Resumes & Cover Letters

How to Build a Great Dental Assistant Resume (Examples Included)

Written by Kate Lopaze

Whether you’re looking to become a newbie dental assistant or you’ve just finished your 5000th gentle reminder to patients about flossing regularly, it’s important to hit all the right notes in your resume. Consider resume maintenance a kind of career flossing: it needs to be done if you want to avoid more work and aggravation later. Let’s look at how to build a dental assistant resume at different stages: one entry level, one experienced in the field, and one about to move up to the next level of becoming a dental hygienist.

First up: Barry, who’s looking for his first job as a dental assistant.


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  1. Barry Schwartz
  2. 123 Street Drive, Apt. 2
  3. Springfield, MO 44444
  4. (333) 123-4567

Certified dental assistant seeking to apply training, excellent patient care skills, and strong administrative skills to an established dental practice.


  • Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Calm under pressure
  • Able to focus in a busy healthcare environment
  • Committed to superior patient care and education
  • Bilingual (English and Spanish)


  • Developing and processing dental radiographs
  • Instrument sterilization
  • Oral health exams
  • Patient education on follow-up dental care
  • Preparing patients for procedures
  • Temporary fillings
  • Teeth cleaning


Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), 2016

Barry doesn’t have tons of experience as a dental assistant yet, but he uses his resume to play up the experience he does have. He also chooses a skills-based resume format, which lets him lead with his job-specific clinical skills and strengths before moving into his actual experience. He also makes sure to mention his relevant volunteer experience, using those bullet points to underscore the experience and skills he’s listed previously.

Let’s move on to Melissa, who has been a dental assistant for a number of years.


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  1. Melissa Sangiacamo
  2. 78 Cianci Street
  3. Providence, RI 78787
  4. (123) 456-7890

Certified dental assistant with 8+ years of experience providing top-notch patient care in dental practices of varying size. Focused on providing excellent customer service and ensuring customer loyalty.


CERTIFIED DENTAL ASSISTANT, 2010 (Dental Assisting National Board)


New England Dental                                                                 Providence, RI

Certified Dental Assistant                                                       May 2011 – present

  • Support 4 dentists in a fast-paced practice.
  • Prepare approximately 20 patients per day for oral exams and dental procedures
  • Sterilize and prepare instrument trays and all materials for procedures.
  • Record patient medical and dental histories and update treatment information in patient charts with superior accuracy.
  • Manage the practice’s dental equipment inventory, achieving a 7% cost reduction in 2016 by monitoring equipment needs and negotiating with vendors.
  • Perform teeth cleanings and coronal polishing.
  • Provide patients with post-appointment instructions, follow-up care notes, and oral hygiene tips.
  • Create study casts.

Make Me Smile                                                                           Providence, RI

Registered Dental Assistant                                                   April 2009 – May 2011

  • Supported dentist and hygienists in an independent dental practice.
  • Scheduled appointments using MediCalendar software.
  • Performed teeth cleanings, x-rays, and fluoride applications.
  • Provided preoperative care, including applying topical anesthetics.
  • Prepared fillings and materials for procedures.
  • Processed patient billing and payments.

Melissa has a lot of experience under her belt, and shows this by using a more traditional reverse chronological format, so her experience is featured prominently. She also leads with a headline, or summary statement, which establishes right away that she is experienced, certified, and focused on patient care.

Let’s move on to Vanetta, who’s an experienced dental assistant looking to get her first job as a newly-certified dental hygienist.



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  2. Vanetta Pearson
  3. 1578 Morningside Avenue
  4. Scarsdale, NY 56565
  5. (777) 987-6543


Licensed dental hygienist with more than 12 years’ experience as a dental professional highly skilled in tooth cleaning, scaling and root planing, pre- and postsurgical patient preparation, processing x-rays, and providing top quality patient care.


  • Bilingual (English and Spanish)
  • Teamwork-oriented
  • Focus on patient safety and comfort
  • Clinical and administrative organization
  • First aid (CPR certified)
  • Personable, professional demeanor
  • Pediatric patient care
  • Patient education


Dental Hygienist Certification, 2016 (American Dental Association)

Certified Dental Assistant, 2010 (Dental Assisting National Board)


Certified Dental Assistant – 2007 – present

Max Daniels, DDS, Scarsdale, NY

  • Assist the dentist in patient prep, procedures, and aftercare.
  • Prepare patients for cleanings, treatments, and operations.
  • Sterilize instruments and prepare trays and equipment.
  • Perform x-rays (proficient in digital and film).
  • Process patient information, medical histories, and dental histories.
  • Perform teeth cleanings and coronal polishing.
  • Work with patients to educate them on post-appointment care and treatment plans.

Registered Dental Assistant – 2005 – present

Empire Smiles, New York, NY

  • Assisted a team of dentists and hygienists at a large urban dental clinic.
  • Prepared patients for cleanings, treatments, and operations.
  • Sterilized instruments and prepared trays and equipment.
  • Performed and processed patient x-rays (film).
  • Processed patient information, medical histories, and dental histories.
  • Made preliminary study cast impressions.
  • Performed fluoride treatments.
  • Maintained the inventory of dental equipment and supplies.

Vanetta’s experience is primarily as a dental assistant, but she’s looking for a job as a dental hygienist—so she puts that information front and center in her summary statement, which tells the reader that she has hygienist certification, and many years of experience working in a dental office.

She then emphasizes her skills, using the skills-based format to basically signal a career change. This way, she is able to highlight her hygienist-level skills without “dental assistant” being the first thing the reader sees. She then offers her experience to back up the skills. Vanetta also adds a section of patient testimonials, taken from online reviews of her dental office. This is a way to emphasize her commitment to patient care, which she mentions throughout her resume. Finally, she lists her education, making her dental hygienist credentials even clearer.

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About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.