Dental Assistant Resumes & Writing Guide

Are you looking for a job as a Dental Assistant? If you are as passionate about keeping people’s pearly whites in tip-top shape, as we are about resume compilation, then scroll further. Included below are examples of Dental Assistant Resumes and a fantastic guideline, outlining all the neat tricks of the resume trade to assist you in producing a stellar application.

It takes a particular type of person to be content in poking around teeth all day, and the demand for Dental Assistants is definitely growing. With that said, the possibility of landing a job is by no means guaranteed, and you need an on-point resume to make the best possible first impression. Use our Dental Assistant resume samples and accompanying write-up as tools to help in placing your resume at the front of the interview line.

17 Dental Assistant Resume Examples

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Dental Assistant Resume Writing Guide

Resume Sections

1. Contact Information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Phone Numbers
  • Email Address
  • Location.

These days it helps to include social media handles such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and if you make videos of your day job, Tik-Tok won’t hurt. (Prospective employers may learn a lot about your personality by stalking your social media activities). Today 87% of recruiters find their candidates on Linkedin, for example, so a cool idea would be to recreate your Linkedin Profile while you are drafting your resume document.

2. Career Summary:
Authenticity is crucial in the job-seeking environment, and your career summary should be a truthful display of your professional self, written in 3-4 sentences. Use a different font to make sure this paragraph catches the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers. Include years of experience, specialist dental skills, qualifications, and one or two valuable interpersonal traits and string them together in concise, informative sentences.

3. Qualifications Summary:
There are several career paths to becoming a Dental Assistant, and not all of them require a formal associate or bachelor’s degree. Check with your state’s Dental Association to ascertain the qualifications and certifications required. In some states, you may need to participate in a formal accreditation program and pass an entry exam, wherein others a certain amount of on the job training hours should be accumulated. Most programs take 1-2 years to complete, and then you will receive accreditation from the American Dental Association, which is excellent to prove theoretical and practical experience to prospective employers.

4. Relevant Dental Assistant Experience:
You may use a functional or chronological format to present experience and skills on your Dental Assistant Resume. The first entails a combined experience and skills section where you would display all your academic and practical knowledge in bullet point format without linking them to a specific job you had in the past. The second format is where you would divide your experience per the jobs you have held with 4-5 bulleted job duties under each role performed. Both works fine, but the essence should be on the most important responsibilities that align with those mentioned in the job advertisement. From formatting, perspective makes use of ample white space, big headings, and clear, legible fonts.

5. Skills Summary/Key Skills:
The average Dentist would skim a resume in a few seconds, looking for dental terminology, the names of the instruments, and dental procedures. Make their lives easier by including a dedicated section to skills and competencies that is a showcase of your work tenure. Read through the job advertisement a few times and highlight the top preferred requirements and minimum requirements. Now mirror these in your resume. A skills matrix format is a smart way to do this (we have included an example later in this write-up).

6. Certification/Licensing:
For generic Dental Assistant roles, you do not require any specific licenses or certifications. However, if you want permission to perform more expansive tasks licensing, registration and certifications are required. Verify with the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) regarding the specialist tasks you are interested in performing, for example, coronal polishing, teeth whitening, or surgical support for in practice operations. Most Dental Assistant roles would require certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Add licensing and certificates to your Education Section and include details such as credential name, institution attended, date completed, course topics, and hours accumulated if applicable.

What to Highlight in a Dental Assistant Resume

Many candidates often ask “What should I highlight in my Dental Assistant Resume”?, when trying to draft their application. Your resume should be no more than two pages, which makes it difficult to distinguish between relevant and less important duties and skills. The purpose of a Dental Assistant is to provide procedure support, hand out instruments, take x-rays, schedule appointments, and sanitize equipment. Let’s have a look at the most critical points to highlight on your dental assistant resume to ensure you present an informative document to hiring managers.

First, provide information about your technical tenure; in other words, the procedures you are familiar with. These may include offering preventive services such as general check-ups or hygiene activities or restorative functions like assisting with fillings or root canals.

