The 5 Best Online Courses for Beginning Dental Office Managers
To say a dental office manager wears many hats would be the understatement of the year!
If we listed all your responsibilities as job titles, your business card would likely include:
- Human Resource Representative
- Insurance Coordinator
- Patient Coordinator
- Financial Planner
- Treatment Coordinator
- Marketing Manager
You get the point.
You do a lot.
Which means you need to know a lot.
Or at least have the skills and resources to figure it out.
As a beginning dental office manager, you may feel overwhelmed.
But this is what you (and your dentist!) must understand:
You need continuing education and training just as much as the rest of the dental team.
Continuing education for dental office managers
“While CE is important for ongoing learning in the dental field, it is also important to invest in yourself.” – Audrey Clements, MAADOM
Seeking out CE opportunities will help you:
- Learn your role quickly
- Create goals and measure them
- Make more money
- Become a leader
- Support your team
- Continuously grow your practice
It’s an investment that’ll pay dividends.
But the next question is:
How do I find dental practice manager training?
Google will spout out tons of online vs. in-person courses, seminars, etc.
But as a new dental office manager, there’s some jargon and groundwork you need before you can dive in headfirst.
That’s why we recommend starting with these top 5 online courses:
- Basic Dental Terminology
- Office Manager 101
- Insurance Essentials Curriculum
- Manager Moments Learning Series
- Dental Assistant to Practice Administrator Curriculum
How do I sign up?
These courses are provided by the American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM).
The mission of the AADOM is to educate, connect, and empower dental office managers and practice leaders across North America.
Hear what Dr. Joe Perno of Voorhees Family Dentistry said about his dental manager joining AADOM:
“I am so happy that she joined. And it’s really made a difference for my practice. We run more smoothly, the organization in total is more organized, and everything just seems to be working that much better… I’ve been in practice for 43 years and we’ve always been successful but this is a different level. – Dr. Perno
A big perk of membership:
Most of these courses are FREE for AADOM members.
All of these beginning dental manager courses count as CE credits toward AADOM designations:
What does that mean?
You’ll get formally recognized for your dedication to dental management education and growth!
When you reach an AADOM designation, you get to add that title to your name. Similar to a registered dental hygienist adding “RDH” to their name.
For example, “Jane Doe, FAADOM.”
“AADOM gives me all the resources and mentorship in one TRIBE. This is our continuing education. We’re always looking for ways to improve both your practice and our teams!” – Ruby Eaches, DAADOM
If you’re not sold yet, don’t worry. You can pay to access these practice manager training courses without signing up for AADOM.
The 5 best dental office manager courses online
1. Basic Dental Terminology
It’s going to be really hard – if not impossible – for you to do your job without learning the basic dental and medical terms.
The quickest way to learn them… without asking your team repeatedly?
This online module: Basic Dental Terminology!
- The dental and medical terms used in today’s dental practice
- How to identify landmarks of the oral cavity
- How to use the terms when documenting and discussing treatment
It’s taught by Teresa Duncan, MS, FAADOM. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and was recently named one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry.
Price: $0 for members.
Continuing education credit: Approved for 1 CE towards AADOM Designations.
2. Office Manager 101
Are you a new office manager? Or new to the dental field?
Were you promoted to this role or want to be?
Do you need to train a team member?
OM101 will take you through a dental office manager’s first year.
- Meeting and working with your team
- Understanding your daily tasks
- Effective scheduling
- Learning and improving office systems
- Running effective team meetings
- Understanding reports and analysis
- Learning CDs from three of the industry’s top educators
- Common forms you’ll need for your practice
You’ll get a checklist of responsibilities a front office manager should be able to execute by the end of their first year effectively.
“I have done the first 3 dental courses of the Office Manager 101 curriculum and let me tell you it is VERY informative! Lots of notes taken for sure – I have my own binder of notes if that tells you anything. I am not an office manager by title, but I do a lot of the duties in the office I am currently in, with hopes of becoming an office manager in the future and I LOVE this curriculum!” – Cindy Cramond, CDA
The OM101 course… This text opens a new tab to the course page… is broken down into eight module series:
- Follow the Leader: Become a leader who can inspire, measure, manage, and communicate with your team.
- Must-Have Metrics: Numbers are the lifeblood of all practices. Find out how to track and evaluate key performance indicators (KPI) to make smart choices.
- All in a Day’s Work: Set yourself up for success with systems, templates, automation, and responsibilities for team members.
- High-Performance Scheduling: Keep your team and patients happy by staying on time and efficient with a structured day.
