Dental Staffing

Why Does Every Dental Practice Need a Great Dental Office Manager?

I always cringe when I’m in a dental office and I’m told there is no Office Manager. I mean really, there are managers in stores, restaurants, pharmacies…all businesses. Why would someone fail to hire an Office Manager for their Dental Practice?? After all, your Dental Practice is a business, right?

A smooth operation is the pride of any dental office and although all employees contribute to this end, the Office Manager is responsible for every aspect of that outcome. Not having an Office Manager would be like a team without a coach, a church without a minister or a school without a principal.

I honestly fail to understand how the Dentist can handle…

  • Insurance issues, including appeals
  • Patient care including complaints, insurance questions, scheduling issues
  • Staff reviews
  • Staff hiring/dismissal
  • Creating and managing office systems
  • Marketing
  • Budgeting
  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable

…while he or she needs to be producing Dentistry! And I won’t go on as there are too many more responsibilities to mention here! To keep it simple, I always tell struggling dental offices that the Dentist turns the handpiece, and the Office Manager handles everything else.

This does not mean that the position is 100% autonomous; there should be a strong relationship between the Dentist and Office Manager. They have a set time to meet on a weekly/bi-weekly basis where they collaborate and make decisions together regarding any issues in the practice. This frees up the Dentist/Owner to focus on patient care and bestows trust to the OM to handle everything else based on their meetings.

Can A Dental Office Manager Change Your Office Environment? Managing a Dental Practice is a very demanding role. If you find the right individual for the job, life in the office will become noticeably less stressful. Beyond the administrative role they embrace, the Office Manager can set the tone or the culture and create a  more pleasant work environment and that positive office culture increases productivity while decreasing stress.

What to Look for When Hiring a Dental Office Manager. Since this dental professional will be overseeing most everything in the office, technical skills are important. Knowledge in dental office procedures and terminology, computer applications, accounting, and fiscal management will be valuable assets.

And since your Office Manager will be overseeing insurance claim submissions, he or she will also have to possess a thorough insurance background. Aside from these however, “soft skills” are more important. Make sure to look for these personality traits as a good way of finding out who’s best suited for your Dental Practice.

  1. Friendly - Attitude is everything. Your Office Manager is the personification of who you are and what your Dental Practice stands for. He or she will be dealing with the entire Dental Team and patients every day. An unapproachable individual will eventually undermine whatever positive culture you have created. This leads to patients failing to return and higher staff turnover.
  2. Great communicator - A great Office Manager needs to be better at listening than talking. While knowledge of clinical information is important when educating patients, empathy is more important and can often be more effective at getting treatment acceptance.
  3. A Collaborator - A properly functioning business is created when teammates are open to listening to other’s ideas, information, and thoughts.
  4. Problem solver - Identifying problems and providing solutions is one of the major requirements in an Office Manager. There is no place for indecisiveness because both patients and the Dental Team rely on the quick resolution of problems.

Post your job at and find the right candidate that best fits your team.



“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak
be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid
be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”
- Jim Rohn