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How to List Dental Assistant Skills on a Resume: Best Skills and Examples

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If you are applying for a job as a dental assistant, you need to have the right skill set. Skills such as communication, organization and dexterity are essential for working as a dental assistant in order to effectively handle administrative tasks and assist the dentist to improve efficiency in a clinic. In this article, you can learn which skills are most essential as a dental assistant so that you can add them to your resume and improve your chances of being hired for a job.

What are dental assistant skills?

Dental assistant skills are hard and soft skills you use in a dental clinic to assist the dentist and perform patient care and office duties. For example, dental assistants need to know how to use dental equipment and understand how to help perform dental procedures. Dental assistant skills may also be office-related, such as record-keeping, scheduling appointments and answering phone calls. It is helpful to understand how these skills fit into the role of someone who works in a dental environment.

Why employers want to see dental assistant skills on your resume

Employers at dental clinics, usually a dentist or a dentist’s hiring manager, want to see skills on your resume to ensure you are capable of handling the daily responsibilities of working as a dental assistant. They will be looking for soft skills like communication, to ensure you can communicate effectively with the dentist and other staff members, as well as hard skills, such as experience using specific dental tools or computer software. When you include these skills on your resume, it shows employers that you are a match for the position they advertised.

Important dental assistant skills to add to your resume

Here are some of the most popular dental assistant skills to include in your resume:

Interpersonal skills

One of the most important aspects of a dental assistant’s job is working with other people, from patients to dentists. You will need to be able to get along with your coworkers and make patients feel at ease before and during procedures, so interpersonal skills are essential in this position.

Dexterity

As a dental assistant, you need to be able to work with your hands in order to assist dentists during procedures. Having good dexterity will allow you to effectively use dental instruments and tools during examinations. This skill will also help you with administrative tasks such as typing.

Communication skills

Written and verbal communication skills are necessary as a dental assistant for communicating with dentists and other team members and for recording patients’ information. Communication is also important for explaining procedures and conveying health information to patients.

Organization

Organization is an important skill in any dental role, but especially as an assistant. Being able to keep all necessary dental equipment cleaned, stocked and organized is critical. It is also important to keep the exam room organized and clean in order to improve efficiency during procedures. Organization is also essential for administrative work, such as handling patient files and scheduling appointments.

Empathy and compassion

Many patients get nervous or scared during dental appointments and procedures, so it is important to treat them with compassion and kindness to make them as comfortable as possible.

Detail-oriented

It is important for dental assistants to be detail-oriented in order to effectively and efficiently assist dentists during procedures. You will need to be able to follow specific protocols and help dentists avoid mistakes during exams and surgeries. It will also benefit you to be detail-oriented with your administrative tasks, such as billing and record-keeping, to ensure you handle all your tasks without making unnecessary errors.

Computer skills

Technical computer skills, such as charting and database skills, are important for working as a dental assistant because dental offices keep track of patient records using computers. It is important to understand how to use computers effectively and be able to adapt to new software on the job in order to handle all necessary administrative tasks, such as billing and handling insurance claims.

How to list dental assistant skills on a resume 

Follow these steps to list your dental assistant skills on your resume:

1. Firstly, research the clinic

You should start by researching the clinic to learn its values as a company. Look for keywords that match your skills, such as ‘works well with patients.’ Take a look at the company’s website and social media profiles to learn more information about their company culture and what they are looking for in a candidate.

2. Secondly, list your dental assistant skills

In a skills section on your resume, list the dental assistant skills you have that match those in the job posting. Use the keywords from the job description to help you decide which of your own skills are most relevant and important to include.

3. Thirdly, mention soft and hard skills

Make sure you are including soft skills like communication as well as hard skills, such as a familiarity with dental tools. It is important to include both kinds of skills on your resume in order to show employers you are a well-rounded and experienced candidate.

4. Next, describe your professional skills

Describe your professional skills using your achievements from previous jobs. Relate your stated skills with the work you have done as a dental assistant in the past to show employers that you actually have those skills and aren’t just listing them because they were mentioned in the job posting.

5. Finally, integrate your skills

Remember to use your skills throughout your resume instead of just compiling them in one place. For example, you could mention one or two of your skills in your objective statement at the beginning of your resume in order to highlight your best attributes from the very beginning.

How to improve dental assistant skills

Here are some ways you can improve your dental assistant skills:

1. Firstly, pursue on-the-job training

If you want to improve your skills as a dental assistant, the easiest way to do this is through on-the-job training. If you have not worked as a dental assistant in the past, you may need to learn some hard skills through training, such as how to use dental tools during procedures. Once you’ve been hired, you can consistently work to improve your skills on the job.

2. Secondly, seek out a mentor

Another way to improve your skills is by seeking out a mentor, such as the dentist at your clinic, to help teach you what you don’t know about dentistry and guide you to become a better dental assistant. Being mentored is a valuable tool for gaining additional skills and improving the ones you already have, and it can help you develop relationships with your coworkers as well.

3. Finally, learn outside the dental office

Beyond just learning inside the clinic, it can be beneficial to pursue outside education as well. Going to seminars, workshops and conferences can help you improve your dental assistant skills a great deal, and it can also provide you with networking opportunities.