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ADA certificate program helps dentists be more effective small business owners

October 20, 2014

By Kelly Soderlund

Balance the clinical skills you learned in dental school with the tools you need to be a confident small business owner with the ADA's Executive Program in Dental Practice Management.

The new online program, available through the ADA Center for Professional Success website, consists of six 10-hour courses where dentists will learn about financial management, enhancing marketing strategies and practicing amid increased regulation, among other topics. The certificate program features a blended curriculum that combines insight from the nation's leading dental practice management experts and ADA-selected business lecturers from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

"In dental school, we're trained to focus on the science of dentistry and the clinical aspect of the profession," said Dr. Joseph Unger, chair of the Council on Dental Practice. "Most of us had some business training in dental school but not nearly enough to be fully prepared to run a small business. Plus, a lot has changed in the economy and in the business sector since many of us were students. This program can give dentists the business and leadership skills they never had or refresh and build on the existing skills that may need to be refined."

Three courses are currently available and three additional ones will be launched before the end of the year. The current courses are:

  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Dental Practice.
  • Negotiation and Conflict Management.
  • Understanding Leadership.

Coming soon are:

  • Business Strategy and Systems.
  • Dental Team Management.
  • Financial Management.

Dentists must take all of the courses to receive a certificate or they can pick and choose and receive continuing education credit where appropriate. Dentists can access the Web-based courses through their desktop or laptop computers, smartphones or tablets. To learn more or to register, visit