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Dental Assistant Resume Examples & Templates [2024]

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Writing a perfect dental assistant resume requires no anesthesia and is less difficult than pulling out a tooth. However, there are some steps you should take to jump into a white apron in your future job!

Read on and learn them all. And you’ll find out what are the best dental assistant skills to highlight. But there’s more! You’ll also see an amazing dental assistant resume template and examples to inspire you to create your own. Don’t worry; it’s completely painless. Shall we begin?

This guide will show you:

  • A dental assistant resume example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to write a dental assistant resume objective or summary that will land you more interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to highlight your achievements and dental assistant skills on a resume.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for a dental assistant to get any job you want.

Here's a sample resume for a dental assistant made using our resume builder.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume samples here.

We have more examples for other medical fields:

Remember that writing an effective Cover Letter for Dental Assistant Position can boost your chance to get the job!

Dental Assistant Resume Example

Joseph Miller

Dental Assistant

123-456-7890

josephmiller@email.com

linkedin.com/in/joseph.miller

Summary

Detail-oriented and certified dental assistant with over 10 years of experience. Eager to support SmileCraft Dental Clinic in providing excellent patient care through effective dental procedures, using expertise in efficient and competent services in busy dental clinics. Assisted in over 500 dental surgeries with a 100% safety record.

Experience

Dental Assistant

ToothTech Assistants, Bowling Green, KY

June 2014–December 2023

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Maintained optimal sterilization and cleanliness in the clinic.
  • Conducted patient education on postoperative and general oral health care.
  • Recognized for superior patient relations, earning a 99% patient satisfaction score.
  • Administered oral X-rays.

Key Achievement:

  • Assisted in over 500 dental surgeries with a 100% safety record.

Dental Assistant

Precision Dental Care Center, Bowling Green, KY

January 2012–May 2014

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Helped administer oral X-rays.
  • Managed inventory and ordering of dental office supplies.
  • Assisted with office administrative tasks, such as appointment setting and record keeping.

Key Achievement:

  • Implemented a new appointment management system, reducing missed appointments by 20%.

Education

Associate Degree in Dental Assisting

Bowling Green Community College, Bowling Green, KY

August 2009–December 2011

Skills

  • Dental X-Rays
  • Patient management
  • Office administrative tasks
  • Inventory management
  • Excellent interpersonal communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work under pressure

Certifications

  • Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), Dental Assisting National Board, 2012

Awards

  • 2018, Dental Assistant Excellence Award, ToothTech Assistants

Memberships

  • Member of the American Dental Assistants Association since 2012

Languages

  • English—Native
  • Spanish—Intermediate

Interests

  • Volunteering at local community health fairs.
  • Participating in oral health awareness campaigns.

1

What's the Best Format for a Dental Assistant Resume?

Yikes! You got rejected! What happened? Why didn't that awesome dentist with the great reputation want to hire you? Was it something in your flawless dental assistant resume?

Almost certainly. For starters, what resume format did you use? Was it reverse chronological?

The reverse chronological format shows your best assets first. That's a big win, because most dentists spend just seven seconds looking at each resume, according to our HR statistics report.

Use lots of white space, big headings, and clear, legible fonts. Oh, and save your dental assistant resume in the PDF format. Why? MS Word files look different on different computers. PDFs look the same everywhere.

Make it easy for recruiters to find your dental assistant resume. How? Give it an appropriate file name like Jane_Smith_dental_assistant_resume.pdf.

That way, if all resumes end up in one folder, you’ll avoid the whole dental assistant vs dental hygienist confusion and won’t get overlooked.

Want to make sure your resume will hook every recruiter and get you that interview? Get our free checklist and learn what makes a job-winning resume: 46 Things You Need To Do Before You Send Your Resume.

Pro Tip: Make sure the dentist accepts PDFs. Some use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that'll choke on them. How can you know? Check the job description.

