List of resume action words, action verbs and power words to use instead of: team player, leadership, responsible for, communication, and lots more. Plus how to use power words in a resume to get more interviews. See lists of resume buzzwords, verbs, and adjectives, and which words to avoid and use to land that dream job fast!
You’re on the cusp of writing a great dentist resume.
From filling cavities to keeping us plaque-free, you allow people to smile with confidence.
You need a resume that shines like freshly-bleached pearly whites.
This dentist resume guide will show you:
- Dentist resume examples better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
- How to write a dental hygiene resume that gets more interviews.
- Tips on how to put skills and achievements on a dental lab tech resume.
- How to describe your experience to get any dental jobs you want.
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 Dentist Resume—See more templates and create your resume here.
We also have guides for other members of the dental staff:
- Dental Assistant Resume Guide
- Dental Hygiene Resume Guide
- Nursing Resume Guide
- Office Manager Resume Guide
- Secretary Resume Guide
What’s the Best Format for a Dentist Resume?
Like taking an x-ray before operation, dental office managers scan each resume to figure out how they’ll proceed.
It’s just a 7-second glance, according to our HR statistics report.
If you don’t pass that initial scan, they’ll toss your resume in the corner biohazard bin.
So use the chronological format. Why?
This resume format keeps your dental resume straight like a good pair of braces. Lab managers and dental office assistants are most familiar and comfortable with this format.
Here’s how to structure a dentist resume:
- Begin your resume with a compelling dental objective or summary statement.
- Lay out your dental experience with achievements and key responsibilities.
- Add an education section that shows them you’re the DDS or DMD they want.
- List dentist skills and specialities that are tailored to the job description.
- Include extra resume sections to stand out from other dental applicants.
First time as a dentist?
Your non-dental work experience is less relevant (or nonexistent). Place that section below the education section on your dental resume (or leave it off entirely).
Pro Tip: Use the PDF format when saving your dentist hygiene resume. The PDF renders correctly no matter which device it’s opened on.
Not persuaded using the reverse-chronological format is right for your dentistry resume? There are other options. See our guide: Best Resume Format: What Resume Model to Choose? [+ Resume Format Examples]
Dentist Resume Objective or Summary?
When you prepare for lengthy oral surgery, you’ll start by putting them to sleep.
It’s the opposite on a dental resume—
You need to begin by waking them up with a powerful resume introduction.
There are two choices: a resume summary or a resume objective.
Got dental experience outside of dentistry school?
Use a resume summary.
The resume summary is a brief paragraph stating your key dentist experience and skills. A numbered accomplishment strengthens your candidacy.
Here’s an example summary for a full-fledged dentist job:
Dentist Resume Samples: Resume Summary
|Friendly and caring general dentist with 3+ years experience in small family dental practice helping over 3,000 clients with their dental necessities. New York State license. Introduced new method dubbed “five handed dentistry,” which improved dental operation times by 25%.|
|I’ve been a dentist for several years, and I’ve mastered the art of caring for patients, treating cavities, and preparing x-rays. I feel as I have a well-rounded dental knowledge which would make me the best candidate for the position.|
That wrong example states some of your past responsibilities, but no mention of how well you carried them out.
That’s as unwanted as gingivitis.
In the right example, though, you give a key achievement with numbers to prove it—
Sharp as a sickle probe.
Here are two more dental hygiene resume examples of summaries:
Dental Hygiene Resume Samples: Resume Summary
|Personable dental hygienist with 3+ years experience assessing oral health, screening clients for diseases, and supporting fellow dental staff. Implemented patient counseling methods which increased client satisfaction by 45%.|
|I have over 3 years of experience as a dental hygienist. My responsibilities included cleaning teeth, looking at x-rays, and making patients feel comfortable.|
Okay, but what if the only dental experience you have is from dental school?
Use a resume objective.
The career objective statement shows the dental office or laboratory how your goals align with theirs. You’ll still use relevant experience, skills, and quantifiable accomplishments to make your case.
Here are two dental hygiene resume sample objectives:
Dental Hygienist Resume Samples: Resume Objective
|Recent dental hygiene graduate with hundreds of hours of classroom and hands-on dental experience. Seeking to leverage top Dental Acceptance Test score (30) and New York State License to become the next dental hygienist employee at Astoria Smiles.|
|I’ve just graduated from university with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. I haven’t yet had any paid experience, but I have classroom training.|
Like that vacuum hose you stick in people’s mouths, the wrong example sucks.
