Course Name
Dental Office Administrative Assistant Certificate Program

Contact Hours: 75

Course Description

This course is designed to give the students the knowledge to work in a progressive dental office. The student will learn basic dental anatomy, charting, terminology, communication skills, clinical and information records management, dental insurance processing, financial arrangements, bookkeeping procedures, computerized dental systems and employments skill that will assist in obtaining a position as a dental administrative assistant.

The learning outcomes for each student are to:
  • Have knowledge in HIPPA, professional ethics, professional conduct and the roles of the dental professionals.
  • Identify and/or interpret basic anatomy and dental anatomical structures, charting symbols, tooth numbering systems and common dental procedures.
  • Gain an understanding of effective communication, including written, verbal and nonverbal.
  • Describe the functions and components of the patient clinical record, risk management, patient record maintenance, filing methods and patient appointment scheduling.
  • Classify different types of dental insurance coverage, and file and process dental insurance claims.
  • Describe the elements of a financial policy, accounts receivable and payable, collections and financial transactions.
  • Describe and perform bookkeeping procedures: posting transactions, both manual and computerized, audit report and trail, payroll record, and reconciling bank records.
  • Identify dental practice management software functions.
  • Perform basic functions using Dentrix dental software.
  • Prepare the components to assist in securing employment: resume, cover letter and job applications.
  • Practice techniques for a successful job interview: attitude, behavior and answering questions.


This program is divided into three modules. Your final grade for the program will be an average of your three module scores. A minimum score of 70% is required.

  • Students must check the course calendar for assignments. All assignments must be completed.
  • All online quizzes and tests are required and are open book.
  • Downloadable glossaries are provided for each unit.
  • All Bulletin Board questions are required and are part of the final grade.
  • The instructor is available to the students for the duration of the program via email.
  • Each module uses a textbook that is tied to the course objectives.

Required Book(s)


Module Contents:

Module One: Dental Terminology

This module is divided into 5 units with a quiz after each unit and a final examination.
Unit One: Unit Four:
  • Dental Language
  • Abbreviated Reference of Head and Neck Anatomy
  • Tissue Structure of the Tooth (Permanent Arch and Primary Teeth)
  • Practice and facility Setups ((Evacuation Systems, Hand Pieces, Lights)
  • Setups and Sterilization
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Periodontology
  • Pediatric Dentistry
Unit Two:Unit Five:
  • Infection Control
  • Examination and Prevention
  • Radiography
  • Advanced Preparation
  • Dental Laboratory Materials and Procedures
  • Emergency Care
  • Business Procedure
Unit Three:
  • Tooth Restorations
  • Prosthodontics
  • Endontic

Module Two: Dental Billing

This module is divided into six units with 3 quizzes and a final exam.
Unit One: Unit Four:
  • Introduction to the Code
  • Define “Dental Code” and understand rationale for the following: Diagnosis, Preventive, Restorative, Endontics, Periodontics, Prosthodontics,Maxillofacial Prosthetics, Implant Services, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Adjunctive Services.
  • Dental Benefits and the Claim Form
  • Define dental benefit terms
  • Correlate dental benefit terms to coding procedures and customer relations/Communication efforts
Unit Two:Unit Five:
  • Identification of the Teeth
  • Teeth numbering and surfaces of the teeth, anterior, posterior, quadrants
  • Primary Teeth, Permanent Arch
  • The Code: Diagnostics, Preventive, Restorative, Endontics
  • Learn the subcategories in the above listed categories of the code including: Evaluation methods, use of X-rays, prophylaxis and oral hygiene, various Approaches to restoration and methods of endontics including root canal.
Unit Three: UnitSix:
  • Glossary of Dental Terms
  • The Code: Periodontics, Removable Prosthodontics, Maxillofacial Prosthetics, Implant Services, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics and Adjunctive Services.
  • Periodontal services and “other” periodontal codes.
  • Types of complete/partial dentures repair and maintenance
  • Implants, role and types
  • Codes for extraction
  • Selected surgical procedures and subcategories of surgical services
  • Orthodontic codes and types of service in the Adjunctive category

Module Three:Dental Office Management

This module has 15 units, 15 quizzes and a final exam.

The units cover the following topics:

  • Dental practice and expectations of office professional performance
  • Importance of staff meetings, customer perceptions of quality care
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Principles of ethics, professional conduct, procedure manuals
  • Hazardous materials, pathogens, safety
  • Office etiquette, patient relations, courtesy, patient education/retention
  • Marketing dental practices, customer service, telephone skills
  • Dental business software, charting records, lab tracking, record transfers
  • Patient call lists, emergency appointments, third party payment
  • Electronic claims, patient payment, collections, accounting principles
  • Supply inventory

Introduction to the Dental Profession
  • The Administrative Dental Assistant
  • Dental Healthcare Team Members
  • Dental Law and Ethics
  • Privacy Rules
Dental Anatomy, Charting & Terminology
  • Basic Dental Anatomy
  • Numbering Systems
  • Charting Methods
  • Common Dental Terminology
Communication Skills
  • Methods of Communication
  • Telephone Techniques
  • Letter Writing
  • Business Equipment
Clinical Records and Information Management
  • Collecting Information
  • Preparing the Clinical Record
  • Maintaining Records
  • Filing Methods, Equipment & Supplies
  • Patient Scheduling
Dental Insurance Processing
  • Types of Dental Insurance
  • Filing Insurance Claims
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Completing Dental Forms & Claims
Financial Arrangements and Bookkeeping Procedures
  • Financial Policies
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Accounts Payable
  • Payroll
  • Reconciling a Bank Statement
Computerized Dental Systems
  • Variability of Dental Software
  • Basic Functions of Software
  • Dental Practice Set-up: 1) Office Manager 2) Family File 3) Ledger 4) Chart 5) Appointment Book 6) Office Reports
Career Preparation
  • Behavior & Attitudes for Employment
  • Employment Applications
  • Professional Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Job Interview Basics