I really enjoy working as a receptionist to a dental practice. I worked for one practice for four years, and left because i moved and am now working for another one. I enjoy the interaction with the patients. When you learn their names and they become familiar with you, it makes them more eager to come, they feel WELCOME at the office and not just another dollar in the drs pocket. That is sooo important. The thing i dislike the most is people who try to be sneaky and don't want to pay. That is the most challenging part. (in my opinion) My best advice is just to be as sweet as you can be but also be stern and let them know that here are lab costs involved that the doctor has already paid on their behalf (if that applies, such as dentures, bridges, crowns, partials, etc.)
I have seen on many posts people talk about what "jerks" their drs are. It is true a dentist can be difficult to work for, however, i feel that their "anal" behavior is necessary for the job they do. They work in such a small space that they have to be very precise and specific. honestly i'd rather work for someone who had a plan, knew what they wanted and how they wanted it. Then i know exactly what they expect from me. So I guess it just depends on your personality.
The first dr. i worked for was not big on raises. He promised bonuses but rarely gave them out. But he took us out for lunch atleast 4-5 times a month and constantly verbally praised us, not my choice, but you take what you can get.
The dr. i work for now is much better about moneitary incentives. I think the bottom line is just to truely love your job. If you don't, fake it until you believe you love it (or find another career) I honestly think it is a great fun job. Be willing to learn and let them know you are, like learning to take xrays, working with insurance, wanting to learn the ways of the business, etc. It will be noticed! And you never know when they may look for an office manager replacement.