The right example, however, shows how dental school has prepared you for work. And, you included the dental office’s name to really catch their attention.
Now that’s one no tooth fairy will ignore!
Pro Tip: The resume objective or summary goes first on your dental hygiene resume, but don’t write it first. Save it for the end to use the rest of the sections to inform what you’ll summarize here.
Want more advice on writing a career summary or career objective on a resume for dental jobs? Check out our guides: Professional Resume Summary Examples [20+ Resume Summary Statement Examples] and General Resume Objective Examples [20+Examples of Great Career Objectives]
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
How to Describe Your Dental Experience
According to the BLS, dental jobs will grow by almost 20% between 2016–2026 in the US—
That’s nearly 30,000 new dentists.
As you see, there’ll be a lot of competition, and rightly so.
How to beat the other candidates?
Create a dentist work history section that lights up and amplifies you like a medical-grade magnifying lamp.
Here are two dental hygiene resume samples:
Dental Hygiene Experience for Resume—Examples
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
Like a tooth with a cavity, that wrong one has a gaping hole.
It’s missing what makes the “right” one so great: hand-picked responsibilities and quantifiable achievements to prove your dentistry knowledge.
Here’s another example for a dentist moving to another practice:
Dental Experience for Resume—Examples
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
But what if you haven’t cut your teeth yet as a dentist, hygienist, or lab technician?
If you have relevant work, like being a dental assistant or nurse intern, add the most relevant points, like this:
Dental Assistant Resume Sample
Key Qualifications & Responsibilities
Here, you give your experience as a dental assistant, though you are applying to be a dentist or hygienist.
If you have other non-dental experience, only add dentist-relevant duties and achievements to your resume.
Pro Tip: Achievements are hard to come up with when writing a dentist resume, but they are super impactful. If you’re stuck, first think of some big project or innovation you had. Then, ask yourself what the results were, and you’ll come up with a great win.
Is Your Education Section Underperforming? It Might Be
One slip of your dental drill, and you become a brain surgeon.
Same with your dental resume—
Slip up on writing it, and you’ll be looking elsewhere for work.
Whether you’re writing a dental assistant resume or an oral surgeon resume, listing your education correctly is crucial for dental jobs.
Dental Resume Samples—Education Section
Here’s how to list your completed DDS or DDM on a resume:
Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, New York, NY
BS in Health Science
Cornell University. Ithaca, NY
Relevant Coursework: Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Health and Human Hygiene, Public Health, Biochemistry.
Here, we have two listings: one for your doctoral program, and another for your bachelor’s degree, since one is usually required before getting into dental school.
What if you’re applying to become a dental hygienist and still finishing your studies?
Add your in-progress degree like this:
Majoring in Dental Hygiene
New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn, NY
Expected Graduation: 2021
Don’t add your high school diploma since you have advanced education on your resume.
Finally, if your academic section is more impressive than your work experience, put it on top.
Pro Tip: Took part in a dental externship while you were in medical school? Add that information to your dentist resume education section, as well. A dental internship, however, goes in your work experience section.
Got something other than these common educational scenarios? Check this guide out: Education Resume Section: How to List High School & College Education
How to Put Skills on a Dentist Resume
You’ve got dental skills galore.
So do all your dental hygiene and dentist competitors.
Show them you’re cutting edge while they’re still pulling teeth using string and a doorknob.
Which dentist skills, though?
Create a simple list of dental skills to start, like this one below.
Include both hard and soft skills. Hard skills are those you learn (e.g., Dentrix software), while soft skills are those you develop throughout life (e.g., time management).
Dentist & Dental Hygienist Skills for a Resume
Dentist Hard Skills
Dentist Soft Skills
Crowns, Bridges & Veneers
Attention to Detail
Collaboration & Teamwork
Traditional & Laser Whitening
Works Well Under Pressure
Aesthetic / Cosmetic Dentistry
ICON Aesthetic Infiltration
Compassion & Empathy
However, stuffing your dentist resume with any skill up there is like drinking soda with every meal—
No good dentist recommends it.
Instead, refer back to the job ad, and extract the right skills like a Coupland’s elevator.