Also include details about your working environment. Are you working for a solo dentist’s operation where you are the only dental assistant, or do you service a few dentists in a group practice? You may also be working at a hospital assisting with dental surgeries. Some dental assistants work in the public health industry, so be sure to mention if you operate at a clinic, hospice, school, or community health center. Academic institutions always make use of dental assists to assist students studying dentistry, and you could include the places that you offer service to such as dental school clinics, colleges or university hospitals, public health dentistry, including settings such as schools and clinics which focus on the prevention of dental problems within entire communities.

You may also have transitioned from physical dentistry into commercial practice and be responsible for processing dental insurance claims for healthcare providers or work directly for an insurance company as a technical advisor approving or rejecting claims. There is a growing trend to use dental assistants for lab work, such as making casts of patients: teeth or prepare materials for implants and crowns. The type of environment you are in will also determine your availability in terms of working hours and emergency call outs.

Next up, are the specialty areas that you focus on, for example, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, and oral surgeries. Be sure to drill down on the exact procedures you of have been part of for each specialty. Dentists will want to know if you have experience in assisting with maxillofacial surgery or dentofacial orthopedics if your specialty is assisting in theatre. If endodontics/periodontics has been where most of your experience is gained, then competencies in root canal treatments, replacing teeth, and treating gum issues would be of interest. In pediatric dentistry, employers would want to see the average ages of children you have treated and your skills with local anesthesia submission.

All Dental Assistants complete general tasks, such as helping Dentists with procedures and keeping patient records. However, some procedures could be regulated by your specific state, and if you are allowed to perform them, it would definitely be to your advantage. These include: Coronal polishing, Sealant application, Fluoride application and Topical anesthetics application. Be sure to mention these and included the number of years or number of years experience or number of procedures done in regards to these.

Patient relationships are a crucial aspect of a Dental Assistant role. Explain to recruiters how you would forge relationships with patients, make them comfortable, educating them about proper oral hygiene, and outline the treatments they are about to receive in a simplified manner.

The generic duties should also receive attention, for example, sterilizing instruments, organizing tools and equipment on the dentistry table, providing suction and cleaning during procedures, taking Xrays, asking patients about medical history, taking blood pressure and executing infection protocols before during and after procedures have been done.

Finally, be sure to detail your administrative and general operational skills. Dentists prefer Dental Assistants that are competent in a wide variety of dental practice operations. This may include processing Xrays, record lab tasks, and procedure codes for invoicing purposes, send out bills, follow up on payments, scheduling appointments, and making after service calls to patients.

Tools and Technology

No Dental Assistant resume would be complete without a Tools and Technology Section. Use a table format to give recruiters an instant view of the software, equipment, and instruments you are using daily. It could look something like this:

Dentist Office Management SoftwareDentrix, SOFTDENT, Eaglesoft, PracticeWork
Radiography DevicesX-Ray Machines, DEXIS, TigerView, Apteryx
Dental InstrumentsMirrors, Probes, Molds, Anesthetic Devices, Sterilization Equipment, Surgical Utensils

Dental Assistant Career Summary & Samples

Your career synopsis forms an integral part of your Dental Assistant resume. The trick to making a memorable impression with every application is customization. The rest of your resume may need a few tweaks for each role you apply to. Still, the career synopsis should be changed to relate to the position you are applying for—more work, but its value in gold when you start receiving those interview invitations.

The summary should consist of career contributions, an accomplishment or special skills, the most relevant experience, and the highest certification achieved. All of this condensed in 3-6 sentences that will impress the heck out of prospective employers. Recruiters are not stupid – a half-hearted career summary will be spotted immediately and with that wipe any chances of being shortlisted.

A wise strategy is to replicate the terms and words used in the job advertisement in your snapshot summary. By doing this, you will be reinforcing the message that you are a good fit for the role.

Three Examples of Dental Assistant career summaries:

Four Years of Experience Example 1

Compassionate and diligent Dental Assistant with four years of experience in supporting a busy solo dental practice. Adept at prepping consultation rooms, laying out instruments, and acting as the dentists second hand during procedures. Excellent at time management running the administrative side of the practice, Highly skilled in operating radiography equipment and processing X-Rays.

