What are the positions in a dental practice?

In a solo general dental practice that sees under 18 patients a day, the job positions are: Dentist, Business Coordinator/Office Manager/Receptionist, Registered Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienist and Bookkeeper.

In a small group dental practice that sees more than 23 patients a day, the job positions are the same as above with the addition of:

  • Second or third dentist (associates)
  • Scheduling Coordinator
  • Recall Coordinator (maybe combined with Scheduling Coordinator)
  • Second or third Dental Hygienist
  • Second Registered Dental assistant or Dental Assistant
  • Treatment Coordinator (can be combined in another role)

In a specialty dental practice such as Orthodontics, Oral Surgery/Implants, Endodontics you will need:

  • Dentist Specialist
  • Registered Dental Assistants in expanded functions for Orthodontics and Oral Surgery
  • Second Dental Assistant
  • Treatment Coordinator
  • Business Coordinator/Office Manager

There are many positions and roles in a typical dental practice that are determined by the type of practice whether general or specialty, the size of the practice in patient volume, the number of treatment rooms and the types of services and procedures provided. Some job positions may be combined into one and some may require the work of two or more of the same position within the dental practice. In other dental practices, the dentists may hire other dental staff.

In many smaller practices, the Dentist/owner maintains the Human Resources function of having the final word in the hiring and firing decisions instead of the Office Manager. It is recommended that the position of Accountant/Bookkeeper (the person that manages the accounts payable and financial statements) be someone outside of the office due to potential embezzlement risk. 

The people in the dental positions are referred to as a “team” because it takes all of them working together in harmony to create a safe and professional environment for the patients.


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