Want to make sure the reverse reverse-chronological format is really the best choice? See our guide: "3 Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One [Examples]"

2

How to Write a Dental Assistant Resume Objective or Resume Summary

True or false: You want your dental assistant resume to put the dentist to sleep like a dose of nitrous. If you answered, "false," you've won the nine-foot pink teddy bear and the shopping bag of cotton candy.

Just don't forget to floss. The goal is to wake up that bored dentist and rock him forward on his toes. Do that with a resume summary or a resume objective for your dental assistant resume.

That's the part that flashes all your best and brightest moments. But which one should you use? And how do you write it?

You use a dental assistant resume summary if you've got buckets of experience.

You use a dental assistant resume objective if you're still gleaming from dental assistant school.

Look at the dental assistant resume samples below.

Sample Dental Assistant Resume Summary

Here are two completely different dental assistant resume samples:

wrong

Experienced dental assistant. I've helped with prepping and documenting dental procedures. People like me and I've got a great attitude.

What's wrong with that dental assistant resume summary, you say? Nothing, until you stack it up next to 200 other resumes for dental assistants that all say the same. Then it blends in like Wonder Woman's invisible jet.

We want it to stand out like her red-gold strapless armor. Here's how:

right

Compassionate dental assistant with 4+ years experience helping dentists prep, perform, and document procedures. Has consistently received customer satisfaction scores in excess of 95% positive. Proven track record for decreasing setup times for procedures. Highly skilled in digital X-Rays, 4-handed dentistry, and billing.

See that? Our dentist is guaranteed to stop thinking about his golf handicap. His eyes will start tracking again for the first time in hours.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, our online resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

I'll show you how to do it in a minute. First let's look at the dental assistant resume objective. It's for those who lack experience.

Sample Dental Assistant Resume Objective

See if you can spot the big differences between these two inexperienced dental assistant resume examples:

wrong

Registered dental assistant seeks work with competitive salary. Not a lot of experience so far but I'm willing to learn.

Not bad, right? But sadly, it's as effective as taking a bitewing half a foot too far left.

It needs numbers, and achievements we can measure. Like this:

right

Certified, energetic dental assistant with experience volunteering for two different dental practices. Member, PA Dental Assistant's Association. Frequently receive customer satisfaction scores 95% positive. Highly efficient at dental procedure preparation.

Wow. But wait. How did an entry-level dental assistant get experience like that?

She did it by getting certified, volunteering, and joining a local professional society. These are Elon Musk-level moves that take very little time.

I'll get into that more in a bit.

Pro Tip: Your resume summary or resume objective is the finishing touch on your dental assisting resume. Write it last so you'll have plenty of material.

For more guidance on writing resume summaries or dental assistant resume objectives, see our guides: How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Examples You Will See AND +20 Resume Objective Examples - Use Them on Your Resume (Tips)

3

How to Describe Your Dental Assistant Experience

Remember Dr. Gaudet? Our dentist among dentists? He cares about one thing in a dental assistant resume: experience.

If you've got it, flaunt it. If you don't, flaunt it anyway. Wait, what? Let's take a step back.

First, make a master list of every job you've ever had. For each one, list every achievement you can think of. Awards, kudos, responsibilities, achievements. Basically anything that shows you've got sparkle.

Now. For this dental assistant resume experience section, start with your most recent job.

Pick 4-6 "wins" from your master list and add them as bullet point. Look at the two dental assistant resume samples below:

Dental Assistant Job Description for a Resume

right

Senior Dental Assistant

Hampton Dental Spa

2015 - 2017

  • Responsible for providing patient care, taking X-Rays, dental procedure assisting, scheduling appointments, and record keeping.
  • Received 95% positive customer comments. Frequently received a monthly bonus as a valuable employee. Got five unsolicited patient thank you letters.
  • Given three commendations for efficient 4-handed dentistry from Dr. Hampton.
  • Decreased setup time for dental procedure preparation by 50%.
  • Trained other staff members, including dental hygienists, in digital X-Ray skills.

