How To Turn Your Front Office Staff Into A Goldmine For Your Dental Practice

We've worked with hundreds of dental practices over the years and we see similar problems with dental front office staff across every practice, no matter the location:

  • Under-trained dental front office staff
  • Missed patient calls
  • No phone tracking
  • Under-qualified dental front office staff
  • ...and more

Your dental front office staff are the people every new patient is seeing as the “face” of your practice.

With each patient potentially worth thousands of dollars to your business, dental practices need to invest the time and resources into hiring and training the best dental front office staff members.


woman with dark hair and glasses wearing black blazer working as a dental front office staff member on a computer

How much of a goldmine is your dental front office staff? In this guide you’ll find insights and action plans you can use to avoid  painfully common mistakes.

Ready to learn more? Discover how to train your dental front office staff to increase production by clicking below to get your FREE guide!

Including 4 Phone Training Scripts

Step 1: Research Your Competition

Go online and Google dental practices within a 5-10 mile radius of your practice. Put together a short list of the most successful practices, then grab a notepad and pen and take notes while you call each office.

Pay attention to the demeanor of the person who answers the phone, what words they use when greeting, whether they tried booking an appointment with you and what incentives they offer to encourage potential new patients to come into the office.

Knowing how well trained your competitor’s dental front office staff members are can help you identify where your own staff can improve.

Step 2: Adjust Your Hiring Practices

Every time you find yourself in the hiring position, let it be known that you expect a process of continual improvement on the following skills:

  • Advanced phone training
  • Learning how to ask patients to leave online reviews
  • Patient empathy and relationship-building
  • Contributing to the practice’s social media presence
  • Occasionally learning new software and/or phone systems
  • A basic understanding of dental procedures, treatments and the time it takes to complete them
  • Dental insurance plans (if your office takes them) and fees for treatment and procedures.

If you set the expectation that professional development and continual learning are parts of the job, it’ll be much easier to get your new employee on board.

three people sitting in an interview trying to fill a dental front office job position


The best part is that setting professional development and training as being expected and required gets employees agreeing to engage in these activities from the start without it feeling like any “extra” work is being asked of them.

Step 3: Create Strategies & Scripts

No one likes to feel unprepared for a job they must do and answering the phone is the primary responsibility of your dental practice’s front office staff.

With that in mind, put standard rules in place and provide your staff with scripts. Make sure you set aside time for employees to role play as patients so they can be confident in their new phone skills.

This will also give them a chance to ask any questions they have and help you head off common on-phone mistakes before they even happen.

Provide your staff with the scripts they need!
Click below to get some of our best phone script training right now!

Including 4 Phone Training Scripts

The “Golden Rules” Of Phone-Answering

These are a few of our favorite easy tips you can give your dental front office staff members to help better prepare them to interact with patients on the phone.

  • Always answer with a smile as it comes across in the telephone call.
  • Ask if you can put someone on hold before doing so.
  • Pick up the phone within 4 rings as an absolute max or the person will already be thinking about calling the next practice.
  • Avoid a monotone voice at all costs as it will bore people and lose their attention
  • Never eat or chew gum when on the phone
  • Don’t type, read or send text messages while on a call. Giving a patient your undivided attention is essential, especially when speaking to a potential patient!

Managing dental front office staff can often feel daunting, but having a friendly, competent staff on hand to interact with patients is vital to your dental practice’s success and growth.

front office staff member talking to a patient while at the desk wearing scrubs


Keep in mind that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. That statement might be a cliche, but it still rings true! For most patients the first impression they have of your practice is your dental front office staff. Can you afford for them to have a negative experience?

If patients feel comfortable and well-cared for while in your office and while interacting with your dental front office staff, you’ll convert more to lifelong patients who continue to give you referrals for years to come.

Including 4 Phone Training Scripts

This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated to reflect the most recent information, dental trends, and staff training resources available.







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