I worked my way up slowly from being a dental assistant. This however is "old school" and there are other ways of doing this. I would suggest that serious prospects do all they can to learn a little dental terminology and tooth location as well as numbers before even interviewing.
A good manager is a good manager. You are not managing teeth,you are managing people. Any and all management background is great to have when applying for dental as well. Do your homework on most of the VP's of the larger group corporations... they didn't start in dental.