ADAA View Course

Introduction to Specialized Dental Software (AGD 550)

Presenter: Connie Effinger, BS; Sue Kump, MBA, CDA, LDA; Kathy Zwieg, CDA, LDA; Wilhemina Leeuw, MS, CDA; Revised by Christine Casile, CDA, RDA, RDH and Mary T. Elliott, BS, EFDA, RDA, EFODA, CDA


Computers and specialized electronic software both are integral parts of any dental practice. The success of any practice rests on the application and implementation of a software that addresses the needs of that dental office. For dental offices transitioning from manual to electronic, it is important to choose a dental software that is specific to the dental team in order to build, enhance and strengthen the practice for years to come.

This course identifies certain functions and concepts in order to facilitate the transition from a manual to electronically-based office. There is no ideal software that fits every dental office, but there are principals that can be explored depending on what is desired. The system should function as the central storage facility for all information produced and needed in the office, both now and in the future. As such, a practice's dental computer system must offer the same flexibility that a written record or ledger provides, plus the ability to run reports allowing for more effective management. One important thing to remember is to choose a computer system that is flexible and that it can work effectively.

Although this course does not endorse any specific computer system, it presents principles that can be applied to most any digital system.


Connie Effinger, BS, has extensive dental operations management experience dating back to 1974. Her skills include computer system setup, training, and support. 

Suzanne Kump, MBA, CDA, LDA, has been a dental assistant since 1978. Her areas of expertise include chairside skills, orthodontics, and practice management. She has had experience with several computerized dental systems.

Kathy Zwieg, CDA, LDA, has been employed in numerous roles in dentistry, including clinical, practice management, director of operations, and dental assisting program instructor. Besides her involvement in computer demonstration, training, installation, and setup, she has had experience with several dental software systems.

Wilhemina R. Leeuw, MS, CDA, is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dental Education at Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne. A DANB Certified Dental Assistant since 1985, she worked in private practice over twelve years before beginning her teaching career in the Dental Assisting Program at IPFW. She is very active in her local and Indiana state dental assisting organizations. Prof. Leeuw’s educational background includes dental assisting both in clinical and office management capacities, and she received her Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision.

Reviewed and Revised by:

Christine Casile, CDA, RDA, RDH is a Faculty Professor at the School of Health Professions (SHRP) - Rutgers University Department of Allied Dental Education. She received her Bachelor of Arts in biology from Drew University in Madison, NJ and is completing her Master's in Healthcare Education at Rutgers University.

Mary T. Elliott, RDA, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, BS is a graduate from the University of Oregon's Dental Radiology Program in 1974 and went on to secure her Certified Dental Assistant credential from DANB, her Expanded Functions license in Oregon, her Registered Dental Assistant license in California, her Registered Dental Assistant certificate in Washington, a Bachelor of Science degree in healthcare administration from Concordia University and passed the Western Regional Board Exam in 2014 to place restorations.

In addition to practicing dentistry, Mary has been teaching since 1985 and currently serves as a medical and dental faculty instructor for a variety of colleges in Portland, OR. She also utilizes her dental skills in volunteer clinics providing care to those in need and serves the American Red Cross part time by teaching courses in disease transmission, basic life support, CPR, etc.


Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Identify the practice’s needs in a computer system.
• List the four methods of data entry.
• Describe the space available for the computer system within the practice setting.
• Comply with the latest federal or regional OSHA requirements. 
• Identify the proper hardware and software needs of the practice.
• Input basic data into most computer systems.
• Comply with the latest HIPAA standards.
• Differentiate between the requirements of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry. Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of this course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


If the participant has concerns about the presentation, please contact our Education Department at  If the participant has questions on how to view the presentation, please contact Tech Support at

To proceed with this course please click on the "Add to Cart" button.

You need to be logged in to register for a course. Please Click here to log in or create an account
Return to "My Courses"