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The Business of Dentistry: Practice Administration (AGD 550)

Presenter: Natalie Kaweckyj, LDARF, CDA, CDPMA, COMSA, COA, CPFDA, CRFDA, MADAA, BA; Contributing Authors: Wendy Frye-Agers, CDA, RDA, EFDA, MADAA; Lynda Moan Charlton, CDA; Lisa Lovering; and Linette Schmitt, CDA, LDA, MADAA


Dentistry is a business as well as a health care service profession. It is essential to provide treatment for patients in a caring manner, but it is also necessary to maintain maximum efficiency and production in order to maintain a successful practice. The practice administrator plays a key role in the smooth operation of any dental practice, including managing communication between team members and the patients of the practice. The knowledgeable practice administrator not only helps to increase office production, but also assists the other dental team members in the smooth running of day-to-day operations. This practice administration course focuses on the many office and management responsibilities, including tips on success, hiring and termination procedures, and communication in today’s dental offices. The practice administrator must have a basic working knowledge of these procedures to maintain an efficient and productive staff.


Natalie Kaweckyj, LDARF, CDA, CDPMA, COMSA, COA, CPFDA, CRFDA, MADAA, BA currently resides in Minneapolis, MN, where she is the Clinic Coordinator and Compliance Analyst for a nonprofit pediatric dental clinic. She is a Licensed Dental Assistant in Restorative Functions (LDARF), Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Certified Dental Practice Management Administrator (CDPMA), Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA), Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Assistant (COMSA), Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA), and a Master of the American Dental Assistants Association. She holds several expanded function certificates, including the administration of nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia. Ms. Kaweckyj graduated from the American Dental Association accredited dental assisting program at ConCorde Career Institute and has received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Psychology from Metropolitan State University. She has worked clinically, administratively and academically. Ms. Kaweckyj is currently serving on several ADAA Councils after having served on the ADAA Board of Trustees 2002 – 2012. She served as ADAA President in 2010-2011 and again in 2017-2018. She is the current Business Secretary and legislative chairman for the Minnesota Dental Assistants Association (MnDAA) and a three time past president of MnDAA. She also is a Past President of the Minnesota Educators of Dental Assistants (MEDA). In addition to her association duties, Natalie is very involved with the Minnesota state board of dentistry as well as with state legislature in the expansion of the dental assisting profession. She is a freelance writer and lecturer and is always working on some project. She has authored many other courses for the ADAA and has spoken internationally.


Wendy Frye-Agers, CDA, RDA, EFDA, MADAA
, currently lives in St Louis, Missouri where she is a chairside expanded functions dental assistant at the St. Louis VA Medical Center. She is a Certified Dental Assistant, Registered Dental Assistant (CA), Expanded Functions Dental Assistant and a Master of the American Dental Assistants Association. Wendy graduated from the ADA accredited dental assisting program at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Wendy has been a CDA for over 25 years and is a life member of the ADAA.

Wendy has served in many various capacities on the local and state levels of the Iowa, Missouri and California Dental Assisting Associations. Wendy has been involved with the Iowa and Missouri Missions of Mercy.

Lynda Moan Charlton, CDA, MADAA, lives in Billings, Montana. She is a Certified Dental Assistant, has ACLS certification and had been employed in the private practice of Michael W. Stuart, DDS until 2009 as a chairside assistant. Since then she has been employed as a chairside dental assistant in the practice of Will Winterholler. Lynda began her dental assisting career as an on the job trained assistant. 

Lisa Lovering
Lisa Lovering is an employed chairside in the private practice of Michael W. Stuart, DDS. Lisa began her dental assisting career as an on the job trained assistant.

Linette Schmitt, CDA, LDA, MADAA
Linette Schmitt is a graduate from the ADA accredited dental assisting program at Hibbing Community College. Linette currently works as a chairside assistant in a large group practice. She is a MN Licensed Dental Assistant and a Certified Dental Assistant, and is also certified to administer nitrous oxide analgesia. She is a life member of the American Dental Assistants Association and holds an ADAA Mastership.

She has served in many capacities at the local and state levels of her association level, and is a former Seventh District Trustee. Linette is legislatively involved with the MN Board of Dentistry’s Policy Committee.


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

• Explain ways to seek new employees and strategies frequently used during the interviewing process.
• Discuss the hiring process, complete with the employment agreement and other employment records.
• Identify areas needed to be in compliance with new employees such as OSHA and other government regulations.
• Demonstrate ways to manage employee grievances and protocol for termination of employees.
• Understand how and why personnel records are maintained.
• Demonstrate the basic understanding of guidelines associated with state and federal regulations that affect the following areas: the practice of dentistry, the management of personnel, and the maintenance of practice records.
• Describe effective communication with patients and staff members to establish a compassionate rapport that creates a positive practice image and excellent working relationships.
• Understand the importance of the development and maintenance of an office procedure manual outlining practice policies and procedures.
• List the four channels of communication.
• Describe basic barriers that exist in communication and understanding.
• Describe public relations and practice-building activities including the management of patient grievances.
• Identify general management, planning and reporting functions that may be delegated by the dentist/owners.
• Assist in the requisition, selection and purchasing of business office equipment.
• Describe the maintenance of equipment purchase records, instruction manuals, warranties and service information for office purchases.
• Establish and maintain a reminder file for routine preventative maintenance of major pieces of equipment.
• Describe the standard of care in dentistry.
• Discuss the legal responsibilities of a dentist.
• Explain patient abandonment.
• Define due care.
• Identify the four D’s for a victorious malpractice suit.
• Differentiate between an act of omission and an act of commission.
• Give an example of an act of omission and an act of commission.
• Name three areas of risk management.
• Identify the greatest factor in preventing litigation.
• Name two things that must be present for informed consent.
• Explain implied consent.
• Define therapeutic exception.
• Discuss the situations that are exceptions to disclosure of information for informed consent.
• Understand the situations that require written consent from the patient.
• Describe the key information needed on a consent form.
• Identify the necessary information documented when a patient is referred to a specialist.
• Define HIPAA.
• Describe what HIPAA requires.
• Identify three key areas covered by HIPAA.
• Discuss how protected health information can be recognized.
• Identify situations in which information can be disclosed without consent.
• Describe penalties for HIPAA noncompliance.
• Explain instances when a parent of a minor may not have access to health information.
• Identify individuals considered business associates under HIPAA.


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.


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