CAREERS IN THE DENTAL FIELD – Part 1

When you walk into a dental office there are various people who are involved in your care and treatment other than the dentist.  In this article, and the next few to follow, we will provide you with a brief description of your dental health providers and their duties. Your might be surprised by what they do and may even  be enticed into joining the dental field yourself.

DENTAL RECEPTIONISTS

Dental ReceptionistDental receptionists, like many other receptionists, are the “face” of any organization, and is probably one of the most under estimated job in a dental office. The impression that they give to prospective patients either by phone or in person is a reflection of the practice and ultimately influences a person’s decision on coming to an office. The front office is involved in numerous aspects of a patients visit to a dental office that most patients are probably not aware of. The official title is called dental receptionist, however many offices refer to the front office personnel as Patient Representatives. Their job requires them to wear many hats. The dental receptionists greets patients on the phone and as they enter and exit the office. They assist current and potential patients with scheduling and general information about the dental office as well as answering questions regarding possible dental concerns from those calling into the office.  This is only a small portion of what a dental receptionist actually does. The work can be stressful, so organization and good people skills are a very essential part of their job.

In addition to the duties mentioned, a Dental Receptionist is also the person who is in charge of filling the schedule for the dentist and hygienist.  They are responsible for maintaining a productive schedule to meet the financial goals of the practice as set forth by the dentist and Office Manager.  They monitor the schedule and its flow to ensure the provider stays on schedule, and are in charge of scheduling appointments, and reminding patients to come in for continuing care through phone calls and correspondence.  Additionally, they contact insurance companies to verify insurance benefits and file dental claims on your behalf, which can involve forwarding doctors notes and x-rays to your insurance carriers.

Multitasking on a daily basis is an essential part of a dental receptionists job. For example, they may be required to set an appointment with a patient in the office while taking incoming calls, as well as retrieving information requested by another member of the office team. An important role of the dental receptionist involves presenting treatment plans to patients at check out and scheduling the patient to have their dental care completed. Last but not least, the dental receptionist makes sure that the reception area remains looking nice and neat. All of these duties are always done with a smile and a eagerness to make sure that the patients visit is as pleasant as possible.

The role of the dental receptionist requires a professional and personable individual, and someone who really enjoys working with people.  Problem solving skills, a willingness to help others, attention to detail, good communication and computer skills, as well as good math, grammar and spelling skills are just some of the skills that these individuals possess.   It’s certainly a lot to ask one person to do, but a career as a dental receptionist is very rewarding, the hours are great, and making a difference in the lives of others is always the best benefit of any job.

Look for our article next month on Dental Assistants.