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Job Description

A Dental Nurse will assist the Dentist by passing instruments, preparing materials for fillings etc. making sure the patient is comfortable, assisting in the patient treatment, sterilising equipment, recording patient information and tidying and preparing the dental surgery.

Entry Requirements

You can either:

  • start as a trainee with a dental practice and train on the job
  • take a full-time college course in dental nursing

In both cases, you'll need to study for a qualification approved by the General Dental Council (GDC) and register with the GDC.

It will help if you've got some GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths or science.

You may be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Health Careers has information on careers in dental nursing.

Career Path and Progression

With experience you may be able to move into jobs like team manager, team leader or dental practice manager.

With further training you could become a dental therapist, helping a dentist carry out the more routine dentistry work. You could also become a dental hygienist, helping people to look after their teeth and gums.

You might decide to train as an orthodontic therapist helping dentists to improve the look and position of a patient's teeth.

Health Careers has information on careers in all areas of the dental team.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental therapist
  • Dental technician
  • Dentist

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

Required Skills

A caring and reassuring nature, good practical skills, the ability to communicate effectively with patients from all age groups, good organisational skills and able to work well in a team.

Starting Salary

£17,000 to £28,500

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