The front desk staff at a dental office is what keeps a dental practice running smoothly and helps them maintain a good reputation in the community. The front desk staff is the first point of contact with patients, and word-of-mouth travels fast. A patient’s experience with the front desk staff, including how efficiently and warmly they interact with the patient, is how patients will ultimately rate their experience.Young female receptionist sitting at dental office front desk in front of a laptop smiling

What Makes the Dental Office Front Desk Staff So Important?

The front desk staff at a dental office provides the first impression of the dental practice to patients, but dental office front desk staff are more than just receptionists. They keep the office running smoothly. They understand how to best handle record keeping, financial tasks, and scheduling efficiency. Dental offices are often fast paced environments that serve many patients daily. Those working at the front desk need to have strong multi-tasking and organizational skills to maintain such a busy, time-sensitive schedule.

What Does the Dental Office Front Desk Staff Do?

The dental office front desk staff has many responsibilities to keep the office running smoothly. They greet the patients and communicate with the dentists and hygienists to let them know the patients have arrived. The front desk staff is responsible for managing the daily schedule, including scheduling patient follow-up appointments and emergency appointments. The dental office front desk staff is also responsible for processing payments. They will often need to explain the billing and the percentage of cost required from the patient. Dental office front desk staff will learn to understand accounting software, insurance forms, bookkeeping skills, and credit card processing. In addition, the front desk staff maintains and updates all of the patient records, ensuring that the system is up to date with contact information, insurance information, medical information, and dental care plans. They will communicate with patients on all these aspects both on the phone and in-person. This level of engagement will require exceptional communication skills.

What is Involved in Front Desk Dental Office Training?

When looking for front desk staff, different offices require different levels of experience. While many offices offer “on-the-job” training, the most attractive applicants are those who have shown the initiative to complete a specialized training program. 

In a dental office front desk training program, you will gain the necessary knowledge to know how to use most dental software systems for scheduling, billing, and insurance. You will also learn professional phone skills. By the time you finish the training course, you will know how to balance efficiency with warmth to be the right first face that every patient sees. Training will help you familiarize yourself with the vocabulary you’ll need on the job, and you’ll learn details about dental procedures. A comprehensive program will also give you hands-on experience with the software. Dental office training can help you network to find a job in dental administration quickly.

Management Opportunities for Dental Office Front Desk

The dental office manager supervises the entire front desk team, keeping them organized and focused. Dental office managers will assist in scheduling, management, and training new employees. While the dental office front desk staff works together as a team, the manager will oversee everyone and ensure that all the tasks are accounted for, assigned, and accomplished. The front desk staff will make sure the office is always thoroughly stocked and ready for patients and staff. Once you have the experience of working the dental office front desk, your training in best practices can be what pushes you toward a management position.

With training, experience, and the desire to advance, dental office management is a possibility for dental office front desk staff moving forward. The skills you learn both in the classroom and on the job can keep your career moving forward, and chances are you’ll have advancement opportunities in no time. If you’re interested in learning more about our comprehensive dental office front desk training program, contact South Florida Dental Assisting School today!