Dental office managers have a lot on their plate. It can be challenging to keep all those tasks straight. Time management is essential but not easy. To help, here are some tips to stay on top of the daily tasks and strategic priorities.

A daily checklist can help dental office managers focus on strategic priorities for the practice.
A daily checklist can help dental office managers focus on strategic priorities for the practice.

Dental Office Manager Daily Checklist

You can break the general tasks on your dental office manager's daily checklist into three parts of your day: starting it, managing it, and ending it. Each of those three parts also has three tasks. Below are some tips for streamlining them.

Starting your day:

☐ Review missing future appointments for Doctor and Hygiene.

  • While reaching out by phone to reschedule patients is the best way to keep them from falling through the cracks, an automated reminder system can make it much easier to oversee this task.

☐ Identify New Patients on the schedule.

  • Prepare a welcome packet for your new patients in advance of their visit with everything they need to know about your practice. A welcome email with links and online forms can also be a terrific way to set them up in the system while minimizing the paperwork they must fill out.

☐ Identify Emergency Patients on the schedule.

  • Train all your staff members on specific emergency treatment protocols, with clear steps for triage and emergency treatment. This will make it easier to get them into the schedule while streamlining care.

Managing your day:

☐ Review and identify appointments not scheduled or canceled.

  • Set up a follow-up system to check in with patients who canceled appointments to understand their reasons and potentially reschedule. This can help prevent lost revenue and show patients that you care about their dental health.

☐ Monitor payment efficiency throughout the day.

  • Real time payment tracking, and reconciliation systems can take a lot of the effort out of this step. It will also allow you to quickly identify payment delays or issues for escalation.

☐ Review current and future treatment plans.

  • Streamline the process by organizing plans systematically. Utilize a digital or physical filing system that categorizes treatment plans based on urgency, complexity, or patient preferences, making it easy to access and update information when necessary.

Ending your day:

☐ Review the current day's scheduling and payment efficiencies.

  • Check how your office performed today, and areas where there may have been delays. Look for the root of those delays and determine how that issue could be avoided again.

☐ Identify patients who did not successfully schedule and/or pay for follow up.

  • Build a list of these individuals based on treatment priority as well as barriers to treatment and/or payment. Make those your top follow ups for the following day.

☐ Get a head start and make notes for tomorrow’s Morning Meeting/Huddle.

  • Use digital calendars, to-do lists, or task management applications to stay organized and on track throughout the day.


Be Available for Strategic Priorities

While the above tasks feel like enough to fill up a day, a dental office manager’s work is never done. As a leader, you are also responsible for a lot of strategies, initiatives, and operations. There are seven areas where you will drive success and patient satisfaction in the practice.



Projected Revenue

☐ Review the Month-to-Date amount to determine gaps.

  • Reduce gaps by grouping similar treatment types together to maximize chair time and patient turnover.

☐ Compare the 10-day scheduled amounts in relation to goal amounts needed to fill gaps.

  • Good practice management software should allow you to track and analyze your data in real time for faster decision making.



☐ Review service mix, scheduled re-care patients, and goals.

  • Invest in ergonomic training and equipment to improve the comfort and the efficiency of your hygienists during treatment.

☐ Review 30, 60,90, and 120+ days and investigate aging issues.

  • Online payment options allow patients to settle their accounts faster while transparent billing will minimize delays.

Patient Base


☐ Identify trends for patient retention, new patients, and over attrition or growth of patient base.

  • Regular patient satisfaction surveys will help you gauge the experience and identify areas for improvement.

☐ Evaluate Collection Efficiency and adjustment percentage to gauge health.

  • Payment plans and discounts for upfront payments can help to encourage faster collections.

Treatment Planning

☐ Review case value and acceptance per clinician for 30, 60, 90, and 1-year period.

  • You can streamline your treatment planning process using visual aids and videos that will help dentists explain plans to patients more clearly. This can help you align all your clinicians to the same standards in patient communication.


A daily dental office manager checklist may help you keep your tasks straight, but it can't match the advantages of efficient practice management software. With the right system, you can make data driven decisions based on the real-time performance of your office. Many of those mundane daily tasks are efficiently managed for you, freeing up your time to focus on the greater strategic vision of the practice.