Working as a part of a dental office front desk staff is an excellent career with a strong job outlook and good wages. The environment is fast paced and interesting with plenty to keep you busy each day. While you won’t need many years of school or large student loan debt to work in a dental office as front desk staff, there is specialized training that can make you stand out as a great candidate for the job.

Professional dentist asking nurse for dental x-ray before examining patient while people waiting in reception area.

The Role of Dental Office Front Desk Staff

This is a busy job, and many offices will have more than one front desk staff member. The duties include:

  • Greeting patients, updating records with current information, and helping with insurance forms.
  • Answering phones, scheduling emergency and routine appointments, and answering patient questions.
  • Managing appointments, confirming and rescheduling appointments, handling patients who arrive early or late, filling cancellations, and arranging records for the day’s appointments.
  • Managing referrals to specialists, including necessary lab requests.
  • Managing insurance forms, payment plans, payment schedules, payment processing, bills and statements, and submitting various forms.
  • Maintaining a neat and professional front desk and reception area.

Specialized Training Means a Well-Run Office

Dental offices are high-volume, fast paced workplaces. For an office to run smoothly, there is little time that can be allocated to on-the-job training. While you will obviously learn the intricacies of your particular office during your first few days, dentists want to hire front desk staff that are ready to hit the ground running with basic dental office vocabulary, knowledge of the software they’ll be using, and excellent communication skills for the phone and with patients in the office. When you’ve been trained in dental appointment scheduling, insurance systems, and how to communicate with patients, you will be an asset from the very first day.

Dental Offices are Highly Specialized

While you may think that reception experience, appointment scheduling knowledge, and general organizational skills are all you need to work as a member of the dental office front desk staff, dental offices are special and have their own language you’ll need to understand. The software and insurance knowledge the front desk dental office staff needs to be familiar with aren’t skills you can pick up on your own. You will need not only to understand the specific software, but will need to have familiarity with dental terms to keep the front desk running efficiently. Even though dental office front desk staff won’t be working with patients directly, they need to understand what’s going on in the rest of the office and be able to communicate with patients and other staff alike.

What You Will Learn in Dental Office Front Desk Training

In dental office front desk training, you will learn dental terminology, dental billing procedures and how to use the most common dental billing software. You’ll also learn how to process insurance claims, get treatment estimates, and become familiar with all the dental codes you will need, record keeping for dental and medical information, and dental scheduling tools. You will also learn how to handle the flow of a dental office and can improve on the other skills you’ll need, such as phone skills and in-person communication. Your dental office front desk training should allow you to see how all these dental specific skills will work in the day-to-day office environment.

Once you have the right knowledge, you can market yourself well to dental offices as someone who is ready to jump right in and help keep the office running smoothly. With only a small investment in your training, you can be well on your way to a solid career. If you think this career sounds perfect for you, contact South Florida Dental Assistant School to learn more about how to enroll.