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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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There is the good, the bad and the ugly of dental practice management, but many dentists will still tell you the probability is your dental consulting will work if you and your consultant are on the same page. It stands to reason that if a dental consultant had little value, worth or benefit that consultant could not stand up to harsh economic realities for long.  A veteran dental consultant is also a "personal coach" who shold bring management wisdom based on "in the trenches" experience along with systems and protocols to that have been successfully implemented in other practices. Top dental consultants talk and network with each other. They pay attention to what systems work and don't across many dental practices. 


New Patient Phone Call

Insurance Processing

New Patient Experience and Patient Education

Financial Arrangements



Unscheduled Treatment 


Daily and Weekly Checklists

General Policy Manual 

Staff Accountability

What gets monitored, gets managed. It is as simple as that. The only way to monitor what gets done is with daily stats especially for your weak areas. For example, one employee should be specifically responsible for calls to patients who are unscheduled, overdue for re-care or need reactivation. Other staff can and should help in coordination with the accountable employee.


What most practice owners are lack in knowledge is not how to book an appointment, but rather how to be an effective leader. The best systems in the world are useless if the staff do not comply. Good leaders know how to get staff to willingly follow through and comply. 

Questions To Ask 

  1. Do you and/or your staff have to travel or does the consultant come to you?

  2. Is the program mostly one on one consulting versus seminars or courses with multiple clients in attendance?There are advantages to both.

  3. If the dental consulting is one on one who will actually deliver the consulting? I recommend knowing who your specific dental consultant will be prior to signing on the dotted line.

  4. Is program based on a specific dental practice management system? You want to avoid cookie-cutter programs. Ensure the program will be tailor-made to fit your practice's specific needs.

  5. The cost (including travel expenses and downtime) is certainly not the only factor, everything else being equal, it is still a major factor to consider. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little.  


Top Dental Practice Mangement Consultant

Shane Blake DDS Coudersport, PA

My name is Kevin Tighe. Consultant. Coach. Mentor.

My mission is to advise, recommend and help implement proven systems to grow your practice . 

Before joining the Cambridge team I was in charge of setting up workshops for large nonprofits throughout the United States and Canada. During that time, I was fortunate to receive mentoring from several world-class business consultants, including a dental practice management guru, which led to a position at Cambridge as their seminar organizer. In time, I began crisscrossing the country delivering seminars myself for the better part of a decade. Subsequently, I moved up to senior consultant and eventually partner and now sole owner. 


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