Dental Staffing

Are You Ready to do the Job of a Dental Office Manager?

Edited 2021

Dentistry can provide a rewarding and exciting career for anyone. There’s the clinical aspect of the Practice requiring various degrees of education, licensing, and credentialing. Some individuals do not have an affinity for clinical work, but there are other opportunities to be found as an administrative professional, particularly as a Dental Office Manager.

The Manager for the Dental Practice is a leader in the practice who takes care of the business aspects of the operation. She or he is responsible for ensuring that the day-to-day operations go as smoothly and efficiently as possible. I like to say that the Dentist turns the handpiece, and the Office Manager oversees the rest!

What Does a Dental Office Manager Do in a Typical Day at Work?

Depending on the size of the Dental Practice, the responsibilities of a Dental Office Manager can vary significantly. Here are some, but certainly not all the Dental Office Manager’s duties.

  1. As an overview, they are responsible for establishing and maintaining internal office procedures and protocols.
  2. To do this, they must have a complete understanding of the Dental Practice manual. They keep it updated, informing the Team of any changes that are made.
  3. In most cases, they are responsible for the hiring of new Team members as well as the termination of Team members who are not working out for the Practice.
  4. They supervise/oversee the training of new Team members to ensure compliance with Practice protocols and culture.
  5. They manage and oversee morning huddles and Team meetings.
  6. They are responsible for communication between the Practice accountant regarding accounts receivable and accounts payable.
  7. They are responsible for managing the office budget.
  8. They may be responsible for marketing the Practice or be in direct communication with the company hired to do marketing.
  9. They work to ensure the Practice complies with all government and industry standards.
  10. They oversee the schedule to make certain the production goals are scheduled properly each day.
  11. They may handle the filing of insurance claims and oversee any insurance appeals. Larger practices normally employ Insurance Coordinators, but in a smaller practice, this would be handled by the Office Manager.
  12. They may work with patients applying for financial assistance.
  13. They work with any patient complaints to ensure patients are fully cared for and complaints are resolved.

What Do You Need to Become a Dental Office Manager?

While the full requirements for a Dental Office Manager position vary from practice to practice, in some cases it may require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Most qualified candidates have worked at least a year in a dental Practice as a Receptionist, Insurance Coordinator or Dental Assistant before moving on to manage the office.

Many Dental Assistants have come up through the ranks and hold years of experience. They are a valuable source for an Office Management position as one could say, they’ve “seen it all!” Dental Assistants share many similarities with Office Managers because they juggle administrative and clinical duties, communicate, and collaborate with people daily, and are extremely organized individuals who are excellent at multi-tasking.

There are no specific certifications needed for this position, but there are plenty of training and workshops available that you can take to help you excel in your career. The DALE Foundation and the American Association of Dental Office Management, for example, offer courses that can improve your skills.

Other useful courses include accounting, healthcare or business administration, and computer-related courses. Technical skills are always preferred, but these soft skills are also considered relevant for the position:

  • Leadership
  • Organization and attention to detail
  • Multi-tasker
  • Excellent communication
  • Excellent customer service

How Much Could I Make?

According to “The average Dental Office Manager salary in the United States is $76,039 as of August 27, 2020, but the salary range typically falls between $64,727 and $87,990. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.”

Are You Ready to Become a Dental Office Manager?

Learn more about becoming a Dental Office Manager or increase your current knowledge by browsing our resources on! And, if you think you’re ready, post your profile and upload your resume at




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if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”
- Og Mandino