Here’s a sample dental hygienist job description:
- Evaluates overall oral health, examining oral cavity for signs of periodontal disease or possible cancers, including sores, recessed & bleeding gums, and oral lesions. 
- Documents dental history or chief complaint; records and reports pertinent observations and patient reactions to dental staff, as appropriate; documents lab procedures and ensures follow up on results.
- Follows through with oral hygiene procedures in accordance with treatment plans prescribed by the attending Dentist. Procedures may include: Prophylaxis, Periodontal Scaling, Root Planing, Debridement, Application of Fluoride Treatments, and Application of Protective Sealants. 
- Assists with or institutes emergency measures for sudden adverse developments during treatment of patients. 
If you read each job ad carefully, it’s easy to tailor your skills section to match:
Dental Hygienist Resume Samples—Skills Section
The wrong skills put them to sleep like general anesthesia.
The right example, though, is tailored and fits like a filling.
Finally, mind the ATS.
The applicant tracking system is a program which helps larger dental practices cope with the many resumes they receive every day.
Employers first scan a resume into the system. Then, they perform a simple extraction to find specific resume keywords. In return, they receive a score based on each resume’s match to the job ad.
Use keywords which the dental job ad uses, word-for-word, so the ATS easily understands it.
Pro Tip: Research the dental office to find other skills they are looking for. Glassdoor gives you input from past employees, while their reviews on Google Maps point you to client-side opportunities.
Want more tips for writing the skills section for dental resumes? See our guide: 99 Key Skills for a Resume (All Types of Professional Skills with Examples Included!).
How to Add Other Sections for an Effective Dentist Resume
Like setting yourself apart as the dentist to visit in town, your dental resume has got to wow them more than the rest.
By spicing it up with extra sections.
Every other dentist had those previous resume sections. To stand out, additional resume sections show them you’re unique and capable.
Here are great options to add on a resume for dentist jobs:
Dentist Resume Sample: Extra Sections
In the United States, all dental hygienists and general dentists need a license from the state in which they want to practice. One example is a NYS license to practice dentistry.
On top of that, the dental practice will require licensing for specific specialties, such as oral surgery.
To strengthen your resume even further add any dental certifications you have, such as these:
- General Dentistry-certified, American Board of General Dentistry
- Radiation Health and Safety Certification, Dental Assisting National Board
- Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA)
- Board Certification, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
Have you volunteered in dental care before? That makes some great, thoughtful experience!
Here are some common dentist volunteer opportunities to list:
Your second language may be just what gets you the white coat. If you have proficiency in another language, add it!
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to drop names! If you are affiliated with or a member of any dental organizations, add those in a small section on your dental resume. Check out this link for a list of great dental organizations.
How About a Dentist Cover Letter?
A dentist resume without a dentist cover letter is like brushing teeth without toothpaste—
Here’s how to write dental hygiene cover letters they’ll eat up:
- Begin your dental hygienist cover letter with a compelling introduction.
- Explain why you are the only dentist to consider for the job.
- Show them why you want to work in their dentistry or laboratory.
- End it with a strong call-to-action to get them to read your dentist resume.
Your dental assistant cover letter is the first impression you’ll make on the dental office—
Make it strong like a calcium-rich diet.
Pro Tip: Like dental prophylaxis, you’ve got to clean it up and remove any impurities. Proofread your dental assistant cover letter, and use Grammarly to check it for errors.
Want to know more cover letter tricks that always work? See these articles: 35+ Best Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Guidelines and How to Write a Job-Winning Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps (12+ Examples)
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:
Hopefully you see now that writing a great dentist resume is not like pulling teeth.
Here’s how to write a dentist resume:
- Use the reverse-chronological format so your dental resume is easy to scan.
- Start with a compelling dental hygienist resume objective or summary.
- Explain your dental work history with quantifiable achievements and key duties.
- List key dentist skills with resume keywords from the job description.
- Write an education section that impresses them with related coursework.
- Use additional sections on your dentist resume to stand out from the others.
- Attach a captivating dentist cover letter to your dentist resume.
- Tidy up your resume like a dental burnisher by proofreading it before sending it off.
Now THIS is a dental resume that will shine like a 24k gold crown!
Got any questions on how to write a dentist resume? Not sure how to talk about dental assistant skills or lab technician achievements? Get at us in the comments below, and thanks for reading!