Dental assistants normally require a Dental Assistant’s Certificate or similar state license, and also an X-ray certification, since taking, developing, and mounting dental X-rays is a standard part of a dental assistant’s duties. Don’t omit a brief reference to your certification in your cover letter, even though you will have included details and transcripts in your resume.
Most dental practices will prefer to employ dental assistants with a combination of certified training and practical experience, but do not be deterred from applying for a position just on the basis of your training, unless a minimum number of years’ experience is specified. Your cover letter will need to make you shine in spite of your inexperience, and secure that all-important interview.
Because most dental assistant advertisements are fairly similar, listing duties such as patient preparation, chair side assistance, setting up and putting away equipment, and providing oral care education, you will need to read the advertisement carefully for specific details that you can highlight in your cover letter. For example, the practice may specialize in pediatric dentistry and you have young children of your own or once had a vacation job in a summer camp. Or the job may involve some office duties, in which case you can highlight your clerical skills obtained in a previous position.
Example of Dental Assistant Cover Letter
XX Highview Dr
Quinlan, TX 75473
January 20, 2014
Dr. Tom Lee
Happy Smiles Family Practice
XX Highway Avenue
Quinlan, TX 75471
Dear Dr. Lee,
Advertised position for a dental assistant at Happy Smiles Family Practice
I would like to apply for the above position and have enclosed my resume in support of my application.
I have had six months’ experience as a dental assistant at the White Shores Dental Clinic, as a temporary replacement for an employee on maternity leave. This was my first position after completing my dental assistant training at Meriton Community College, but it was long enough for me to know that I have chosen the right career. I was delighted to play my part in improving the dental health of our patients and put them at their ease if they were nervous. I especially enjoyed my interaction with the younger patients, since I have a brother still in elementary school.
Dr. Jennifer Brown of the White Shores Clinic has given me a reference (enclosed) in which she mentions her complete satisfaction with my services and her regret that she cannot offer me permanent employment.
Although you did not mention state certification in your list of requirements, I am pleased to confirm that I hold a state Dental Assistant’s Certificate and X-ray certification. Operating X-ray equipment was one of my primary duties at the White Shores Clinic, and I am fully familiar with all safety procedures.
I am available for interview at any time, and could take up the position immediately if required. Please call me at 555-555-5555.
Enclosures: Resume; Reference(s)
Dental Assistant Cover Letter Screenshot