Dental Office Administration: Everything You Need to Know

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    ur dental health is an essential part of overall health, and with more people going to see the dentist each year, there’s no surprise that a career as a dental office administrator is a growing and in-demand field. 

    The work of a dental office administrator helps make sure that the dental clinic runs smoothly. Similar to other healthcare sectors, dental office administrators handle many different types of jobs and tasks. 

    Dental Office Administrators job description, salary and how to become a dental office admin

    In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about dental office administrations, which will include: 

    • What is a dental office administrator?
    • What does a dental office admin do? Duties and responsibilities
    • How much do dental office administrators make?
    • How do I become a dental office administrator?

    What is a dental office administrator?

    So let’s start with who is a dental office administrator? Dental office administrators play a key and essential role in handling the patients. Although, they may not be treating patients, administrators are their first and main contact.  

    Dental office administrators help coordinate and maintain all the appointments either over the phone or through online mediums. Their tasks can range from coordinating with patients to maintaining records, this profession uses a mix of personal and analytical skills. 

    Key duties of a dental office administrator:

    • Keep and maintain patient charts to make sure they're accurate
    • Intake, schedule, and reschedule appointments 
    • Communicate directly with patients and the rest of the dental staff
    • Handle and maintain billing and insurance
    • Organize documentation such as teeth x-rays, notes, and more

    This is just an overview of the most important duties that dental administrators perform. Depending on which clinic you would choose to work for, there could be additional tasks. No matter the work of dental office administrators is extremely important. 

    A young woman in blue scrubs charts a patients dental records as a part of her medical office admin duties
    Image by DCStudio on Freepik.

    What does a dental office admin do? Duties and responsibilities

    At this point, you may have a good idea of what dental office admins do but in this section we'll go into details about certain duties. 

    Client facing and focused duties 

    Dental office administrators are generally the first and main contact for patients. They are responsible for booking clients and organizing the overall clinic schedule or calendar properly. During the intake process, dental office admins help prioritize the appointment based on a variety of factors such as routine cleanings, consultations, dental emergencies, or anything else. Collecting this information accurately is important since other members of the staff like the dental assistants, technologists, and hygienists will depend on these notes. 

    Since dental office admins are the main point of contact, they are also responsible for answering questions and providing information to patients. This highlights the interpersonal and communication skills necessary for this role.  

    Charting and record management

    Another important aspect of this role is keeping accurate records and charts. The type  of information that dental office admins handle can include patient registration, health history forms, appointment or procedure overview and notes, and more. In addition to more clinical information, this role is also responsible for handling more sensitive information like dental insurance and patient details. 

    Billing and Insurance 

    Aside from helping patients in the clinic, dental office admins also handle any and all dental insurance billing or inquiries. It’s important for dental admins to have knowledge of provincial dental fee guidelines, terminology, dental benefits, and more. Since the majority of patients will pay through their insurance, it’s important to have an understanding of common dental benefits, copayments, how to explain dental benefits, and predeterminations.

    It’s also important for dental admins to have a working understanding of office bookkeeping. This can include accounts receivable, account payable, financial arrangements, payroll, petty cash, debit and credit transactions. It’s important to make sure that dental office administrator program you choose includes all of the previously mentioned elements. 

    How much do dental office administrators make?

    According to, dental office administrators in Canada can make on average $39,975 per year, which averages out to $20.50 per hour. 

    Dental Office Administrators: Average Salary per region 2022, shows a bar graph with 4 stats going from lowest to highest. Quebec salary ranges is 35,100, Alberta is 40,950, Ontario is 43,875 nd British Columbia is 47,775.

    But it’s important to keep in mind that these are just base estimates, depending on certain factors like experience, your location, education, and which clinic you choose to work for can fluctuate your earnings. 

    How do I become a dental office administrator?

    Now that you know the responsibilities and salary expectations of a dental office administrator, the next step is to discuss how to become a dental office administrator! 

    The first step to becoming a dental office admin is to enroll in a career specific program, like ABM College’s Dental Office Administration diploma program. Most employers will be looking for the right combination of education, knowledge, skills, and experience. Choosing the right program can help set you up for success. You’ll want to look for programs (like the Dental Administration Course here at ABM College) that include software or technology courses, charting and record management, financial systems and it’s even better if they include a practicum (or work experience) too. 

    Final Thoughts 

    If this sounds like an interesting career to you, ABM College’s Dental Office Administration Diploma program will get you ready and prepared in just a year’s time. With the option to take the program online and flexibility with class times, you’ll quickly be able to become a dental office administrator. 

    Learn more about how you can apply today or visit our blog for more education and employment information. 

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