- All Systems Go: Walkthrough setting up a system and process to stream and create accountability for your team.
- Kick Start Your Marketing: Create a profitable internal marketing plan by learning where to start, which tactics are best, and how to capitalize on low-hanging fruit.
- Back to the Future: Dive into daily, weekly, monthly, and annual reports, quarterly and yearly meetings, and an end-of-the-year meeting.
- The Savvy Hiring Manager: Attract and retain stellar employees by focusing on each team member’s role, hiring strategies, interview tips, and leadership skills.
Continuing education credit: The whole curriculum is approved for 8 CE towards AADOM Designations, and also PACE/AGD approved (1 CE per module).
3. Insurance Essentials Curriculum
Are you struggling with dental insurance? Who isn’t?
Insurance touches all aspects of your office’s patient flow, so it’s imperative you or your dental insurance coordinator, understand the fundamentals.
Insurance Essentials Curriculum will walk you through:
- Common clauses
- Insurance terminology
- How to handle your contracts
- Validating adjustments
- Evaluating your participation decisions
- The most difficult and common patient conversations
Think of all the valuable time, money, and headaches you’ll save after completing this dental insurance training.
Price: Available to members only for $295.
Continuing education credit: Approved for 4 CE towards AADOM Designations and AGD/Pace approved.
4. Manager Moments Learning Series
Is your to-do list more like a never-ending list?
Are you tired of dealing with workplace drama and gossip?
Ready to build a team that feels united?
This is for YOU!
Manager Moments will help you through these challenges and develop a plan for dealing with each effectively.
The three-part series will cover:
- Time management: 10 things you can do to improve your skills and focus your efforts on things that genuinely deserve your attention.
- Managing drama: Identifying the source of the issue and accurately determining contributing factors. Plus, review components of practice leadership, culture, and operations.
- Team building: The necessary aspects of creating a successful team and environment where team members feel valued, respected, and cared for.
It’s taught by Laura Hatch, FAADOM. She’s an award-winning leader, speaker, and mentor in the dental front office world.
Continuing education credit: Approved for 3 CE towards AADOM Designations and AGD/Pace approved.
5. Dental Assistant to Practice Administrator Curriculum
Dental assistant and practice administrator are NOT the same jobs.
Many dental assistants find themselves:
- Being cross-trained for this role.
- Helping the front office.
- Transitioning full time into this role.
Sign up for the DA to PA course if this sounds like you.
“If you’re currently a dental assistant and want to make that career change, I highly recommend you GO FOR IT and to become an AADOM member to help guide you in this transition.
Being an AADOM member has inspired me to grow, and my membership has guided me in my journey from dental assistant to practice manager.” – Edineth Bonilla, CDA, RDA, FAADOM
This five-module series will cover:
- Changes and challenges that lie ahead when taking over this role.
- Job responsibilities and what education is needed.
- Recognizing the most important priorities and tackling them.
- Developing goals and incentives to help your team and practice grow.
- Establishing yourself as a leader and gaining respect.
- Overcoming imposter syndrome.
- Building a plan to take your practice to the next level.
You’ll be led by two icons: Tija Hunter, CDA and Kevin Henry.
Tija was named one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry and has an impressive resume, including former VP of the American Dental Assistants Association and author of six CE study courses.
Kevin has more than 16 years of experience in the dental publishing industry, speaks to dental assistants throughout the country, and was named one of the top five influential voices in the industry.
Continuing education credit: Approved for 4 CE towards AADOM Designations.
Ready to become an AADOM member?
Not only will you gain valuable (often free!) dental training, but you’ll have access to:
- Members-only online forum
- The annual AADOM Conference
- Special member discounts
- And more!
AADOM membership is affordable!
There are three levels of membership to choose from.
1. Individual national membership
A great option for a new or veteran office manager or practice administrator.
- $179 for one year
- $319 for 2 years
- $1000 for a lifetime membership
2. Individual national membership + choose a local chapter
A great option for anyone wanting to join a local AADOM chapter. *Local chapter dues vary.
- $179 for one year
- $319 for 2 years
- $1000 for a lifetime membership
3. Practice national membership
A great option for a practice with multiple members involved in office management.
- $320/year – 2 team members
- $435/year – 3 team members
- $520/year – 4 team members
In other words:
You’ll get thousands of dollars worth of education and training for approximately $15/mo.
And right now you can…
Take a FREE test drive of AADOM membership!
- 1 webinar recording
- 1 issue of the Observer Magazine
- A complimentary Q&A session with an AADOM Success Strategist
- 1 practice management podcast
- Bonus ebook from an industry leader
What do you have to lose?