Wow. Our fantastic dentist just spilled his coffee. He was trying to grab his cell phone to call you.

Notice that it references 4-handed dentistry. That's a huge skill for chairside (Level I) dental assistants to master. It's miles better than the dental assistant resume sample below.

wrong

Senior Dental Assistant

Hampton Dental Spa

2015 - 2017

  • Provided patient care, took X-Rays.
  • Received good customer comment cards.
  • Performed 4-handed dentistry.
  • Set up for medical procedures.
  • Performed digital X-Rays on patients.

Yipes, right? It's missing all the toothy details.

And let’s be honest: the dentist reading your resume knows the dental assistant’s duties and responsibilities. He wrote the job description in the first place.

But here's the big question: What if you don't have all that experience? What if you're just starting out?

How to Write a Dental Assistant Resume with no Experience

Experience is very important in resumes for dental assistants. You'll spot detailed, well-thought work experience section in almost every dental assistant resume example out there.

The good news? In a very short time, even a new job candidate can get plenty of experience to put it in a dental assistant resume.

First, consider volunteering. It's easy to land volunteer work, and even a few days can take a resume from zero to hero. Second, join local associations. It's worth it for the networking alone. Beyond that, associations look great on a resume.

Finally, if you did an externship, list it in your education section. Take a look at the new graduate dental assistant resume samples below:

Two Entry Level Dental Assistant Job Descriptions for a Resume (No Experience)

wrong

Dental Assistant Experience: Not much experience yet, but willing to learn for good hourly pay!

Other Experience

  • Bartending
  • Dog walking
  • Paper route

You know where that entry level dental assistant resume example is headed?

Straight to oblivion. Why bother, when you could have a dental assistant resume experience section like this:

right

Volunteer Dental Assistant

2013

  • Volunteered for Dr. Ashton Siebert, DDS, PA as a dental assistant.
  • Volunteered for Dr. Tate Caswell, DDS, PA as a dental assistant.
  • Frequently received high customer comment scores of 95% positive or more.
  • Displayed high efficiency in dental procedure preparation.
  • Job shadowed at two orthodontic assistant jobs.

That's not a dental assistant. It's Bruce Lee with a face shield and latex gloves. But it only took a few days.

The takeaway? With a little effort, even an entry level dental assistant resume can look like the sample above.

Pro Tip: If you did an externship, put it in your Education section. If you join a professional association, put that in your Additional section. More on those soon.

Add punch to your professional dental assistant resume with action words. Don't have any? Use ours. See this guide: "+80 Examples of Resume Action Words for Every Profession"

4

Show Your Education on a Dental Assistant Resume

Dental assistant school doesn't take long to complete. But it can be the one thing the dentist notices.

Start with the basics:

  • School Name and Location.
  • Length of Program.
  • Name of Program.

Then add the magic details:

Two Dental Assistant Resume Examples (Education Section)

wrong

Smile Wright Dental Assistant School

  • Completed the dental assistant training program.
  • Got good grades in my classes.

OK, so it's got tires and an engine, but it won't win any contests. And it won't turn a dentist's head.

For that, you need details. Like this:

right

Smile Wright Dental Assistant School, 2013

  • Completed 13-week Smile Wright Dental Assistant School training program.
  • Performed a full externship with a practicing dentist.
  • Executed 195 hours of lecture and lab training. 
  • Followed my passion for dentistry. Learned to operate X-Ray equipment, including digital X-Rays, Excelled at educating patients in upcoming procedures.

Now that dog will hunt. Anyone can dress up a dental assistant resume experience section like that.

It just takes a little thought. As an added perk, consider highlighting the length of your degree. After all how long does it take to become a dental assistant?

In some states it takes nine months. In others, two years or more. If you're on the long end of things, remember to write up your extra prep work in your resume.