Experienced Example 2

Patient-focused Dental Assistant with excellent knowledge regarding most recent at-home care practices related to oral hygiene and preventative dental care. A member of the Dental Assistant’s Association and frequent recipient of the top Dental Assistant quarterly award in the county. An average score of 95% from monthly customer satisfaction surveys for the last 24 months—specialist knowledge of pediatric dental; procedures and alternative anesthetics protocols. Currently busy with an Advanced Diploma in Non-Invasive Dental Procedures.

10 Year + of Experience Example 3

Well, tenured Dental Assistant with over a decade of experience in public health dentistry environments. Excellent understanding of mold and cast manufacturing to treat a variety of cosmetic dental issues in older patients. Well adapted to a fast-paced environment, often marred with challenges such as lack of funding and supply shortages. Known for building long-lasting relationships and rapport with patients.

Dental Assistant Job Descriptions, Responsibilities and duty Examples

To be an efficient Dental Assistant and perform your daily tasks with the utmost professionalism, you need a comprehensive skill set, including technical, client relations, and administrative competencies. Make sure to sprinkle the keywords from the job advertisement through your duty descriptions. We have creative a well-rounded Dental Assistant job description below for you to use as-is or tweak to fit your own unique working experience.

Dental Assistant Job Description:

  • Provide chair-side support to a solo Dentist practice
  • Prioritize patient care and oral hygiene education
  • Assist with filling, extraction, and crowns procedures
  • Taking impressions and pouring them into molds
  • Prepare patients for in-room surgeries
  • Keep detailed records of all procedures and sundries used to update claim forms according to universal dental practice codes
  • Prepare and sanitize examination areas before each appointment
  • Operate equipment and monitors per instruction of the dentist
  • Layout instruments on the dentistry table before each procedure
  • Sterilize equipment and instruments used during procedures
  • Administer fluoride molds and conduct teeth polishing after check-up is completed
  • Responsible for office administration such as appointments, aftercare calls, invoicing, and healthcare insurance claims
  • Perform lab duties such as mixing materials for molds and casts
  • Conduct a weekly stock take to top up sundries and pharmaceutical products
  • Manage finances and track patient payments
  • Responsible for tracking insurance claims and progress reports regarding claims payouts
  • Fill in new patient records and update current patient particulars

Specialist Descriptions that may be added to general duties include:

  • Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA) – Place fillings and administer sealants without the supervision of a registered dentist.
  • Dental Assistant Instructor – Educate students regarding the basics of oral hygiene and dentistry such as radiology, dental tools, surgical instruments, general dental practice operations.
  • Dental Sales Representative – Familiar with technical dental procedures and equipment as well as new products and machinery is entering the market. Work closely with practice owns to ascertain product need
  • Dental Hygienist – Provide preventive dental care, examine teeth and gums, do a comprehensive cleaning of teeth and explain oral hygiene practices to patients.
  • Dental Consultant – Oversee the dental practice and suggest improvements to increase practice efficiency, branding, and cashflow.

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Highlight Your Accomplishments

Dentists and practice managers are busy people and do not have the time to review every resume that comes across their desks in detail. Therefore, your Dental Assistant resume should grab their attention for the right reasons.

Use accomplishment statements to prove to them that you have the necessary skills and competencies that will add value to their business. Accomplishment statements should be measurable and include numerical values like timeframes, frequencies, volumes, ranking, and percentages. If you quantify your accomplishment statements in this manner, your chances of landing an interview will improve considerably.

To start with, write down achievements, commendations, patient scores, and responsibilities that you can link numbers to. Then pick 4-6 of the most impressionable ones and use that as your accomplishment statements. These achievements should be significant enough to make you stand out from the rest of the resume pack.

To help you get a head start, try to answer the questions below:

  • What is the number of patients you see on average in a day?
  • What is the average duration of a procedure?
  • What percentage of claims get accepted and paid out each month?
  • How many times do you take vital signs in a day?
  • What type of medical procedures can you perform, and how many of these have you performed?

