What does a Dental Nurse do?
Dental Nurse provides preventive oral care under the supervision of a Dentist. They clean a patient’s teeth and examine their mouths for signs of gingivitis, damage and other diseases. Dental Nurses also teach patients how to maintain good oral health.
Dental Nurses work in a range of settings, such as hospitals, general dental practices, within the community or independently. Their patients can range from infants to the elderly with various dental care needs.
Dental Nurse skills and qualifications
A successful Dental Nurse candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Effective motivation and listening skills
- Interest in helping people
- Steady hands and good eyesight for performing precise dental work
- Confidence in handling various types of dental equipment
- The ability to work well independently, as well as in a team
- Compassion and empathy while interacting with patients
- The ability to maintain concentration for long periods of time
Dental Nurse experience requirements
A Dental Nurse needs to have one or two years of experience in a Dental Nurse, Dental Assistant or another Nursing role to be qualified for the job. Prior experience in a dental clinic is preferable. Mid-level Dental Nurses must have three to five years of experience, while Senior Dental Nurses must have over five years of experience in the role. More senior roles may also require some experience leading a team of Dental Nurses.
Prospective Dental Nurses must also have a strong background in dentistry. They must be familiar with various types of dental equipment, the principles of good oral hygiene, dental terminology, safety standards, procedures in dental practice and buccal anatomy.
Dental Nurse education and training requirements
Dental Nurses must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC). To be registered, candidates must complete one of the following qualifications: a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene, oral health science and dental therapy, a two-year foundation degree in oral health science or a two-year undergraduate diploma in dental hygiene.
To qualify for a diploma or degree course, candidates must have three A-levels, one of which must be in biology, as well as GCSEs in English and maths. Candidates must also pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before they get admitted to a training programme in Wales and England (or equivalent check for Northern Ireland and Scotland).
Dental Nurse salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, a Dental Nurse in the UK can expect to earn an average salary of £10.94 per hour. Their actual salary varies depending on their geographical location, level of skill and experience, educational qualifications and their employer.
Job description samples for similar positions
If a Dental Nurse is not quite what you’re looking for, here are other job description samples that may fit your needs: