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A dental receptionist salary will vary according to a number of factors, including the size of the dental practice, the job duties of the dental receptionist, and the geographic location of the receptionist’s employer. In general, a dental receptionist salary is likely to be higher for those receptionists who are also able to perform either significant office administration tasks or who are trained as dental assistants who can assist in providing care to patients. As with all professions, a dental receptionist salary will often increase as the receptionist gains seniority in his or her possession and may also increase as the dental practice becomes larger and more profitable.
Dentists may rely on a receptionist or general office administrator to oversee the day-to-day functioning of their offices. In some cases, a dentist may be able to afford a receptionist whose sole responsibility is to greet clients and answer phones in order to schedule appointments and answer questions. In many cases, however, a dentist will rely on the receptionist to perform other tasks, including ordering office supplies and maintaining files. The administrator may also be responsible for processing insurance claims, a skill that may require additional training and thus allow the employee to command a higher dental receptionist salary.
It is not unusual for a dental hygienist or assistant to assume some or all of the administrative duties in a dental office. In such cases, his or her salary may be significantly higher than a standard dental receptionist salary, as he or she is performing other, clinical tasks. For example, dental hygienists are trained professionals who have at least a two-year degree in dental hygiene and who can perform a variety of clinical tasks, such as cleanings and x-rays under the supervision of a dentist. A dental assistant’s training may be more oriented toward office tasks, but he or she may still assume responsibilities for maintaining dental equipment, educating patients, and recording patient histories on behalf of the dentist.
As a dental practice increases its patient base, the salary of all its employees may increase over time, particularly because such an increase generally means more work for everyone. Other factors also include geographic location, as the local economy will significantly affect both the ability of local residents to afford dental care as well as the prices that a dentist can charge for his or her services. Additional profitability for the dentist will inevitably lead to higher salaries.