Dental hygienists can work full-time with one office or be an independent contractor who travels from one office to another. They provide essential care for patients that include deep cleaning, gingivitis treatment, examination for gum disease, and other ailments. Many also educate patients about proper dental hygiene and offer advice on better products.
Dental hygienists earn a median hourly rate of $40 across the country, which rounds up to $78K annually. You can also enter this profession straight after trade school, which is another major con.
That said: landing new positions can be tough in the current volatile market. To improve the odds of getting an interview callback, we’ve prepared a detailed dental hygienist resume example and some helpful writing tips.
Dental Hygienist Resume Sample (Word version)
Dental Hygienist Resume Example (text version)
An experienced and compassionate dental hygienist and community educator. Seven years in direct patient care providing a range of hygienist services to patients in underserved communities. Interested in continuing to serve the needs of patients on a full-time basis at a public health center or community dental provider.
- Dental office administration and patient tracking software
- Health regulations familiarity, HIPPA knowledge
- Professional plaque and calculus removal
- Pain and anxiety management among patients
- Equipment safety and sterilization protocols
- Dental health education – curriculum design and delivery
St. Louis County Health Center
Dental Hygienist/Public Educator
August 2016 – Present
As a dental hygienist I am responsible for:
- Providing regular dental exams for patients aged 3 and up
- Oral assessments, deep teeth cleaning, plaque and calculus removal
- Patient charting, X-rays, and radiographs
- Providing support and education to patients and caregivers about dental care
St. Louis Community Center
In this role, I provide:
- Dental hygiene education: distributed dental care kits at the county health center, local schools, and other locations.
- Administer the mobile dental outreach program that provided care to families in rural and inner-city neighborhoods, nursing facilities, and care homes.
- Work in cooperation with other healthcare educators to meet the needs of local communities.
Bryant College School of Dental Hygiene – Student Clinic
Assistant Staff Hygienist
May 2015 – August 2016
Worked as an intern and then as a full-time employee at the school’s dental hygiene clinic. Duties included:
- Assisting with teeth cleaning
- Preparing patients for exams
- Mentoring dental hygiene students
Education and Certifications
American Dental Association
June 2015 – Present
Dental Hygienist License – Active and in good standing
2021 – 2022 200 Continuing Education Units
Dental Hygienist – AAS
Public Health Educator – Certificate of Completion
Association of Health Professionals Graduate of The Year
Davis Technical High School
Dental Assistant – Certificate of Completion
Memberships and Awards
St. Louis County Dental Health Association
2015 – Present
Missouri Community Health Educator of The Year
Girl Scout Leader
2015 – Present
Resume Writing Tips for Dental Hygienists
Dental hygienists are essential helpers to the doctors. They also often interact more with patients, meaning strong interpersonal skills are a must-have, as do some top-notch customer service skills. To show you are a well-rounded candidate, apply the following tips when writing your resume.
Choose The Right Resume Format
Resumes can be designed to show your skills first or your work experience first. You may also choose to include an objective statement or professional summary. Think about what would best represent you to prospective employers, then use that format.
Pro tip: Objective statements are better suited for entry-level candidates and interns. Go with a summary if you have several years of experience down your sleeve.
Emphasize a Variety of Experience
The office you work with may need someone who can perform patient exams and cleanings, keep records up to date, educate patients, and communicate with other healthcare providers. You may need computer skills, an understanding of dental health insurance, and applicable regulations. Ensure that your resume covers a spectrum of hard and soft skills.
Use Keywords to Stand Out
The dental office you apply to may use ATS (applicant tracking software). The tool scans incoming resumes and excludes “unqualified candidates”. You might be filtered out based on factors like “years of experience”, “knowledge of specific software”, or “mentions of industry regulations”.
The best way to pass a resume scan is to include important keywords that you mine from the job listing. Look for anything listed as a “must-have” then add that keyword to your resume.
Show an Emphasis on Delivery of Care
In many cases, dental patients spend more time with their dental hygienist than with their dentist. Because of this, your resume should show that you are compassionate and competent at delivering appropriate patient care and education.
Be sure to highlight several soft skills such as:
- Active listening
- Patient pain control
- Customer reception
- Treatment plan coordination
Final Tip: Address Your Licensing
You need a current license to work as a dental hygienist. Be sure to mention that your license is up-to-date or when you intend to complete your education. If you hold other certifications or awards, bring them up at the end of your resume. Popular certifications for dental hygienists include RDA license and Certified Dental Technicians (CDT) program.