs

This program prepares individuals to manage different areas of a dental practice. Some areas students will be able to improve upon include accounting principles, computer applications and dental office etiquette.

Depending on the college's emphasis, some dental assisting programs may focus more on patient care than others. For students looking to go into dental office management, programs and courses that focus on administration and customer service are recommended. Higher level courses on specific topics like dental billing and insurance can also be good to set you apart from other graduates looking for entry-level work. Whether the focus is on clinical care of dental patients or administrative skills, most programs will generally cover course topics like:

  • Reimbursement for dental services
  • Keyboarding
  • Dental insurance and procedures
  • Customer service
  • Dental office management
  • Oral structure and development

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that administrative services and facilities managers earn a median income of $96,940 per year in 2019. The BLS also states that the job outlook for administrative service managers from 2019 to 2029 is expected to grow 6%, which is as fast as the average for all occupations.

Dental Office Manager Continuing Education

Graduates of certificate programs in dental assisting and dental office management frequently go on to occupy entry-level positions in the front offices of dental practices. However, many colleges offer associate degree programs in dental assisting and accept certificate coursework toward the greater degree program requirements.

The field's only national professional credential, the Dental Practice Management Administrator certification, was discontinued in 2008 in order to update the credential's requirements. If employers prefer that job candidates receive certification in dental assisting, certificates are available through the Dental Assisting National Board. Dental office managers who would like to pursue this type of certification may find study and exam information at

Individuals interested in the day-to-day operations of a dental office may get the training needed to be a dental office manager by earning a dental office manager certificate.

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