Dental Assistant Resume Guide (With Template and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 10 November 2022

Published 27 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interested in applying for jobs as a dental assistant, it's important to know how to create a resume. Writing a resume can help you summarise and highlight your most relevant experiences, skills and other qualifications. Whether you're applying for your first job as a dental assistant or have more experience, a high-quality resume can help distinguish you as a candidate during the application process. In this article, we discuss the responsibilities of dental assistants, explain skills that dental assistants can benefit from having, review how to write a dental assistant resume in five steps and provide a template and sample resume to help you make your own.

Related: 10 Resume Writing Tips To Impress Employers

What is a dental assistant and what do they do?

Dental assistants provide support to dentists and other oral healthcare professionals. They offer help during patient exams, surgeries and other oral health procedures. A dental assistant also performs administrative duties, such as answering the phone and emails.

The duties of a dental assistant may vary slightly between dental practices, but their responsibilities can include:

  • Greeting patients and preparing them for dental procedures

  • Providing chair-side assistance to the dentist

  • Preparing or handing dental instruments to dentists and surgeons

  • Managing or updating client records through digital or paper databases

  • Implementing a high level of infection control to prevent contamination

  • Sterilising dental equipment

  • Operating dental imaging equipment, such as X-ray machines

  • Performing office administrative tasks, such as processing payments or insurance claims

  • Ensuring a safe work environment for both staff and patients

  • Handling appointment schedules

Related: How To Become a Dental Assistant in 4 Steps

What skills should you include on a dental assistant resume?

When creating your dental assistant resume, it's important to highlight the skills you have that can benefit an employer. Here are some skills to consider including on your resume to show your qualifications for a dental assistant position:

Organisational abilities

Dental assistants help with many aspects of dental healthcare, including administrative and surgical duties. A dental assistant needs organisational skills to help them successfully accomplish their various responsibilities and keep track of what they need to complete and by when. Dental assistants also need organisational skills to help them create, update or manage patient records and appointment schedules.

Manual dexterity and coordination

Dental assistants can develop good manual dexterity to accurately position and manipulate dental instruments. A dental assistant may operate tools such as syringes, suction hoses and mouth mirrors. Manual dexterity skills are crucial to minimise potential patient injuries and ensure patient comfort during dental procedures.

Communication skills

Dental assistants can use excellent communication skills to help and collaborate with other members of their oral healthcare team. A dental assistant who knows how to concisely communicate in a variety of situations, such as during surgery or while conducting diagnostic images, can more effectively provide quality patient care. Dental assistants may also use their communication skills to listen actively to instructions or requests from dentists and oral surgeons while assisting with dental procedures.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Ability to work under pressure

Dental assistants might sometimes encounter unexpected issues or challenging situations, such as complicated dental procedures. A successful dental assistant remains calm in stressful situations. This ability can help them continue to provide high-quality patient care during a variety of circumstances.

How to write a dental assistant resume

Here are five steps to help you write a resume for a dental assistant position:

1. Create a resume objective

First, compose a resume objective. A resume objective is a one or two sentence summarisation of your interest in the job and your main qualifications. If you have experience as a dental assistant, mention how long you've worked in this career and any distinguishing experiences or certifications you have. If you're just beginning your career as a dental assistant, emphasise why you're interested in this type of job and mention any training or related skills.

2. Write about your relevant experiences

Create a section for your work or other professional experiences. For each of your experiences, write down your job title, the company you worked for, the location and the dates you worked there. Make a bullet list detailing your major accomplishments and responsibilities during each work experience. Try to keep your resume between one to two pages. If you have more than two pages of work experiences, either choose the ones most relevant to being a dental assistant or only use experiences from the past decade.

3. Mention your certification or education

Include your dental assistant education, training, license or certification on your resume. Becoming a dental assistant doesn't require any formal education or certification. However, many dental assistants choose to pursue training or certification, as these qualifications can increase their chances of being hired. Additionally, some dental assistants receive certifications or licenses to practise specialty dental skills, such as radiography.

4. Highlight your skills

Emphasise the abilities you have that are most relevant for a dental assistant position. Try to integrate your related skills into the list of responsibilities and accomplishments from past work experiences. For example, if you want to demonstrate your communication abilities, you could write one of your past job duties as: "Managed internal communications between patients and staff." In addition to incorporating your skills into your past work experiences, you might also consider creating a separate skills section on your resume.

If you already have experience as a dental assistant, be sure to mention any competencies you have directly related to this role, such as sterilising equipment, operating diagnostic imaging tools or minimising contagion risks. If you have limited or no experience as a dental assistant, highlight your transferable skills, meaning abilities that can help you perform multiple jobs. Communication, teamwork, time management and attention to detail are all examples of transferrable skills that may be helpful to dental assistants.

5. Customise different versions of your resume

Create and save different versions of your resume personalised for each dental assistant job application. Read the job description carefully before you submit your application materials, especially if you're applying to multiple dental assistant roles simultaneously. Try to mention in your resume some specific experiences, skills or values that the company appreciates.

Template for dental assistant resume

Here is a template you can use to compose a resume for dental assistant positions:

[Full name]
[Street address]
[Email address]
[Phone number]

Objective
[Summarise in one to two sentences your related experiences and why you want this specific dental assistant job.]

Certifications
[List any relevant certifications you have, such as for dental assisting in radiography, CPR or National Police Check.]

Skills
[Make a list of bullet points for your dental assistant abilities or transferrable skills that can help you in a dental assistant role.]

Experience
[Company and location]
[Job title and duration]
[Bullet points of job responsibilities]

[Company and location]
[Job title and duration]
[Bullet points of job responsibilities]

Education
[School name and location]
[Name of program or degree and duration]

[School name and location]
[Name of program or degree and time period]

Related: How To Create a Stand-Out Resume (With Template and Example)

Example resume for a dental assistant

Here is a sample resume to help you write your own:

Hilary Kemp
42 Smith Street
Stapleton, NSW 2000
+61 3 1234 5678
kemp@email.com.au

Objective
Motivated dental assistant with 3+ years of experience in private practice. Eager to work at a private practice that specialises in paediatric oral healthcare.

Certifications

  • Certificate III and Certificate IV in Dental Assisting with Dental Assistants Professional Association

  • Certification in Four-Handed Dentistry Course for the Dental Team with the Australian Dental Association

  • Senior First Aid Certificate

Skills

  • Sterilising and preparing dental and surgical equipment

  • Assisting dentist using the four-handed technique

  • Maintaining patient dental records

  • Operating X-ray equipment

  • Reducing the risk of infection

  • Cleaning and whitening teeth

  • Preparing patients to receive fillings

Experience

Dental Assistant
Bruce Street Dental Clinic, Stapleton
February 2018-present

  • Provide chair-side assistance to the dentist using four-handed dentistry, including suctioning, mixing fillings and cleaning teeth

  • Offer exceptional patient care from check-in to conclusion of service

  • Undertake strict infection control and hygiene practices

  • Process dental X-rays and operate imaging equipment

  • Maintain client records through an online database while ensuring client confidentiality

  • Follow all workplace safety requirements for the well-being of clients and staff

  • Give oral health advice and post-op instructions to patients

  • Provide high-level administrative support to dentists and other members of the practice

Dental Assistant Trainee
Clean Oral Centre, Stapleton
June 2017-December 2017

  • Answered phones and scheduled patient appointments

  • Provided reception and administrative support for three dentists

  • Updated client records through the virtual database

  • Followed up with patients

  • Provided chairside support to dentists, such as through charting and setting up the tool tray


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