A dental assistant is the dentist’s right hand. Their responsibilities include helping patients, preparing the medical room and instruments for receiving patients, and processing X-rays. As a dental assistant, you have many career opportunities. After several years of work, you can become a dentist or a dental hygiene specialist.
This article will help you easily learn how to get a job as a dental assistant and what you need for this important position.
How To Get A Dental Assistant Job: Advice And Tips
If you are thinking about how to get a job in dentistry and want to become a professional dental assistant, we advise you to pay attention to two points: education and a competent resume with a cover letter.
It is not always necessary to graduate from specialized colleges or universities and have a degree to work as a dental assistant. It is enough to have a good knowledge of school subjects like chemistry, biology, or health. This is because the training of dental assistants takes place at work, directly by the dentist. But it happens that the employer requires a potential employee to attend an accredited training program. This program typically lasts no more than one year and is taught in technical schools, vocational schools, and community colleges. But it is worth noting that, depending on the state, the requirements for the level of education differ.
At the end of the academic year of the accredited training program, you receive a state-recognized certificate. But before being certified by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), you need to pass the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam.
Some states register or license dental assistants. But if you are only at the beginning of your career, this requirement does not apply to you.
To obtain a license, you must complete an accredited training program and successfully pass an exam administered by the DANB (Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.)
Resume and cover letter
The difference between how to find dental assistant jobs and how to apply for a dental assistant job is huge, like finding a cake recipe and baking it. That is why it is crucial not only to find a vacancy and submit a resume but also to draw up job application documents correctly.
If you want to become a dental assistant, start by looking for job positions on job search sites. There may be many vacancies, but you should not mindlessly send your resume to every company. Approach this issue responsibly.
First, prepare a resume. Fill in all the relevant fields, stick to a business writing style, be concise, and make sure your document is free from typos, as this is not an essay on an open topic.
For example, a dental assistant’s resume should look like this:
Address: 41758, White Street, Agoura Hills, Los Angeles
Phone: (358) 587-9898
Desired position: Dental assistant
2017 – 2015
University of Washington
Master of Science, Medical Technology
Thousand Oaks, CA
2016 – 2017
Passed, DANB Certified Dental Assistant Exam
Certified, Commission on Dental Accreditation
Dental Assistant, 2016 to present
Avery Dental Clinic, Agoura Hills
- 5 years of work experience as Dental Assistant
- Master of Science degree, Medical Technology
- Passed, DANB Certified Dental Assistant Exam
- Certified, Commission on Dental Accreditation
- Member of National Dental Assistant Association
- Excellent communication skills
- Physically Fit
- Creative Thinker
- Excellent people skills
- Pleasant disposition
- Highly organized
Date of birth 19/10/95
Married with one child
Hobbies include piano, swimming, and reading
A cover letter plays a great role in employment. It is especially needed to get a dental assistant job with no experience. By itself, a cover letter complements the resume. But it also contains all the necessary primary information about you for a recruiter. In a cover letter, you introduce yourself and state the reason why you are writing. Next, talk about your experience, abilities, and skills that will help you in your work. Also, indicate what benefits the company receives by hiring you and what you get from this. The benefits must be mutual. In the end, ask for an invitation to an interview or a call for details. This call to action is important. Finally, do not forget to say goodbye and leave your contact information. A cover letter should be enough for the recruiter to understand that you are really interested in working for this company.
Structure of cover letter:
- The main body of the text (consists of 2 – 3 paragraphs)
- Call to action and farewell
- Your contact info
Example of a cover letter:
3565 Daily Street
San Francisco, CA 45911
I saw your vacancy for a dental assistant in the hall of your clinic, and I want to apply. As a dental assistant with 7 years of experience and certifications, I believe I have enough skills to be the right hand of a dentist.
You wrote that you are looking for a worker who does not require training and has experience. I obtained an associate’s degree in Dental Assisting and graduated with a 4.1 GPA. I also have a certificate from the DANB. Now I am practicing four-handed dentistry with Dr. Sherlock for up to 18 appointments a day, ranging from 10 to 130 minutes.
By developing cleaning and preparation protocols, I have been able to reduce downtime between patient appointments. There is more free time for the dentist to rest. There are plans to reduce the time for the production of implants. I am sure that I am the worker you are looking for.
I know how much time you spend on staff development, and your clinic is one of the best in San Francisco. Therefore, I believe that your dynamic, progressive company will help me grow as a specialist.
When can we discuss the details of the work and my new developments for effective work in order to save time for dentists?
If you are already working as a dental assistant and have been successfully assisting a doctor for 5 years, you may want to consider a career promotion. The next step is a dental hygienist. To do this, you need to find a good vacancy and write a cover letter to the clinic where you want to work. To know what should be in the cover letter, we suggest looking at this dental hygienist cover letter example. The structure is the same, just the text changes.
Interesting To Know
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average salary for dental assistants is $40,080 per year. At the same time, the average salary of dental hygienists is $76,220 per year, and dentists receive $159,200 per year.
Although a beginner dental assistant does not need special education, additional government certificates are required for career promotion. To become a qualified dentist, you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree and higher.
If you want to join the dental community, start your career as a dental assistant. It will help you change your quality of life through a stable salary, develop as a person, and make many new useful acquaintances. Don’t be afraid to change your profession or take on higher positions. As the saying goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”.