Dental receptionist training varies according to the type of preparation that an employer requires or that a dental receptionist decides to pursue. In some cases, dental receptionist training is provided entirely on the job and consists of basic training in office procedures and, in some cases, insurance billing or even dental assisting. It is also possible for someone to complete a dental receptionist training course at a vocational school. These courses may include formal training in office administration, insurance billing, and information on handling x-rays and patient charts. Another path to becoming a dental receptionist or front office manager is to complete a dental assisting course, which typically combines clinical training with office management skills.
An individual who is hired to be a dental receptionist without formal education will likely be trained by other office personnel, a dental hygienist, or even the dentist himself or herself. This training usually consists of the proper way to answer phones, transfer calls, or take messages if the caller is unable to use the voic email system. In small dental offices, the receptionist may be responsible for most office administration tasks, including dealing with insurance companies and product vendors. He or she may also be trained to act as a dental assistant by performing basic clinical tasks such as sterilizing instruments or assisting the dentist during procedures.
Those who undergo dental receptionist training through a vocational school or community college will complete the school's curriculum, which varies depending on the type of program that students enroll in. If the emphasis of the program is on office skills, students may be expected to complete a touch-typing course, classes in word processing and spreadsheet management, as well as training in how to manage databases and files. In addition, these programs may also require coursework in dental terminology and clinical skills.
Dental assistant training may also provide adequate preparation for a career as a dental receptionist. These programs are also taught at vocational schools and community colleges, although they may place a greater emphasis on learning clinical skills, such as assisting dentists during procedures and providing basic dental services for patients. It is not unusual, however, for these programs to include a component that teaches dental office administration skills as well. Such programs may, however, be longer in length than programs designed specifically to prepare students for dental receptionist or office administrator careers.