Dental NurseJob Description:
Dental nurses support dentists in all areas of dental care.Job Category:
What you will do:
In this role you could:
- sterilise instruments and pass them to the dentist
- prepare materials to make fillings
- remove water and saliva from the patient’s mouth during treatment
- make sure the patient is comfortable
- tidy the surgery and keep records about each patient
- knowledge of medicine and dentistry
- customer service skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
As well as:
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
- sensitivity and understanding
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to work well with your hands
To become a Dental Nurse, you don’t necessarily need specific subjects, but having a strong educational foundation in science and related subjects can be advantageous. Dental nursing involves assisting dentists with patient care, so having a background in relevant subjects is beneficial. Here are some considerations:
- English Language: Strong communication skills, including reading, writing, and verbal communication, are essential for dental nurses as they interact with patients and maintain patient records.
- Biology: courses in biology are highly valuable. Understanding human anatomy, oral biology, and dental terminology is crucial in dental nursing.
- Chemistry: A basic understanding of chemistry can be beneficial, especially in understanding dental materials, infection control, and sterilisation procedures.
- Mathematics (Maths): Basic math skills are necessary for tasks such as calculating medication dosages, scheduling appointments, and managing inventory.
- Health and Social Care: If available, courses related to health and social care can provide insights into healthcare systems, patient care, and the role of healthcare professionals.
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You could do a course at college that would give you the skills and knowledge to become a dental nurse.
In the UK, for example, courses include diploma in dental nursing and a Level in Health.
The courses will usually be a mix of full-time study with work experience in a dental surgery.
You could do a dental nursing advanced apprenticeship. You’ll need to be working in a dental surgery to do an apprenticeship.
You could also do a dental nursing advanced apprenticeship in your national armed forces.
You could start as a trainee at a dental practice. You could then study for a dental nurse qualification on the job. This is a common route to take to become a dental nurse.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 37-40 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends on a rota.
You could work at a dental practice, at a health centre or in a public or private hospital. You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience you could:
- move into a team leader, manager or dental practice manager position
- serve in the armed forces as a dental nurse
- become a dental hygienist or dental therapist with further training
- become an orthodontic therapist to help dentists improve the look and position of patient’s teeth