Pro Tip: If you really want to get noticed, learn to make different dental assistant resumes for different job descriptions. See our guide on how to tailor a resume to a specific job offer.

To make your dental assistant resume turn heads like a newly-whitened smile, see our guide: "How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]"

5

Choose the Right Dental Assistant Skills

Here is the best way to list your hard skills and soft skills on your resume:

First, use the right skills keywords. They got you past the Applicant Tracking System.

Second, list skills that matter to this dentist.

Third, prove your dental assistant skills in your experience and education sections.

Take a peek at this dental assistant resume sample to see how best to list your hard skills vs soft skills:

Dental Assistant Resume Skills (Examples)

Let's start with a real world dental assistant job description. The salary is $42,000 a year.

For skills it lists compassion, efficiency, organization, teamwork, dental procedure prep, Digital X-Ray skills, and experience with Invisalign.

So, you list those on your resume. But you add other skills like CEREC experience, patient communication, and flexible scheduling.

Why? Because you don't just want to tell the dentist exactly what he wants to hear.

Next, you prove those dental assistant resume skills in your experience section, like this:

Example

  • Responsible for dental procedure prep, assistance, and documentation. Duties included patient interaction and education, plus taking digital X-Rays.
  • Increased customer satisfaction scores by 25%. Got especially high marks for compassion, empathy, and listening skills.
  • Assisted with mixing materials daily for Invisalign applications.
  • Decreased procedure prep setup time by 35%.

So, you say you have the skills the dentist wants, then you prove it. You can also weave your skills into your education section.

Here's a short list of real world dental assistant resume skills to get you started:

Dental Assistant Skills: Resume Examples

Dental Assistant Skills for a Resume
Hard SkillsMore Hard SkillsSoft Skills
Patient CareFlexible SchedulingGreat Attitude
X-Ray SkillsEaglesoft Dental SoftwareCompassion
4-Handed DentistryInvisalignDetail Oriented
Dental Procedure PreparationCerecEfficiency
Dental Procedure DocumentationCPROrganization
Patient CommunicationBilling Codes ICD 9Motivated
Digital X-Ray SkillsBilling Codes ICD 10Teamwork
Regulation ComplianceElectronic Medical Records (EMR)Interpersonal Skills
Dental Equipment OperationRecord KeepingCustomer Service
Dental Equipment MaintenancePayment ProcessingListening

Build skills into your dental assistant resume using the steps above, and you'll have dentists tripping over their A-decs to hire you.

Pro Tip: Don't just use the dental assistant skills above. Dig through dental assistant jobs on LinkedIn to find more for your resume. When you see one you have, add it to your master list.

Need more help with your dental assistant resume skills list? See our guide: "+30 Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)"

6

How to Add Certifications to Your Dental Assistant Resume

The highest paid dental assistants have the right certifications.

You may have a national CDA certification and/or a state certification. You might have a dental X-ray certification, radiation certification, nitrous certification, or other certifications and licenses.

How do you show them in your dental assistant resume? Put them in a separate section of your resume titled "Certifications."

Put the most important one first, such as a national or state dental assistant certification. Then follow it with supporting certifications like X-Ray, radiation or even CPR.

Finally, put awards or honors in this section too, either from school or from previous dental assistant jobs.

Like this:

Certifications

  • Texas State Dental Radiological Procedure Certification.
  • EFDA (Expanded Function Dental Assistant)
  • National Certified Dental Assistant Certification

Listing your certifications beneath your education section lets a dentist know you're qualified at a glance.

Not sure what certifications and education you need? Luckily, the American Dental Association (ADA) has a page for dental assistant education and certification.

Pro Tip: Join a local dental assistant association. They can help you build your resume by cluing you in to the best certifications to have.

Need tips for other things to put on a resume for dental assistants? Find lots in our guide: “What To Put On A Resume To Make It Perfect [Tips & Examples]

7

Adds a "Hobbies" Section. It Looks Great on Every Dental Assistant Resume Template

Let's put the cherry on top of your dental assistant resume sundae. We'll do that by adding a "hobbies" or "interests" section to showcase your special employee superpowers.

