Dental Nurse job description

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An essential part of any dental team, the dental nurse works closely with a qualified dentist or oral surgeon, ensuring dental sessions run as smoothly as possible. Duties undertaken by a dental nurse include preparing and maintaining the clinical environment, charting during examinations, preparing and mixing materials, and providing support to patients during treatment
The General Dental Council requires all nurses to be suitably qualified. Recognised qualifications include: NEBDN National Certificate, NVQ Level 3 in Oral Healthcare, SVQ Level 3 in Oral Healthcare, Certificate of Proficiency in Dental Nursing and Certificate of Higher Education in Dental Nursing
Hours are generally between 08:30 and 17:30, Monday to Friday, with the possibility of Saturday and late-evening work. Openings exist in NHS and private practices, hospitals, prisons and the Armed Forces. Employees, who must be registered with the General Dental Council, receive between £12,000 and £15,000 per annum, with hospital rates from £18,000 to £21,000.


Dental Nurses normally work with dentists and other oral hygiene professionals providing care to patients and providing the administrative support to their organizations. Among other responsibilities they manage patient’s appointments and records, prepare surgery material and sterilize it after being used in procedures, operate suction devices during treatment, prepare materials and compositions e.g. fillings, perform material stock control.
Dental Nurse might work in private practice clinics or public health organizations and hospitals.
 A Dental Nurse usually performs many of the following tasks:
• Building a relationship with patients
• Managing patients appointments
• Making sure all equipment is sterilized and ready before procedures and treatments
• Helping reassure patients
• Processing Labs requests, X-rays
• Carrying stock control duties
• Calculating treatment costs and explain them to patient


• Good dexterity and co-ordination
• Good organizational skills
• Work under pressure
• Being friendly, sensitive and good humour
• Being understanding and supportive with nervous patients
• Team-work oriented


There are no qualifications for starting training-positions as Dental Nurse but normally Employers ask biology and English GCSE rades (A-C or 1-3) or qualifications and training obtained in the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Starting in 2006, all Dental Nurses are required to be registered with the General Dental Council, registration that requires one of the following:
•    National Examination Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN) National Certificate in Dental Nursing.
•    NVQ/SVQ  in Oral Healthcare: Dental Nursing Level 3.
•    Certificate of Higher Education in Dental Nursing provided by a certified university.
•    Certificate of Proficiency in Dental Nursing awarded by an institution recognized by the Association of Dental Hospitals.

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