Finding the right dental office coordinator for your practice can sometimes be a process, but it is worth it when you find the perfect fit for your team. 

The office coordinator your hire will impact your entire company, affecting the success you create and the reputation you build over time. They will be the first face that new and existing patients see when they walk into the building or the first person they talk to over the phone, meaning your new hire needs to be knowledgeable, understanding, and friendly. 

Often the dentist is a nerve-racking place, leaving new and returning patients uneasy or with anxiety. To avoid this, it is always nice to have a friendly face to greet your patients. You want your office coordinator to be kind, caring, and reflect a genuine personality — showing new patients that your practice is the right fit for them, helping them relieve their worries. 

Your office coordinator should also be passionate and well-informed about dentistry, with the expertise to answer any questions that patients may have. This will reflect your enthusiasm for dentistry and the education of your team. 

We have created a guide to hiring the best dental office coordinator for the right salary, giving you the proper tools and tips to ensure your next hire is someone you want to keep on your team: someone that can become a familiar face, and a great addition to your company. 

Use this guide to find the right hire for your company, reaping the most success for your branch of dentistry. Keep the bright smiles coming, starting with who you hire to be a part of your team. 

What is the role of a dental office coordinator? 

A dental office coordinator has an administrative role, typically in a dentist’s office or an orthodontics facility. When working as an office coordinator in this setting, they are responsible for answering incoming calls, keeping track of charts or schedules, and admitting new patients. They should have general knowledge of dental terminology and administrative tasks to help your practice run smoothly and successfully. 

The dental office coordinator your hire should handle multitasking while remaining calm and collected, even if things get busy or stressful.

Typical dental office coordinator duties: 

  • Greet new or existing patients, get to know them, and make them feel welcome
  • Schedule all appointments, procedures, or x-rays
  • Make copies or fax paperwork
  • Keep patient records/files organized
  • Call patients to confirm upcoming appointment dates 
  • Verify patients insurance documents 
  • Post payments made by patients 
  • Discuss financial options with patients 

Is an office coordinator the same as an office manager?  

In simple terms, no. These two roles are entirely different, but both jobs need to be done successfully for your office to run correctly. 

An office manager manages certain tasks, while an office coordinator coordinates the necessary parts to complete the task at hand. They both need to work together to assign a new task and get it completed efficiently. 

An office manager has a leadership role by overseeing the staff to ensure tasks get done on time. In addition, they will make sure the office is a positive environment that runs productively throughout the day. Their responsibilities include managing schedules and payroll, hiring new employees, leading orientation, resolving any staff concerns, and managing the office budget. These roles are essential to the success of any dental practice, but they cannot be done without the help of an office coordinator.

While the office manager and office coordinator’s responsibilities look different, they work together to run a successful dental practice with a productive and happy team

dental hygienist and patient

What is a standard dental office coordinator salary? 

As of 2021, the average salary was $36,000, with coordinator salaries ranging between $32,000 and $40,000, depending on experience, skills, and time spent with a company. This varies from state to state, with coordinator salaries ranging by region. Keep in mind the job market in your area when asking yourself how much should your office coordinator make.

Average salary by state:

In the dental industry, you will typically see practices offering a competitive salary to new employees. This is a common approach when setting employee salaries to invest in a staff that you can trust to stay motivated, be productive, and get the job done. 

By paying a competitive salary, you show that you care about your employees. You give new hires the proper incentive to do their best on the job, which increases staff productivity and loyalty. With this type of salary, you show your office’s commitment to your staff. You reflect how important they are to your company, boosting the morale of your entire team

Another benefit of paying a competitive salary is the successful employee retention rate that is seen with this etiquette. This is important to ensure new hires stick with your team, avoiding the costly repercussions of re-staffing when they leave for a higher salary. 

You will show your team that they are a valuable asset to your entire company, playing a significant role in the overall success of your practice. 

While it may seem like a higher salary is a cost to your company at first, finding employees who are passionate about what they do will be worth it in the long run. They will gain knowledge, skills, and a better understanding of the dental industry, becoming an important asset to your team. 

What to look for in your new office coordinator to ensure they are worth the salary you’re paying them.

When you begin the process of hiring an office coordinator for your practice, you need to make sure they meet your standards as a company, with the proper qualifications, skills, and experience to bring success to your team. 

In most dental practices, an office coordinator should have a high school diploma and a few years of experience working in a dental or medical administrative setting. This will ensure that they are familiar with the responsibilities accompanying this role, promoting their proficiency at this job. 

Dental Office Coordinators should have a general understanding of the dental industry to educate patients. In addition, they should be active in learning more about dental terminology and processes to properly answer patients’ questions in person or over the phone. 

Skills dental office coordinators should have: 

  • Strong communication skills (oral and written) 
  • Good organization skills (for keeping calendars/schedules easy to read and understand) 
  • Ability to work with medical record software and data entry software 
  • Keep up with medical supplies, ordering more when directed by dental staff 

Experience dental office coordinators should have: 

  • Working with data entry software, providing detailed information for dental records 
  • Scheduling appointments, considering staff availability and openings 
  • Maintain a professional level of privacy regarding patient information, following the proper HIPPA procedures and guidelines 
  • Using Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook 
  • Background in insurance billing and payment information

If your company is attempting to maintain a budget, sticking to competitive salary offerings, then you should make sure your new hire meets all of these qualifications with the necessary background and experience to be successful at their job. 

Finding the best dental office coordinator for the right price. 

a handshake over a business desk

Using our guide to finding the best dental office coordinator for the right price, you can ensure you are getting a valuable asset added to your team worthy of the salary you are paying them. Look for a new hire that meets all of the requirements for this role, ensuring they have the necessary education and experience to work for your company. 

To begin, ensure your new hire has the skills to complete all of the tasks required of them while on the job. In addition, you want to be sure your employees are engaged with the motivation and productivity to get the job done on time, improving the overall efficiency of your office. 

You then want to make sure they meet the proper qualifications to fulfill this role, showcasing the skill sets you are looking for upon hiring. This job requires strong communication skills, staying organized, and working with software to enter data as patients visit throughout the day. 

Finally, you want to make sure your new hire has the previous experience to thrive in this role, keeping your practice running smoothly each day. In addition, they should be familiar with their required duties to maintain a level of professionalism on the job. Finally, it is also crucial that they are up-to-date on the required HIPPA guidelines to ensure patient privacy. 

If your new hire meets these requirements and your company’s standards, they may be the right fit to fill the office coordinator position at your practice. You will entice them with a competitive salary, showing your appreciation for your employees as a company. This will give new employees the incentive to work hard, staying productive and efficient on the job. They will see the benefits of working for your company, boosting their morale as they fill the office coordinator role. 

Finding the right fit for your team for the right price is critical to the success you can build for your company. Find someone passionate about the dental industry with comprehensive expertise in the field. Make sure they are friendly, understanding, with a genuine personality to greet new and existing patients who step into the building. 

Remember, your office coordinator is the first face patients will see when they enter the office. Hire someone who enjoys their job and is happy to be in this setting to make the dentist a positive experience for every patient. Keep the bright, white smiles coming as you build a strong team who will help your practice create success over time, reaching your full potential as a company.

To reach the level of success you desire for your company, partner with Podium to expand your client base while using their tools to help you along the way.

Bryan Oram
Bryan Oram AVP of Healthcare Enterprise Sales

Bryan Oram is a Healthcare professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects healthcare businesses with their patients.

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