Dental receptionist

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Joan is the head receptionist for a dental surgery in the Midlands. Part of her role is to greet patients at the reception desk to soothe their nerves before treatment begins.

What does a dental receptionist do?

As head receptionist I look after a small team of three other receptionists.We are a small practice, so some of our trained dental nurses also carry out reception duties.We work at the front reception desk and greet patients as they come in to the practice, or come to book an appointment with one of our dentists or the dental hygienist. We also make appointments over the telephone. When the dentist is ready for the next appointment we call the patient in from the waiting area.

Is this job different from other receptionist jobs?

A bit, because we are dealing with a wide variety of people who are often very anxious about being here. Sometimes people arrive in quite a lot of pain, so we have to be very sensitive to how they might be feeling. We also want to promote good dental care to younger patients and encourage children not to be worried about coming to see the dentist.

Also, you need to have some knowledge of the dentist's work, particularly if someone rings up and it sounds like an emergency. It's also important to maintain patient confidentiality.

What equipment do you use?

I use a computer a lot as this stores our patient database which needs to be constantly updated. I also use normal office equipment such as faxes, telephone and photocopier.

Why did you want to be a dental receptionist?

I like meeting people and being in a position where I play a role in offering the best care for our patients.

What hours do dental receptionists work?

Our team covers a normal working week, late evenings and Saturday sessions on a rota system.

Whats best about dental receptionist jobs?

I take great pride in making the reception a smart and welcoming place. After all, it's the first thing patients see when they walk through the door.

What makes a good dental receptionist?

You need to be caring and considerate, work well in a team and have good communication skills.

How to become a dental receptionist

  • GCSEs.
  • On-the-job training.

How do i become a dental receptionist tips

  • It's important to understand and appreciate the feelings of nervous patients.
  • Make sure you are organised because dental surgeries can get very busy.

Dental receptionist related jobs

  • Administrative assistant/officer/manager
  • GP practice manager
  • Health records clerk
  • Medical secretary

Dental receptionist salary












  • Someone without a recognised qualification can expect to earn around £8,500 a year, rising to £13,000 for senior dental receptionists and up to £15,000 in large practices.
  • Rates for part-time working will be pro-rata.

What do you need to be a Dental receptionist

  • While you don't need qualifications to start as a dental receptionist, employers prefer some GCSEs/S grades including English and some computer skills.
  • Many dental receptionists are trained on the job but it is also possible to study for a BTEC Advanced Award in Dental Reception available through the British Dental Receptionists Association.
  • Relevant qualifications suitable for anyone working as a receptionist in the medical sector are available from the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR).

Modified: 16 June 2013

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