Dental Office Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Dental Office Manager, or Dental Office Administrator, is responsible for overseeing the operation of a dental office or clinic to give patients a good experience and setting standards for clinic employees. Their duties include helping patients at the front desk, setting office budgets and leading a team of office staff to promote a well-organized and efficient practice.

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Dental Office Manager Duties and Responsibilities

Depending on the size of a practice, the duties of a Dental Office Manager may vary. However, these professionals are typically responsible for the coordination of a broad scope of activities within a practice, including:

  • Management of all financial aspects of a practice
  • Scheduling of client appointments
  • Supervision and appointment of staff
  • Managing insurance claims
  • Taking care of marketing and public relations
  • Implementing procedures and policies

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What Does a Dental Office Manager Do?

Dental Office Managers work in dentist offices to ensure the organization of administrative and HR-related tasks. They offer support to Dentists and delegate tasks among the reception staff. Their job is to oversee the front desk, interact with patients, answer questions about billing and insurance and schedule appointments so that Dentists and Dental Hygienists can focus on their patients. Dental Office Managers may also be in charge of employee payroll, establishing a pay period schedule and deciding whether to provide automated or paper checks to employees.

Dental Office Manager Skills and Qualifications

The responsibilities of a Dental Office Manager include administrative, financial, marketing, management and customer service duties. They employ the following skills to enable them to successfully navigate this broad range of tasks:

  • Leadership skills: This involves coordinating daily procedures and handling any staff or patient issues that may arise. They may need conflict management, communication and motivation skills to ensure that an office runs smoothly
  • Knowledge of safety regulations and compliance standards: These professionals also need to make sure that a dental practice adheres to Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance standards. They need to be up-to-date with regard to this information and be confident enforcing it in the workplace as well.
  • Computer skills: A Dental Office Manager spends a considerable amount of time doing computer-related work, such as email correspondence, financial transactions and scheduling of appointments. Basic troubleshooting skills can also benefit these professionals.
  • Organizational skills: As these professionals are responsible for keeping daily operations running smoothly, they need to be organized individuals. Filing patient records and handling other sensitive information is also vital.

Dental Office Manager Salary Expectations

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Dental Office Manager Education and Training Requirements

Although the minimum education requirement for these individuals is normally a high-school diploma or GED, many Dental Office Managers hold associate or bachelor’s degrees. Dental Office Managers often receive on-the-job training, which may incorporate learning a practice’s software programs, front office procedures and how to provide quality customer care. 

Professionals who want to enhance their knowledge have many certification and training programs available to them. The American Association of Dental Managers (AADOM) offers training through free webinars, as well as annual national conferences, while the DALE Foundation offers certification courses in topics like Financial Reporting for the Dental Office and HR Fundamentals for the Dental Office.

Dental Office Manager Experience Requirements

Most qualified candidates have at least one year of experience in a medical or dental front office setting. To gain this experience, aspiring Dental Office Managers can start their careers as a dental receptionist. However, many Dental Office Managers also come from a background as dental assistants. Depending on the needs of your organization, supervisory or management experience may be necessary as well.

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

If this job description does not entirely align with the job opening you have, you may want to take a look at job description samples of similar jobs to ascertain if one of these may not be a better fit for your requirements:

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Frequently asked questions about Dental Office Managers


What are the daily duties of a Dental Office Manager?

A Dental Office Manager starts their day by opening up the dentist’s office. They review the scheduled appointments for the day and give Dentists an overview of their appointments. Throughout the day, they greet patients, help them fill out patient forms and determine payment plans that work best for them. They also take inventory of supplies and place orders to ensure that the office has the equipment and tools needed to maintain operations. 

Towards the end of the day, Dental Office Managers work on staff schedules for the coming weeks or months. They hold a staff meeting to discuss changes to benefits or upcoming events to look forward to.


Who does a Dental Office Manager Report to?

A Dental Office Manager reports to the Head Dentist within their practice. They work very closely with the Head Dentist to hire staff, engage with patients and complete marketing initiatives. This may include helping them compose written ads and maintain a social media presence for their office.


What qualities make a good Dental Office Manager?

A good Dental Office Manager is someone who has a natural inclination for leadership. This quality allows them to oversee multiple staff members and provide guidance to patients. They should also have a personable nature as they interact with patients daily. By being kind and friendly, they can ease patients’ nerves and maintain their dentist office’s reputation. 

Further, Dental Office Managers should be able to use software programs to enter patient data and confirm scheduled appointments. They also need to have a proficient understanding of dental practices and procedures so they can assist patients in scheduling treatment plans and order the correct supplies for the office.


What should you look for in a Dental Office Manager Resume?

When reviewing resumes for a Dental Office Manager position, it is important that you review their work experience to determine whether they have the right qualities and background to contribute to the role. A good example of this is when a candidate has previous work experience as a Dentist Office Receptionist or Dental Hygienist. These roles imply that candidates understand how a Dentist Office operates and could easily adapt to the role of a Dental Office Manager.

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