What Is a Dental Administrative Assistant?

Dental administrative assistants primarily handle customer service and office duties. Read on to learn more about job responsibilities and academic options in this field. Schools offering Dental Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Description

As a dental administrative assistant, you'll work in a dental office handling clerical duties, like scheduling appointments, handling insurance claims, and monitoring inventory. You may spend most of your time at a desk, working with documents, forms, and computer systems. You work closely with patients, other office staff, and a dental care team. As an administrative assistant, you are the person who coordinates the office and ensures that dentists and other dental staff are aware of what is happening in the front office.

Important Facts About Dental Administrative Assistants

Median Salary (2014) $32,240 (for medical secretaries)
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 12% growth
Professional Certification Certified Administrative Professional (CAP)
Similar Occupations General office clerks, medical transcriptionists, receptionists, medical records and health information technicians, information clerks, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Duties and Responsibilities

A majority of your job is to provide customer service. You are generally the first person to greet patients when they come into the office and enter their information in the office record system. Additional job duties may include filling out insurance forms and filing them with insurance companies. Coordinating the front office with the professional staff is also part of your job, so that the dentist and other staff know when patients have arrived.

Answering the phone, responding to e-mail messages, pulling patient charts, and managing the office accounting may also be required. In some offices, you may also assist the dentist with patient care.

Education Requirements

According to February 2014 job listings for dental administrative assistants on Monster.com, employers may not require formal training for this position but typically look for those with experience in a dental setting. You likely need to have at least a high school diploma, or the equivalent, and two or more years of relevant experience.

If you would like to complete formal training, you may consider a dental administrative assistant certificate program. Programs generally take less than a year to complete and cover concepts in dental terminology, record management, and patient interaction. Programs may also teach you about dental insurance and patient scheduling. Generally, to enter a dental assisting program, you need a high school diploma or GED and basic computer skills.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Doctoral
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Argosy University

    Argosy University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Argosy University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Virginia College

    Virginia College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Virginia College:

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

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    • Alabama: Birmingham
    • Florida: Birmingham, Jacksonville
    • Georgia: Birmingham, Jacksonville, Savannah
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