Top Dental Assistant Skills For Your Resume

As the backbone of dental practices, dental assistants bridge the gap between efficient office management, safety procedures, and exceptional patient care. Creating a dental assistant resume requires combining technical proficiency, administrative capabilities, and interpersonal skills. If you want to secure a position in this field, emphasizing particular skills on your dental assistant resume can increase your employability.

This blog post will explore seven skills that will capture the attention of hiring managers in the dental field and set you apart as the ideal candidate. From clinical competence to administrative duties, these skills display your readiness for a dental assistant job, how you’ll contribute to a dental team, and how to ensure the delivery of high-quality dental care services.

Skill #1: Communication Skills

As an important member of the dental care team, dental assistants play an essential role in facilitating clear and effective communication between dentists, patients, and other dental health professionals. Exceptional communication skills are a prerequisite to successful patient care and contribute to patient education, satisfaction, and retention.

Dental assistants must explain dental procedures, answer questions with empathy, and reassure patients experiencing anxiety about dental treatment. Your verbal and written communication proficiency ensures that treatment plans are understood, oral health is prioritized, and a positive and supportive environment is maintained. Here’s an example of what communication skills can look like on your resume:

Example of Communication Skills on a Dental Assistant Resume

XYZ Dental Clinic, City, Province | Dental Assistant | June 2018 – Present

  • Utilized exceptional communication skills to simplify complex dental care services, resulting in a 20% increase in patient satisfaction scores.
  • Developed personalized communication strategies to build rapport with a diverse patient base, including those with dental anxiety, leading to a noticeable increase in positive patient feedback and retention rates.
  • Collaborated closely with dental hygienists and dentists to ensure patients understood their treatment options clearly, contributing to a 15% increase in the acceptance of recommended dental treatment procedures.

Skill #2: Clinical Competence

Clinical competence is a pillar of an effective dental assistant’s role within the dental office. Contrary to a Medical Assistant, mastery over dental procedures, knowledge of using dental equipment and adherence to infection control protocols define a certified dental assistant’s capability to support the dental team and patient care effectively.

Displaying proficiency in this area on your dental assistant resume ensures that dental treatment procedures are executed smoothly, patient safety is prioritized, and a high standard of dental care services is maintained consistently. Below is an example of how this skill looks on a dental assistant resume.

Example of Clinical Competence on a Dental Assistant Resume

ABC Dental Care, City, Province | Certified Dental Assistant | March 2019 – Present

  • Actively assisted in over 70 dental procedures, including fillings, crowns, and wisdom teeth extractions, utilizing detailed knowledge of dental instruments and patient care techniques to enhance efficiency.
  • Implemented infection control protocols that exceeded provincial guidelines, ensuring all dental instruments were sterilized and disinfected according to the highest standards, thus maintaining a safe and sanitary environment for patients and staff.
  • Managed dental materials inventory and prepared materials for dental treatments, demonstrating a thorough understanding of their applications and contributing to a 25% improvement in the dental office’s operational efficiency.

Skill #3: Patient Care Skills

The commitment to patient care is at the heart of a dental assistant’s role. Beyond the technical skills required for dental procedures, dental assistants must be compassionate in managing patient anxiety, monitoring vital signs to ensure safety, and providing clear post-procedure instructions.

Dental assistant resumes must demonstrate patient care skills to foster a caring environment, prioritizing patient comfort and well-being, leading to better patient outcomes and satisfaction. Proficiency in patient care directly influences patient retention and the overall reputation of the dental practice.

Example of Patient Care on a Dental Assistant Resume

Dental Wellness Center, City, Province | Registered Dental Assistant | July 2017 – Present

  • Developed and implemented a series of relaxation techniques tailored to patients with severe dental anxiety, resulting in a 40% decrease in cancellations due to fear of dental procedures. 
  • Monitored vital signs routinely before, during, and after oral surgery and other dental procedures, ensuring patient safety and enabling the dental team to make informed decisions about patient care.

Skill #4: Administrative Proficiency

A well-rounded dental assistant excels in clinical tasks and demonstrates high administrative proficiency. Handling administrative duties is crucial for the smooth operation of a dental office, ensuring that patient appointments are scheduled, patient records are managed, and dental inventory is accurately maintained.

Administrative duties support the dental team in delivering high-quality dental care services and contribute to overall patient satisfaction and retention by educating patients and creating an organized and welcoming office environment. Here’s how this will look on your resume as an entry-level dental assistant.

