Dental office managers must be able to manage the day-to-day operations of fast-paced work environments and be trained in computerized billing and scheduling software, as well as OSHA and HIPPA compliance standards. Dental office managers must have advanced knowledge of dental insurance coding, dental terminology, and patient relations. Many employers also prefer to hire candidates who are CPR and first-aid certified.
Offered at community colleges, technical institutes, and trade schools, training options for aspiring dental office managers include certificate programs in dental office administration, some of which offer online classes.
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Dental Office Administration Certificate
Typically requiring one year of coursework, a certificate program in dental office administration provides training in billing and insurance, treatment plan coordination, and payment collection. Students also receive some instruction in clinical skills that will allow them to perform as multifunctional dental professionals. Courses also cover:
- Receptionist work
- Patient scheduling
- Business office systems
- Records management
- Basic dental practices
- Dental technologies
Most employers require candidates to have at least one year of work experience in a dental office. Aspiring dental office managers often gain the needed experience by accepting entry-level dental positions, such as receptionists, schedulers, or billing specialists, immediately after completing training programs in the dental field. Advanced management positions, especially in large private practices, typically require candidates to have at least five years of supervisory and management experience in fast-paced dental offices.
Dental office managers will often attend workshops and seminars that cover topics such as new software applications, workflow management, and updated privacy laws in the dental field. Professional organizations, such as the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM), offer a wide array of options for continuing education through free webinars, guest speakers, and annual national conferences. Typically lasting 2-3 days, the national conference presented by AADOM provides a variety of opportunities for professional development through training courses, roundtable discussions, and an expert panel of speakers.
As you have read, students enrolled in dental office manager programs will receive classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experiences. Some of the courses students will take include patient scheduling, business office systems, and basic dental practices.