Dental Office Assistant Program Curriculum
Complete our Dental Office Assistant program on your terms. Practicing professionals have designed the course so you can successfully learn online. You’ll graduate with both theoretical knowledge and real-world skills.
A career in this field may require you to meet certain licensing, training, and other requirements that can vary by vocation and state. You should check with your state, local government and/or licensing board to find out which requirements may be applicable in your state. Click here for contact information on state licensing/regulatory boards and certain professional licensing information.
Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career ProgramLearning at Ashworth
The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.
Introduction to the basic operations of allied health careers and the legal and ethical issues you may encounter while working in the many different venues available for these fields.
Lesson Group 2: Dental Office IntroductionA Day in the Life of a Dental Administrative Assistant
Dental assistant characteristics; dental staff; dental specialties; front office and back office duties; scheduling procedures; patient confidentiality.
Infection process cycle; universal and standard precautions; dental office assistant’s role in safety; reducing chance of disease transmission; dental facility safety hazards and prevention; sanitization, disinfection, and sterilization.
Lesson Group 3: Front Office BasicsThe Dental Office Team and Patient Relations
Dental office personnel; team management concepts; first impressions; patient relations; the art of listening; problem resolution; dental practice hierarchy.
Dental office equipment; professional telephone techniques; computer basics; computer maintenance; basic calculator functions; integrated technology services.
Marketing a dental practice; organizing mail; special shipping services; using tickler files; placing office supply orders; effective written communication; proper letter and memo formats; address abbreviations.
Scheduling dental appointments; first visit dental forms; verifying insurance coverage; scheduling follow‐up appointments; completing appointment cards; referring patients to other providers; completing record transfer requests; handling office emergencies.
Organization of the dental chart; dental charting forms; the MED ALERT box; signature on file form; consent forms.
Lesson Group 4: Dental Records, Documentation, Coding, and BillingClinical Records Management
Filing systems; computerized dental charting; setting up yearly records; record retention; maintaining dental front office files; storing dental records; planning for and recovering from a dental records disaster.
Common dental terms, prefixes, suffixes, root words, and combined words; oral cavity structures; common diseases of the mouth; parts of the tooth; identifying teeth by types, numbers, and locations; primary vs. permanent teeth; dividing teeth into quadrants and sextants; growth and development of teeth; common diseases of the teeth.
Dental chart organization; pediatric and emergency patient charts; filing radiographs in a chart; dental charting abbreviations; common charting symbols; dental charting rules; noting the patient chart.
Pathologic conditions requiring treatment; types of dental services performed; the use of specific codes; common restoration materials; types of crowns; types of full and partial dentures.
Properly completing the dental claim form; common billing forms; completing the 1500 Health Insurance Claim Form; performing a claim analysis; the charge slip; delayed billing procedures; common fraudulent claim situations; calculating the patient’s portion of the bill; submitting clean claims; the Incomplete Data Master List.
Lesson Group 5: Dental Insurance, Accounting, and EmploymentDental Reference Books and Insurance Contract Interpretation
The CDT, PDR, HCPCS, CPT, and ICD‐ 9‐ CM; dental contract terms; types of dental plans; benefits and provisions of contracts; common cost‐ containment provisions; contract limitations and exclusions; temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
The ledger card and patient statements; posting payments to the patient account; creating a payment plan; properly handling collection calls; daily journal use; properly balancing petty cash; common dental office reports.
Dental practice overhead costs; making bank deposits; processing invoices; writing out and documenting checks; performing a bank reconciliation; the three basic types of payroll; business tax reporting basics.
Employment skills; marketing objectives; preparing a professional résumé; interviewing techniques; writing an effective cover letter; writing a follow‐up letter.
The Dental Office Assistant program is designed to provide the student the knowledge and skills required for entry‐level work performing the administrative functions of a dental office assistant. The program focuses on the development of both technical and professional proficiencies. It will prepare students to execute the necessary activities that are performed daily, weekly, and monthly in running a successful dental office. The intent of this program is to develop the comprehension students need to be prepared for the activities that occur every day within a dental office.
After completing the Dental Office Assistant program, students will be able to:
- Perform as dental practice front office assistants
- Define requirements for managing a dental front office
- Identify daily, weekly, and monthly activities required for general office procedures
- Effectively convey information for the proper completion of dental insurance filing, coding, and billing
- Identify proper finance and accounting procedures for the dental front office
- Demonstrate a high standard of professional ethics
- Identify key skills and attributes for successful employment