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A career as a dental nurse

Dental hygiene is becoming more important than ever, and the industry is flourishing. According to market research* it is clear that the public is in dire need of whiter teeth and fresher breath. This is great news for dental nurses.

Being a dental assistant is not something you can do overnight. What are the responsibilities and roles of a dentist nurse? What skills and qualifications are required? What skills and qualifications do I need to become a dental nurse in the end?

The dental nurse role

The role of a dental nurse is broad and includes more than just helping dentists perform routine check-ups.

A key aspect of the role of a dental assistant is to collaborate with dentists and provide support in all aspects patient care. This includes duties such as mixing and preparing materials, sterilizing equipment, taking detailed notes, stock control, and stock control.

As well as providing patient care, the role of a dentist nurse can also be extended beyond the office. As a dentist, you might be required to assist with the reception. This could include taking payment and processing paperwork.

What skills is required for a dental nurse?

Like any other healthcare job, you need to be eager to learn and have a passion for dental nursing. This means that you must be passionate about the science behind dentistry.

The role of a dental nurse is varied and requires a variety of skills. You will need to be able to work with others and not give up, communicate well, multitask and have the ability and confidence to keep your cool and work calmly.

You must also have a lot of personal qualities to be a great dental nurse. As many people are anxious about visiting the dentist, they need constant support and encouragement. This is why it is essential to work with children and difficult patients.

Additionally, you will need to have administrative skills that can help you in your role as a dentist. It is essential to be computer-literate and able record detailed notes on patients’ records.

You’ll also need to be fit and healthy as you will spend most of your time on your feet. Also, you will need to be organized and conscientious to work in tight spaces for long periods.

What qualifications are required to be a dental nurse

You don’t necessarily need academic qualifications to begin work as a dental nurse trainee, but you should study for a course about dental nursing if your goal is to move up the ranks. There are both full-time and part time options for General Dental Council approved courses.

A full-time course may require proof of A-level and AS-level studies. Part-time programs may require a minimum number GCSEs. These typically range from A through C in English language, maths and science. Check with the course provider for information about required qualifications and work experience requirements. These may differ.

In order to begin work as a dental assistant trainee immediately, you will need on-the-job training.

Dental nurse training

Dental nurses must register with the General Dental Council. After you have completed a GDC-approved course, this registration is only possible. These courses are available:

Foundation Degree in Nursing Dentistry

Certificate of Higher Education for Dental Nursing

National Diploma in Dental Nursing (awarded annually by the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses).

QCF Level 3 Diploma of Dental Nursing

NVQ Level 3, Dental Nursing

You have the option to pursue a training as a dentist nurse by enrolling in the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses National Diploma in Dental Nursing (NEBDN), the Dental Nursing NVQ Level 3 or the Diploma in Dental Nursing.

You can take these courses part-time at some hospitals, further education colleges, and external training providers.

If you prefer a full-time learning experience, you can take a GDC approved course. This can be accessed through several universities, including the University of Northampton.

There are no right or incorrect answers when it comes training to become a dental nurse. The speed at which you are qualified and your financial situation will determine the training method you choose. After you have determined these parameters, you will be able to decide which training method suits you best.

Career development

After you have passed an approved qualification, it is necessary to register with GDC. The GDC regulates dentists. After completing your approved qualification, you will be able to work in hospitals or private clinics.

Once you have years of experience, it is possible to start planning your career. It is easier to advance in different roles as a dental nurse with more experience.

You have several options when it comes to working as a dental nurse, including locum work. This route has many advantages, such as the flexibility to work flexible shifts and higher rates of compensation. It also offers the possibility to learn new techniques in different settings.

You may want to further your knowledge of dentistry. In this case, you might consider becoming a dental hygienist or therapist. (These professions are also known as oral health practitioners).