Do You Know The Difference Between a Dental Office and a Dental Clinic?

difference between dental office and dental-clinic

Few people know that there is a big difference between a dental office and a dental clinic. You should never assume that a dental clinic is a dental office.

Booking an appointment for a dental office visit is very different from a dental clinic appointment. You may find yourself booking an appointment on one only to find out that no treatment or procedure can be done for you with no clear understanding of the difference between the two. You wouldn’t want to book a dental clinic appointment if you just want a dental office visit!


To avoid hassles and avoidable confusion, it’s best if you’d know the difference between the two. Read on to learn definitive matters and important differences between a dental office and a dental clinic.

Dental Clinic

A dental clinic is a dedicated place where a dentist can perform and execute dental treatments and procedures for patients. It can be found not just in hospitals but also in public and private offices, schools, and health-related establishments. It is usually just a single room when all dental tools and equipment are placed. A dental clinic is often low-cost. In fact, free treatments are often performed in one.

Dental Office

A dental office is a commercial endeavor that is run and operated by a professional dentist. Compared to a dental clinic, it has different departments and components. It is not limited to handling dental treatments and services. It also deals with financial and clerical transactions. A dental office has multiple employees that belong to different departments.

Dental Office 101

Dental clinics don’t have different departments while dental offices do. The following are the most common and essential departments and wings found in a dental office:

1. The Reception Area

The first part of a dental office that all patients get to experience is its reception area. A reception area is a space where patients are welcomed in a dental office. It is a lounge area where couches and options for entertainment are available for waiting patients. Most reception areas have a television to keep waiting patients entertained. Magazines and books may also be found in reception areas. Some dental offices even have vending machines and coffee makers. A reception area is always manned by a receptionist. The receptionist has a list of all scheduled patients for the day. Walk-in patients can always inquire and transact with receptionists if they want to book an appointment or have a schedule adjusted.

2. Patient Records

Patient Records are usually found in or near the reception area. Upon the arrival of patients, they can opt to approach desk staff to access their dental records. This area also holds the dental office’s computer system. Upon request, dental records can be given via printouts. Some dental offices opt to send via e-mail. Patient records can also be requested via phone calls. If you need particular dental records, you should call your dentist’s office. If your dentist’s clinic is separate from his or her office, you should look for the office’s contact number because a dental clinic does not house patient records.

3. Dental Clinic

As defined earlier, a dental clinic is a small room or space where your dentist performs dental procedures and treatment. Separate from different parts of the dental office, the dental clinic is the very area where all tools for all dental procedures are placed for easy access.

The dental clinic is where the dental chair is together with all the lighting equipment, devices, handheld instruments, suction machines, oral irrigators, and laser machines. Inside a dental clinic, pristine cleanliness is highly maintained and strictly observed at all times.

All tools and equipment inside the dental clinic are properly sterilized at all times. Part of what makes dental care significantly more expensive in Australia is the strict requirement for dental clinics and offices to comply with strict dental practice protocols. Australia ranks as one of the top countries with the most expensive dental care fees.

All dental professionals and experts in the industry are required by Australian law to follow strict dental practice protocols.

4. Storage

A dental office has dedicated storage space for all its stocks that need replenishment. Dental practitioners strictly observe accounting and storage practices for continuous and reliable provision of dental care. Storage areas in dental offices also keep patient files and dentist files.

5. Other Areas

Other dental offices have separate areas for payment and insurance claims. Some dental offices even have a dedicated room for x-ray machines. If you just relocated and you’re looking for a new dentist, make it a point to look for ones that already have in-house x-ray machines. It is better to go to dental offices that have one as it can be quite a hassle when you would need to have a dental x-ray done and you’d still be required to go to a different service provider. Most leading dental offices already have in-house x-ray machines.


To not be confused, always remember that a dental office is bigger than a dental clinic. A dental office has more staff and in-house functions if compared to a dental clinic.

Did you just recently move into a new neighborhood and you’re looking for a dentist? Looking for one should not be hard as numerous directories abound online. When looking for one, do prioritize leading practitioners with years of experience in dental practice. Leading dental practice in Warrnambool is currently held by Dentist Warrnambool that houses award-winning dentists and expert dental hygiene practitioners.

Leave a Comment