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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 get into this job through:


You can take an advanced apprenticeship in dental nursing.

You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.


You could do a degree in Dental Nursing.

You will usually need 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent for a degree.

Click here to search for a course.


A common route is to start with a dental practice as a trainee and study for a dental nursing qualification on the job. You will need to study for a course in dental nursing, either part or full time, that is approved by the General Dental Council. Entry requirements will vary from provider to provider, but a minimum 2 GCSEs (C grade or above) in English language and maths or a science subject are usually required for part-time courses.

More information

You'll need to pass enhanced background checks and will need to register with the General Dental Council.

You can join The British Association of Dental Nurses for professional development training.

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental therapist
  • Dental technician
  • Dentist

Required Skills

  • A caring and reassuring nature
  • good practical skills
  • the ability to communicate effectively with patients from all age groups
  • good organisational skills
  • able to work well in a team
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry

Salary Range

£19,737 to £30,615

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