Accomplishment Statement Examples:

  • Receive an average of 5 patient thank you letters per month for oral hygiene procedures performed, and maintained a 95% score in the quarterly customer satisfaction survey
  • Received four commendations for efficient four-handed dentistry from the Association for Dental Assistants quality review panel
  • Reduced set up time for in-practice surgical procedures by administering topical anesthesia 10 minutes before the actual appointment starts
  • Decreased sterilization and sanitation activities by implementing the usage of multifunctional cleaning products and electrical sanitation tools

Dental Assistant Education Section Example

The education section your Dental Assistant Resume should be comprehensive, providing details about all academic credentials. These may include qualifications training programs, conferences, short skills workshops, CPD’s and practical hours accumulated. Be sure to add information about course curriculums and major topics too.

List credentials in reverse chronological order, starting with most recent going backward. Include dates completed, credential name, and institution attended applicable to each listing.

Here are some examples of a Dental Assistant Resume:

2017 – 2019 – Associate of Science – Dental Hygiene, Oxnard College, Oxnard, CA

Course Topics: Oral Anatomy, Dental Materials, Dental Office Administration, Dental Pharmacology, Dental Radiography

2018 – California Dental Assistant Association Member (CDAA), College of Dental Hygiene of California, Orange County, CA

2017 – Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Dental Assisting National Board, Chicago, IL

Exams completed: General Chairside Assisting (GC), Radiation Health and Safety (RHS), Infection Control (ICE)

2016 – Certification in Dental X-Rays, Commission on Dental Association (CODA), Chicago, IL

2014 – Smile Wright Course Programme, Smile Wight, Dental Assistant School, Sometown, CT

Duration: 13 weeks

Lab Hours: 195

2013- Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers, American Heart Association, Mecosta Medical Center, Traverse City, MI

What to Write in a Dental Assistant Skills Section

Matching your Dental Assistant skills section with those mentioned in the job advertisement will help to circumvent the screening bots and applicant tracking systems. These applications are programmed to look for specific words in your resume and then rank your application by suitability.

Using a skills matrix formation your resume to the job opening. First, start by writing down all your soft skills (personality traits) and hard skills (technical competencies). Also, look at the job advertisement in the requirements and skills sections for guidance on which skills you need to highlight.

Now create a table for interpersonal traits and one for technical aptitude similar to the examples below:

Soft Skills Matrix

Time ManagementReliableDiplomatic
EmpathyEnthusiasticCaring
PlanningPatient CommunicationResourceful
Active ListeningSchedulingTeam Player
Sound JudgementCompassionateMotivated
Relationship BuildingEfficientOrganized
Patient CareFlexibleDetail Orientated

Technical Competencies

SealantsNutritional Counseling

Teeth Cleaning Instruments
FillingsRoot CanalsRecord keeping
CrownsImplantsPeriodontal Charting
Taking X-RaysRoot PlaningInfection Control
VeneersScalingStain Removal
Electronic Medical Records (EMR)RegulationsEquipment Maintenance
ICD 9Billing CodesPayment Processing
CerecCastsICD 10
Tooth MoldsInvisalignDental Impressions
Coronal InstrumentsCPRNutrition Advice
Dental TechnologySurgical InstrumentsSelf-Care Programs

Qualifications/Certifications associated with Dental Assistants

Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) ExamNational Entry Level Dental Assistant (NELDA)Impressions (IM) Exam
Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA)Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA)Orthodontic Assisting (OA) Exam
Sealants (SE) ExamInfection Control (ICE) ExamTemporaries (TMP) Exam
Diploma in Oral HygieneAssociates Degree in DentistryCertified Dental Assistant

Professional information on Dental Assistants

Sectors: Healthcare, Medical, Clinical, Dental, Cosmetic
Career Type: Dental Hygiene, Oral Procedures, Dentistry, Radiology, Professional, Dental Restoration, Dental Preventive
Person Type: Assistant, Supporter, Counsellor, Administrator, Instructor, Supporter, Organizer
Education Levels: From High School Diploma upwards
Salary Indication:

Years of ExperienceRate per hour
Less than 1 year$15.55
1 to 2 years$16.95
3 to 5 years$19.46
6 to 9 years$20.33
More than 10 years$22.07

Labor market: 11% increase between 2018 – 2028

Organizations: Hospitals, Private Practices, Medical Facilities, Corporate, Step Down Facilities, Nursing Homes, Old Age Homes, School Clinics, Military, Hospices, Schools, Public Health Care Facilities, Educational Institutions, Volunteer Organizations, NPO’s, Government

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