Dental nurses are employed in general dental practices, community dental services, hospitals and the armed services.

Role and responsibility

Dental nurses are typically responsible for ensuring the Dentist or Surgeon's patient list runs smoothly during the course of a clinical session. This may include

  • All X-rays, study models and case notes are on hand
  • All instrumentation is correct and has been thoroughly sterilised
  • Necessary stock and supplies are available
  • The dental surgery,operating room is clean and equipment is in good working order

Dental nurses also need organizational skills and the ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing.


All Dental nurses must have obtained recognized qualification,
Qualifications recognized by the GDC

  • The National Certificate awarded by the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN)
  • NVQ level 3 in Oral Healthcare
  • SVQ Level 3 in Oral Healthcare
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Dental Nursing
  • Certificate of Higher Education in Dental Nursing–1 year programme

MUST be registered with the GDC (the only exception is of Student dental nurses with less than 2 years experience as a dental nurse who are on an approved training course).

Experience as a dental nurse can lead to progression to occupations such as dental hygienist and dental therapist. Some dental nurses prefer to progress into roles such as dental nurse manager, tutor dental nurse or dental practice manager.