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Dental Office General Policy Manual Tips

Dental Office General Policy Manual Tips

Whether you create a dental general policy manual on your own or purchase one), upon compiliation, consult with a local HR person or your attorney to ensure your HR policies are compliant for your particular state.

I also recommend that each staff employee member also have a dental manual that will train them on their specific position or at least act as a reference for any questions they may have regarding their job. 

Over the past 19 years I've found that many dentists get a “job description" and "training manual" mixed up. A good dental office manual should be able to be used to train staff.

Generic dental office manuals are almost useless. It is ideal to have a dental manual that you can edit, customize and easily up date as needed, as well as make as many copies as you need without paying each time you do so.

While cost is certainly not the most important factor, everything else being equal, it is still a factor to consider.

Someone once said, "It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little." A correctly designed dental staff manual should not be just a book of rules or policies that gathers dust on a shelf somewhere. Manuals should be designed so they can easily be used as a tool for TRAINING and CORRECTING your staff. The manner in which your staff manuals are put together to a large degree determines whether they will be useful in the training of your staff.

To accomplish this, manuals should include written tests, role playing drills and apprenticeship checklists and places for each employee to attest in writing that they have read, understood and agree with the policies. There is something almost mystical about requiring staff to attest in writing that they have read and agree with the materials in terms of gaining compliance.

Also dental manuals should not be static. Instead each manual page should be able to be easily updated since policies will evolve or need to be replaced. You should also be able to make as many copies as you need without limit. I'm proud to say that all eight of our manuals are designed this way.


Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue ad agency. After joining Cambridge as a speaker in the mid-1990s, Kevin went on to become Cambridge’s senior consultant and eventually CEO. Cambridge Dental Consultants is a full-service dental practice management company offering customized dental office manuals. Frustrated? High overhead? Schedule a chat with Kevin at 

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