Working as a Dental Nurse is a very rewarding career. You are part of a team, making a real difference. No two days are the same and there is always something to learn, as technologies and techniques continue to develop within the industry, to constantly improve dental therapies and treatments for patients.
Your main duties as Dental Nurse will include preparing the chair and instruments for each patient, chair-side assistance, passing instruments to the Dentist, cleaning and sterilising instruments, stock check and stock control, keeping patient records up to date, and making patients feel safe and comfortable. These are of course just a few examples of your daily tasks.
We recommend, speaking to people in the industry to help you understand the importance of a Dental Nurse in the Dental Practice environment. If you don’t know anyone around your family or friends, why not contact the Dental Practice you are registered with and ask if you can have a chat with one of the Dental Nurses.
What can you expect from a dental nursing career?
Dental nursing offers many rewards and opportunities.
You get to meet and interact with patients of all ages, cultures, and personalities. Are you a “people person”? This might be the perfect fit.
Dental nurses are responsible for:
Welcoming patients, looking after patient records, and making notes during the dental examinations.
Working closely with the dentist, responding quickly to requests.
Ensuring that all relevant supplies and materials are in their place.
Maintaining and cleaning the instruments and dental operating equipment.
Contacting hospitals or orthodontic clinics when necessary on behalf of a patient.
Keeping the surgery a clean and calming environment — ready for anything!
Broadening your skills as a dental nurses:
Further skills in oral health education and oral health promotion.
Assisting in the treatment of patients who are under conscious sedation.
Further skills in assisting in the treatment of patients with special needs.
Further skills in assisting in the treatment of orthodontic patients.
Intra- and extra-oral photography.
Pouring, casting and trimming study models.
Additional skills carried out on prescription from, or under the direction of, another registrant:
Placing rubber dams.
Measuring and recording plaque indices.
Removing sutures after a wound has been checked by a dentist.
Constructing occlusal registration rims and special trays.
Repairing the acrylic component of removable appliances.
Applying topical anaesthetic to the prescription of a dentist.
Constructing mouthguards and bleaching trays to the prescription of a dentist.
Constructing vacuum-formed retainers to the prescription of a dentist.
Taking impressions to the prescription of a dentist or a CDT (where appropriate).
Dental nurses can apply fluoride varnish either on prescription from a dentist or directly as part of a structured dental health programme.