To become a dental consultant, it is not necessary to be a dentist, but experience in the industry is very helpful. In fact, being familiar with the lifestyle of a dentist who owns a lasting and successful business is of the utmost value, as it helps you to provide high-quality consultation and management advice. Many facilities do not have educational requirements to become a dental consultant, but instead, they look at your experience in the industry. Since consulting is similar to counseling, it is important for you to have excellent analytical, interpretation, and communication skills. To augment your resume, it is beneficial to become affiliated with dental consulting professional associations.
Your lifestyle as this type of consultant should be relatively similar to the one of your employer. Dental practices operate on various schedules, with some being open five days a week, while others may only provide services only one or two days. Keeping this in mind, it is best to agree on what hours you are willing to work and the exact services that you want to provide before you become a dental consultant for an employer. Additionally, this helps you keep a well-established name and reputation in the industry, which is very important because practices frequently rely on word-of-mouth advertisement when hiring a consultant.
A formal education is not required by all businesses who hire dental mentors, but a degree in dentistry or business management is to your benefit. Some practices may have strict qualification guidelines, which sometimes include 10 years or more of experience, having proper licensure, and more. In the US, it is common for employers to prefer that you be a member of the American Dental Association (ADA). The Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC) is another highly-respected professional association that you may want to join. Both full and affiliate memberships are offered through the ADMC.
General skills that you should possess in order to become a dental consultant include being computer literate, a strong communicator, and great at collaborating with others. Your knowledge base of oral healthcare guidelines and standards should be in-depth, making it important that you continue your education in the field. Some great ways to freshen and sharpen your knowledge are by attending workshops and seminars. It is not uncommon for dental practices to pay for these types of workshops, as well as any travel expenses that may be incurred in the process.