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How to Find a Dental Assistant: A Helpful Hiring Guide

Date Posted: 02.01.22

A successful dental practice is only good as its team. While you are looking for dental assistant, rest assured that Cloud 9 Software will safely and securely manage your practice’s data. Since our humble beginnings in 2009, Cloud 9 has accumulated the most experience in the industry of cloud-based management systems. Here are some tips to get you started on your search for a dental assistant:

How to find a dental assistant

Where Do Dental Assistants Look for Jobs?

The first step in knowing how to find a dental assistant is looking in the right places for your new hire. Dental assistants looking for jobs comb job boards and Google for which local practices are hiring. However, there are also some more niche online platforms where dental assistants looking for work will congregate, such as:

The cost to post on the sites above varies widely, from $20 and $335 on average. Some sites offer monthly subscriptions if you’d prefer to advertise multiple jobs at once. Some more general job boards like Indeed and Google Jobs are free for employers to post.

Dental Assistant Experience: Understand the Qualification Requirements

Hiring means finding the right people who have the experience and sensibilities to perform the skills you need. Dental assistants for hire will ideally have the following qualifications:

Soft skills

  • Patient, clear communication. They make the patient feel at ease, explain procedures in layman’s terms, while being able to have a technical, detailed conversation with you.
  • References and/or recommendations from qualified professionals attesting to their work ethic.
  • Dedicated attitude and enthusiastic about being part of a team.

Hard skills

  • Ideally, a graduate of an accredited program and or a professional certified by the Dental Assisting National Board.
  • Experience in your practice’s specialty.
  • Gentle, practiced hands.

Your state’s requirements for dental assistants

  • Requirements vary.

5 Steps to Find A Dental Assistant

Looking for a dental assistant to hire? It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide – because having a plan of action takes the worry out of anything.

Prepare your information to disseminate

1. Prepare your information to disseminate.

Write up a job description advertising dental assistants needed, detailing the roles your dental assistant will fulfill, their salary, schedule, benefits, and a bit about the practice.

What makes your practice unique? What makes it a great place to work? Remember, candidates will be applying to multiple places. Think about how to make your practice the number one choice of top talent. Candidates will be attracted to your practice’s solid reputation, the benefits offered, and a competitive salary.

2. Post the job description.

Post on one of the platforms listed above. (Each job board will have its own system.) Have candidates attach their resumes and include their contact information. The job board may also allow you to ask candidates to include a cover letter, additional documentation, or fill out a questionnaire.

It’s also a good idea to post the application link on your practice’s website and social media to share it with relevant individuals and organizations.

3. Connect with a local university.

If you haven’t already, establish a relationship with a nearby school or program. Offer to come into a class as a guest speaker. Get to know professors. Email them the application link and ask them to share it with qualified alumni and soon-to-be graduates. This will funnel great candidates to your practice. Maintain connections in your community and across a network of schools.

Offering internships and externships can lead to hiring dental assistant.

Setting up internships and/or externships establishes relationships with qualified students, which could lead to future employment. You can choose to offer these programs to specific schools or open them up to any qualified student. Internships and externships allow your staff to train young talent according to your ethos, creating a seamless transition from intern to dental assistant.

While this does require some effort up front, internships and externships create a pipeline of qualified candidates for years to come. Setting it up is similar to creating a job posting. You will need to:

  • Decide the pay rate and schedule
  • Plan for outreach
  • Be prepared to write letters of recommendation for interns after the program is complete
  • Prep your team to provide them with training and guidance
  • Interview them beforehand and read applications

Of course, your team will share these responsibilities. This process can eventually find people who will become your future dental assistants. Because they will already be familiar with the practice, they are more likely to want to stick around for years to come.

4. Read through the applications.

Posts on job boards usually stay active for one month. This allows candidates time to find the opportunity and refine their resumes. Read through the applications and select a few candidates you’d like to interview.

Take care to complete this step promptly to be respectful of candidates’ time: they need a job and can’t wait around for months for a response. Wait too long, and they will probably have to move on to other employers.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, be more specific in your application requirements and questions, and reupload an edited job posting. Remember, you can delegate much of this work to someone else on your dental practice team, as long as you are present for the interview.

Interview the candidates

5. Interview the candidates.

The final step in how to find a dental assistant is to interview the candidates. No more than two rounds of interviews are needed. In person interviews are best so you get a feel for their mannerisms, plus it gives the candidate a chance to see the office and meet their potential future coworkers.

Ask them questions in the interview such as:

  • Why do you want to work as a dental assistant? This is a chance for the candidate to state their background concisely.
  • What is something you have learned in the industry thus far?
  • What are your goals in this profession?
  • Ask if they have any questions for you or the team. Ideally, the interview will be more of a conversation, with give and take, but you can also separate it into question and answer portions. The goal is for you to get to know them, but they want to get to know you, too.

After the interview, you will have enough information to make the offer.


Like top-quality dental assistants, Cloud 9 Software is essential to maintaining a smoothly running dental practice. With our true cloud application, there’s no need for expensive servers. Request a demo to see how our orthodontic practice management software can help you connect with your practices from anywhere.