UW School of Dentistry

DENT 547-549

Dental Practice Administration

Daniel Chan and Sandy Phillips

2 Credits Per Quarter, 6 Credits Total / Quarters 11, 13-14 ( Spring, Third Year, Autumn-Winter, Fourth Year)

Course Description

This course is a 3 quarter sequence which presents material essential to persons entering dentistry in a time of rapid change in health care systems. Information presented includes the following topics: (1) planning and developing a dental practice, review career opportunities within the field of dentistry including selecting among the various forms of practice available to new graduates selection of an appropriate location, selecting appropriate equipment and obtaining financing, (2) managing a dental practice, including selecting staff, team building, performance assessment, managing time, managing money, selecting appropriate computer systems and dealing with expert supportive services, and (3) creating a successful career through the use of effective leadership and management skills.

Educational Objectives

The student will gain knowledge in dental practice management. The objectives will be for the student to be able to: (1) describe personal career goals for the first few years following graduation, (2) describe advantages and disadvantages of the various career alternatives available to dentists, (3) describe the types of staff employed in dental offices and describe the tasks that may be delegated to each type of employee, (4) describe the key factors to look for in selecting equipment for a dental office, (5) describe at least one system for hiring office staff and assessing their performance, (6) describe the current factors influencing health care reform, especially as these factors affect dental practice, and (7) describe the services provided by various types of practice consultants.

Course Outline

Lecture topics include: planning and developing a dental practice, including the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a new practice and associateships; managing a dental practice, including laws and regulations, office money management, working with staff, and time management; participation in role playing exercises in interviewing and training dental auxiliaries.

Course Expectations

To successfully meet the requirements of this course, the student must attend class sessions and demonstrate her/his understanding of the material through participation in discussions during class time. Additionally, each student will:

  • write a resume/vita and cover letter;
  • participate in two team projects by writing and presenting responses to a problem given to the team;

Effective Winter Quarter 2007, completion of on-line course evaluation is a requirement of this course. Failure to comply will result in an “Incomplete” grade being assigned.

Competencies Addressed

  • UWSOD Competency 18: Practice dentistry within the ethical standards of the dental profession and the law.
  • UWSOD Competency 19: Utilize information-technology resources in contemporary dental practice.
  • UWSOD Competency 20: Utilize business and management skills to conduct an efficient and effective clinical practice.
  • UWSOD Competency 24: Evaluate different models of oral health care management and delivery.


  • Written handouts
  • Power Point presentations

*last updated: 12/2/2011