How To Become A Dental Nurse in UK (With Skills Guide) 2023

Learn how to become a dental nurse in the UK. Dental nurses play an important role in supporting the work in an oral clinic and ensure that patients get the proper care which they need. The basic knowledge about dentistry will make them confident in their ability to provide assistive and clerical help to a dentist, thus making their job more efficient and customer-centric. This career path might be the right choice for you if you are an individual who enjoys working with people and wants to pursue a career that blends nursing and dental care. Today in this article we will explore how to become a dental nurse.

What does a dental nurse do?

Dental Nurse executes different number of duties which provide aid to dentists and their professional colleagues to access a positive experience for their patients. The dental nurses might work some administrative tasks like answering phones, scheduling patient appointments, ordering dental supplies, and calling customers with dental reminders.

Responsibilities of being a dental nurse
Greeting and providing excellent customer service to incoming dental patients

Preparing the area of dental treatment that has to be done for a patient

Dental nurses prepare dental instruments, equipment, and materials.

Disinfecting the procedure area and all equipment and materials

Cleaning and sterilising dental instruments for procedure
managing the appointments with the dental surgeon.

Providing assistance to the dentist during a dental treatment procedure

Steps to be followed to become a dental nurse

Obtain a degree

The first thing to be done to become a dental nurse is to study dental nursing at a university and obtain a degree in the same. Formal qualifications differ between schools and programmes; therefore, it is important to conduct research to determine which ones closely align with your career goal. To help you in your search, try to compare each school programme to assess their costs, curriculum, and rating.

Work as a trainee dental nurse.

The second step to become a dental nurse is to work as trainee dental nurse. This opportunity will  allow you to gain practical experience and training in dental nursing field without formal  qualifications. Working as trainee dental nurse generally is paying position. The benefit of this option is that you can gain on the job training while working towards completing your formal qualifications, which would give you advantage when you start applying for actual dental nursing jobs. Contact dental practices to determine which one offers dental nursing trainee opportunities for which you can apply.

Get Your Certification

It is necessary to get certified with the General Dental Council to work as a dental nurse. After gaining a qualification for working as a dental trainee you can register with GDC. Therefore, it is essential that you pass the exam and complete at least two years of surgical duties before GDC registration. There are many certifications to consider, like a foundation degree in Dental Nursing, a Certificate in Higher Education in Dental Nursing, and a Level Three Diploma in Dental Nursing. To begin, make sure you have your GCSEs in English, science, and math.

Apply for a dental nursing position.

When you apply for a dental nursing position, ensure that you are prepared to have the best chances of getting the job. You can do this by creating a CV that clearly defines why you are qualified for the role. It also helps to look at the job description to see if your qualifications align with what you have written in your CV. Consult your professors or counsellors, who can help you secure a dental nursing job. There are online job portals and career platforms that will make it easy for you to find and apply to these jobs.

Necessary Skills for becoming a Dental Nurse

Organisational Skills

A dental nurse has to perform multiple duties and tasks at the same time. To effectively multitask, they require organisational skills to complete their work successfully. Being organised allows them to keep track of all the patients whom they are assisting so that patients get timely care.

Dental Assistance

A dental nurse should have thorough knowledge of dental assistance methods. This involves different tasks like sterilising equipment, processing X-rays, understanding oral hygiene, and dental care techniques that are used during the treatment. Thus, the more you know about the basics of dental assistance, the more efficiently you can do your job and make it easier for dentists to do theirs.

Interpersonal skills

Dental nurses regularly interact with clients and coworkers, so they need good interpersonal skills in order to connect with the individuals and create a positive atmosphere. As an assistant dental nurse, you must know how to provide support and reassurance to patients whenever they have questions or are uncertain about a particular procedure.


A dental nurse should have good communication skills to effectively communicate with colleagues. They must be able to rely on information that is precise and error-free. Written communication skills are also essential for dental nurses since they have to write important information about their patients.

Average salary offered to dental nurses

The salary of dental nurses depends on a variety of factors, like geographical location, employer, years of experience, and educational achievements. The average salary of a dental nurse is $21,960 per year. As you gain work experience, you can negotiate for a higher salary or wage.

The work environment of a dental nurse
Dental nurses work in the dentistry industry and in a variety of institutions like dental offices, hospitals, and different types of dental and medical facilities. They work in environments containing dental chairs, X-ray equipment, and related instruments, which are necessary for the dentistry industry. Dental nurses work with different customers across different age groups and demographics to follow various safety protocols to maintain their own safety and health. Dental nurses have to work 40 hours a week, though some even work part time. Depending on the location, the dental nurses have to provide their services in schools, prisons, and homes.

Advancement Opportunities for Dental Nurses

There is a range of opportunities as you gain a few years of experience in this profession. These opportunities ensure you to undertake advanced dentistry responsibilities to pursue careers in various areas of dentistry, like mobile dental surgery units and armed forces. These nurses have ability to advance their career in oral health practitioner position, which is common path for all dental nurses. After getting appropriate training, you can become a dental hygienist, orthodontic specialist, or dental therapist.

Conclusion: Dental nursing is a new field of opportunity for many; these dental nurses assist dental surgeons and keep track of ongoing activities in the dental surgery profession. There are certain skills needed to become a professional dental nurse. The salary offered to experienced nurses is also good, and there are good future prospects for these nurses.


How To Become A Dental Nurse in UK (With Skills Guide) 2023