9 Essential courses for dental office managers

As a dental office manager, it is important to keep learning. Discover our recommended courses here.
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The number of people visiting dental clinics is rising as more and more families begin to understand the importance of proper dental hygiene. According to ADA, 58% of people surveyed in 2017 visit the dentist at least once every year. This is a sizable increase compared to the 33% of adults who visited the dentist annually in the mid-1950s. 

As dental businesses all over the globe continue to grow, so do the responsibilities of the dental office staff. Well-trained dental office managers are a crucial asset for today’s dental practices, especially when they’re often the face of the practice and the first person a patient interacts with.

However, there is more to running a dental office than just welcoming and making patients comfortable. That’s where dental office management courses come into play. A skilled dental office manager can get involved in the business’ budgeting and finances, staff hiring and supervision, insurance and billing, marketing and patient satisfaction efforts.

Having the skills to take on all these responsibilities seamlessly turns an average dental office manager into an excellent dental office manager no practice would want to lose. 

Whether you’re a dental practice owner and want to make sure your patients are getting a five-star experience or you’re a dental office manager and want to improve your skills, these professional courses will help you achieve your goals.

Each of the following dental office manager courses covers many different aspects of business operations that you can easily transfer to the running of a successful dental practice. They also provide office managers with a means of proving their participation in the course, allowing them to include it in their resumes.

The New York State Dental Association’s (NYSDA) Risk Management Course.

How do you manage risk in dental offices? Do you know that patients injured while receiving dental or medical treatment are protected by law?

Here is a risk management course by NYSDA that explains to dental office managers how to manage legal risks and avoid lawsuits in their practices. Notable topics covered include malpractice insurance, dentist liability and state tort laws.

The course was designed according to New York State laws, along with guidelines by attorneys and dentists whose experience extends to risk management and malpractice in the dental environment.  

If you’re a dental office manager eager to learn about how to minimize risk in the dental practice through tactics such as maintaining error-free dental records in compliance with federal and state laws, properly obtaining patient consent, etc this course will definitely suit you.

Read: books for dental assistants

PRIMESPEAK’s Communication Course

Dental office managers come into contact with all kinds of different people and personalities every day. This makes being able to communicate effectively a mandatory requirement in their line of work.

Signing up for PRIMESPEAK’s dental communication program will provide you with helpful tips on how to properly communicate with patients, as well as gently guide them to make informed decisions with their best interests at heart.

The topics covered in this program will help you move away from sales-heavy conversations, especially when dealing with patients with anxiety who might need a little more reassurance and understanding than others. This eventually leads to a strong bond of trust between you and your patients.

Many people are at least a little uneasy about going to the dentist. But following the COVID-19 pandemic, some people are going to be very nervous about their next dental appointment. This communication course will help you put your patients’ minds at ease and show you how to explain you have all the proper health protocols in place to keep them safe. 

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Accounting and Bookkeeping Course for Dental Office Managers from Universal Accounting School.

An essential part of productive dental practice management is having a thorough understanding of accounting and bookkeeping, especially when it comes to account receivables (AR). Being familiar with account receivables is one of the most significant parts of running a dental office, since it affects so many financial aspects of the business. It pays the bills, salaries and other general expenses.

Whether you’re an office supervisor looking to improve your fiscal knowledge or a dental aide wanting to get more involved in the accounting aspects of dental practices, this self-study program from Universal Accounting School is for you.

Dental Insurance Course from Warschaw Learning Institute.

Warschaw Learning Institute offers a premium online training program for dental office managers, dentists and front office dental staff in matters of dental insurance. The course will guide you through:

  • Efficient and accurate claim filing methods.
  • Standard office procedures.
  • Arranging alternative payment methods for uninsured patients.
  • Treatment planning.
  • Different types of medical coding.
  • Policies and office-wide protocols that will increase the general productivity of your practice

The DALE Foundation’s Human Resource Course for Dental Offices.

Whether there are 5 or 30 members of staff in your dental office, modern human resource practices are vital for your practice’s success. By taking an HR fundamentals course from DALE Foundation, you’ll learn how to do all the following in compliance with legal requirements:

  • Write accurate job descriptions.
  • Conduct interviews.
  • Hire qualified employees.
  • Evaluate job performance.
  • Fire non-competent staff.

Upon successful completion of this simple online course, you will be awarded a verification badge to display in your office as proof of your qualification.

Basic Ethics in Dentistry — A Course by Academy of Dental Learning & OSHA Training.

This course from the Academy of Dental Learning & OSHA Training gives dental office managers a background in the ethical and legal aspects of dentistry.

When you sign up, you’ll receive comprehensive training on:

  • Principles and elements of ethical decision-making.
  • How to relate to colleagues and patients.
  • Substance abuse in dentistry
  • Delegation of duties.
  • Other ethical statutes a front office manager is expected to adhere to. 

The DALE Foundation’s Financial Reporting Course for the Dental Office.

Monitoring financial performance is important to any dental office’s success. Understanding and interpreting financial reports, successfully analyzing vital financial data and using the information gained to fine-tune business strategies are all responsibilities of dental office managers.  

The DALE Foundation’s Financial Reporting Course will help dental office managers learn about the different available options in financial reporting for dental practices.

Other topics include:

  • Principles of financial controls.
  • Differences between yearly, monthly, weekly and daily financial reports.
  • Preparing balance sheets and budgets.
  • Significance of profit and loss (P&L) statements.
  • Factors that affect dental office productivity.
  • Effective ways to communicate with the dental team.

Records Management Course By Dental Care.

State laws differ when it comes to dental records management. Dental Records: Best Practices for Information Management and Retention Course will help dental office managers learn best practices for state and federal record retention and maintenance, as well as confidentiality laws

Some things you’ll learn on this course include the application of the HIPAA act in dental practices and the use of electronic signatures in health records. Even though the self-instructional course is entirely free, it’s packed with valuable information and is a must-take for any dentist, dental assistant, hygienist or office manager, aiming to take their practice to the next level.

DALE Foundation’s Behavioral Guidance and Management course for the Pediatric Dental Patient.

This online certificate program from DALE Foundation provides useful lessons on the business aspects of pediatric dentistry. As you’re likely aware, a higher level of competency is required when working with pediatric patients. The course emphasizes the significance of creating a friendly, inviting atmosphere for children visiting your dental office.

With practical techniques and strategies, the course also helps you better anticipate and even understand the mental, social and emotional needs of young patients. At the end of the program, you’ll be required to take a post-assessment test. When you pass, you’ll receive a verification of participation to include in your resume.   

Taking your dental office managerial career to the next level.

As in all thriving businesses, efficient management of the human resource, revenues, costs, systems and customers is critical to success. For dental office managers, understanding how to manage these aspects and satisfy patients’ needs through quality care are essential to develop a reliable, patient-centric practice.

Because of this, continuing education and training courses are hugely important to help dental office managers work more effectively, streamline their practice’s operations and make plans for the future in a more informed way.

*Cloud Dentistry is in no way affiliated to any course provider on this list.

Written By Belle DuCharme