Example of Administrative Proficiency on a Dental Assistant Resume

Smile Bright Dental Clinic, City, Province | Dental Assistant | May 2016 – Present

  • Revamped the appointment scheduling system, resulting in a 30% reduction in patient wait times and a 20% increase in daily appointments.
  • Implemented a digital system for managing patient records to enhance the accuracy and accessibility of patient histories and treatment documentation.
  • Developed and maintained an inventory tracking system for dental supplies and equipment, reducing waste and lowering supply costs by 15%.

Skill #5: Technical Skills

In the evolving landscape of dental care, technical skills, especially proficiency in dental software and electronic health records (EHR), have become crucial. A dental assistant’s knowledge of technology streamlines office operations and enhances patient records management and security.

Mastery of these digital tools is crucial for maintaining an efficient workflow, ensuring accurate and accessible patient information, and supporting high-quality dental care services. Being tech-savvy allows dental assistants to contribute to modern dental practices’ operational excellence. Here is what technical skills look like on a dental assistant resume. 

Example of Technical Skills on a Dental Assistant Resume

Smile Dental Clinic, City, Province | Certified Dental Assistant | August 2017 – Present

  • Trained and supported staff members in adopting Dentrix, an electronic health records system that resulted in a 25% improvement in appointment scheduling and patient record accuracy.
  • Demonstrated expertise in using Dentrix, a leading dental practice management software, to streamline office operations, from patient scheduling to billing and inventory management.

Skill #6: Teamwork and Collaboration

Effective teamwork and collaboration are foundational to creating a cohesive and efficient workplace, directly enhancing patient care and office productivity. A dental assistant who excels in this area is proficient at coordinating with dentists on treatment plans, supporting dental hygienists during procedures, and ensuring that the dental team operates as a unified entity. 

Teamwork and collaboration foster a positive and professional work environment and are one of the reasons why you become a dental assistant. To see how collaboration plays a big part in a dental assistant’s job, see below what this skill looks like in a resume.  

Example of Teamwork and Collaboration on a Dental Assistant Resume

Bright Smiles Dental Clinic, Sunshine State | Dental Assistant | January 2018 – Present

  • Actively collaborated with four dentists to assist in the planning and executing over 90 dental treatment procedures, including fillings, crowns, and oral surgeries.
  • Provided consistent support to dental hygienists during preventive care appointments, contributing to a 15% increase in patient output.

Skill #7: Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is required for the precision required for dental procedures and for managing all documented dental care services and office operations. For a dental assistant, this skill ensures the accuracy of dental impressions, the precision of treatment procedures, and the thoroughness of patient records management.

A dental assistant who excels in paying close attention to detail enhances the quality of patient care, contributes to the efficiency of dental treatments, and ensures the reliability of patient data. Here’s how attention to detail looks on a resume. 

Example of Attention to Detail on a Dental Assistant Resume

Dental Excellence Center, City, Province | Dental Assistant | March 2019 – Present

  • Demonstrated exceptional attention to detail by accurately taking dental impressions and measurements for over 70 dental treatment procedures, contributing to a 98% success rate in treatment outcomes.
  • Oversaw the management of patient records, implementing a system that ensured the accuracy and completeness of patient information, which improved patient record retrieval times by 20%.


A well-rounded dental assistant is a blend of clinical proficiency, administrative expertise, and interpersonal skills. By highlighting these abilities on your resume, you demonstrate to potential employers that you are a competent, reliable, and versatile candidate.

Your journey as a dental assistant is an ongoing learning experience. Continuously improving and adding to your skill set can lead to more opportunities and a fulfilling career in dental care. Whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced professional in a dental assisting career, showcasing these skills on your resume will set you apart as a dental assistant.

Now you know the skills needed on your resume, check out common dental assisting interview questions and cover letter examples to prepare you for your next role!

Why Choose Cestar College’s Dental Assistant Program?

By applying to Cestar College’s Dental Assistant (Intra-Oral Level I & II) program, you’re choosing:

  • One of the most comprehensive curriculums in Ontario, covering all aspects of dentistry available to Dental Assistants. 
  • A dental assisting program (Intra-Oral Level I & II) that is NDAEB-approved.
  • An accredited college for providing formal training for national dental assisting, featuring HARP-approved dental radiography training. 
  • 1,245 hours of learning, including an internship, giving you the benefits of real-life work experience while still in school. 
  • Small class sizes that foster discussion-based education and provide a welcoming learning environment for all students. 
  • Dedicated instructors with years of experience who take pride in seeing their students succeed. 
  • A challenging but rewarding learning experience full of support from all Cestar College faculty and administrators. 

If you want to learn more about Cestar College’s Dental Assistant (Intra-Oral Level I & II) program or have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

One of our representatives will be more than happy to provide further information concerning your questions regarding the program start date, international students, student success, admission requirements, etc.

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