Associate Degree in Dental Management

An associate degree in dental management will prepare you for a career in running a dental office. Read on to learn about the typical duration of this degree program, what to expect of the curriculum, and key skills needed in a dental office workplace. Schools offering Dental Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Do I Need to Earn a Degree in Dental Management?

Although there are no dental management degrees specifically available at the associate's level, you will find plenty of dental assistant and office administrative programs for a career in dentistry. Associate in Applied Science (AAS) as well as Associate in Science (AS) degrees are available in the dental assisting technology and management field, as well as in office administration/management, with an emphasis in dental. Associate degree programs usually take around two years to complete. Upon completion of a degree program, you will be ready to begin working in the dental field.

Degree Fields Dental assisting technology and management, office administration (concentration in dental)
Common Courses Math, medical terminology, insurance billing and coding, customer service
Key Skills Strong communication skills, multitasking, high organizational skills
Median Salary (2018) $38,660 (for all dental assistants
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 19% growth (for all dental assistants

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Will I Study?

Exact degree program requirements will vary, but all programs will require that you complete general education courses, such as English, math and psychology. If you are enrolled in a dental assisting or dental hygiene specific degree program, you may need to take additional management or business courses to further prepare yourself to work in dental management.

Some colleges offer dental management certificate programs as supplements to A.A.S. degrees in other areas of dentistry. These certificates focus more on the management aspect of the industry, but many can also be applied to other fields, so check to make sure that the supplemental program will actually prepare you to work in dental management.

A dental management degree program will teach you about dentistry and also train you on basic office management practices. You will learn software applications, insurance billing and coding, scheduling techniques and medical terminology. Some programs may also require sales and marketing courses in addition to basic accounting. You will also take courses that teach customer service and communication skills.

What Will I Do?

Exact duties will vary, but you will need to have strong communication skills and the ability to multitask in order to successfully run a dental office. There are often changes to schedules, both for patients and workers, so you will need to remain alert and organized. Patients may also ask you procedure specific questions in addition to billing or insurance questions, so it is important that you have a well-rounded level of knowledge of the industry. As a manager, you will have a staff to supervise, so your daily activities and involvement with personnel in the dental office may require discipline, observance and extensive training.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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