A dental nurse works closely with the dentist, providing
assistance throughout a patient’s visit. Dental nursing
includes preparing the surgery, passing instruments,
removing water and saliva from the patient’s mouth,
sterilising instruments, and preparing fillings. If the
dentist uses general anaesthetic, a suitably trained and
qualified nurse may monitor the patient’s welfare.
The dental nurse maintains sterile conditions and ensures health and safety policy is adhered to. They help the dentist to record information about each patient and carry out stock control. They may also process radiographs.
Ensuring patients feel comfortable and relaxed at all times is important. In general practice, a dental nurse may assist on reception and with the administration of the practice.
To pursue this career you would need to be trained in dental nursing - either by taking a course beforehand or by learning on the job.
Dental nurses generally work 9am - 5pm, Monday to
Friday. Unsocial hours may be required to accommodate
patients' needs. Part-time work is sometimes possible.
Dental nurses work in the NHS, private practice, community dental services, hospitals, industry, universities or the Armed Forces. Travel may be involved when working in certain branches.
Dental surgeries are clean, sterile and well-lit. A dental nurse wears a uniform and surgical gloves for protection. Safety glasses and a mask are also necessary to reduce the risk of cross-infection.
The majority of a dental nurse's work involves standing, which can be tiring.
To be a dental nurse you should:
Dental nurses can work in general practice, hospitals,
the Community Dental Service, industry, university and
the Armed Forces.
Registered dental nurses may expand their knowledge and capabilities by studying for a NEBDN post-qualification certificate. They are available in a number of specialist areas, including:
If you would like to know anything about Dental Nurse that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.