We won't just say you're passionate, hardworking, and dedicated. We'll prove it.

Don't water it down with "I like cats" type stuff. Instead, use details that prove you're worth your weight in gold fillings.

Dental Assistant Resume Sample "Interests" Section

Activities

  • Member, PA Dental Assistant's Association.
  • Participate in a weekly softball league to hone my interpersonal skills.
  • Volunteer at the local animal shelter on Sundays, walking dogs, cleaning cages, feeding animals, administering medicines, cleaning the building.
  • Take yoga classes twice per week to stay centered and healthy.

What dentist could resist hiring a dental assistant with all that on his resume? The best part is, it doesn't take much effort to build an interests section like that.

Note the association membership. Joining a local association looks great on a resume for a dental assistant. But that's only one reason to join.

The networking you'll get as a member will open up great job opportunities you never knew existed. Associations are money well spent.

Pro Tip: You can have a "hobbies" section, an "interests" section, or an "activities" section, but keep the title to one topic for the sake of automated Applicant Tracking Systems.

Want more tips to build the perfect hobbies or interests section for your dental assistant resume? See our guide: "+20 Best Examples of Hobbies & Interests To Put on a Resume (5 Tips)"

8

Add a Cover Letter to Your Dental Assistant Resume 

Remember our dream employer? Dr. Gaudet? He hates cover letters. Right? Wrong.

At least 40% of recruiters consider cover letters essential. So even if the other 60% skip them, you still need to write one.

The good news is, it's not hard to write a great cover letter to go with your dental assistant resume.

Here's how: First, address the dentist (or hiring manager) by name. Second, show your enthusiasm for the job. Explain briefly why you'd love to work there. Third, say why you'd be a great fit. Mention your greatest achievements.

Last, add a "call to action." That's as simple as saying, "I'd love to talk more with you about your needs. You can reach me with the contact info below."

Pro Tip: After you send your dental assistant resume, follow up! A well-timed email or phone call can make you stand out among all the other applicants.

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Need concrete advice for how to write a dental assistant cover letter? See our guide: "How To Write A Cover Letter [Complete Guide With Examples]"

9

How to Add Contact Info to Your Resume

Putting contact info on a dental assistant resume is simple. Isn't it?

All you do is include your:

  • Full Name
  • Updated Phone Number
  • Professional Email Address

Like this:

Karen Toson, karentoson@gmail.com, 267-630-0763

Ten years ago, that was all anyone needed.

Today, it helps to include your Twitter handle. LinkedIn profile, and other electronic addresses.

87% of all recruiters use LinkedIn as the only way to find new candidates.

For that reason, you must have a LinkedIn profile, and it must show your best self.

For tips on how to make that happen, see our guide on how to optimize a LinkedIn profile here.

Pro Tip: One bad moment online can turn a dentist off. Give your dental assisting resume a fighting chance with our guide to cleaning up your online presence.

Need more samples and examples to help you build the best dental assistant resume you can? See our guide: "How to Make a Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide (+30 Examples)"

Key Takeaway

How much does a dental assistant make? That can depend heavily on how good your resume is. To land that dream job, make sure you:

  • Custom fit your dental assistant resume example to each job description. First, build a master list of all your achievements. Then use that to round out your dental assistant resume templates.
  • Use numbers to give weight to your achievements. Numbers make a dental assistant resume stand out from the pack.
  • Show your certifications and hobbies in separate sections of your resume for dental assistant.
  • Finally, remember that a resume for a dental assistant isn't finished without a cover letter.

For more help, follow the dental assistant sample resume at the top of this guide.

Got questions or tips about how to make a professional dental assistant resume? Give us a shout in the comments section!

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This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer is a career expert and Certified Professional Resume Writer who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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