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Dental Nursing is certainly an exciting and rewarding career. Working as dental nurses never gets old as there is always something new to learn and always another technology to master. Research and innovation in dentistry is advancing by leaps and bounds, and dental nurses must continuously reach for new knowledge and skills. Dental Nursing is a wonderful career within a health discipline for those who enjoy helping others, working with people, and sharing expertise in a highly regarded profession.As dental nurses, you are very special individuals who contribute significantly to the health and welfare of the patients you serve.

The role of a dental nurse is no longer static as there are loads of exciting career options and new opportunities to explore everyday.

Oral Health Educators….Oral health is vital to general health.Education is the key to achieving long-term good Oral Health. Oral Health Educators can help inform their local area by means of training the staff  in children’s centres, schools and  residential centres. Within the community dental services they not only work on an individual patient basis but also visit schools and care homes and give oral health advice to various target groups The need for prevention is now widely accepted and many practices are setting up dedicated preventive dental units/PDU as a result.Trained Oral Health Educators can use their knowledge in the workplace to help patients achieve optimum dental health.

Post Nursing Qualification…With the range of 6 post qualification courses, it seems an exciting time to embark on a career as a dental nurse.
Certificate in Dental Radiography
Certificate in Oral Health Education
Certificate in Orthodontic Dental Nursing
Certificate in Sedation Dental Nursing
Certificate in Special Needs Dental Nursing
Certificate in Implant Dental Nursing

NVQ Assessors….The introduction of the Oral Healthcare NVQ has led role for dental nurse, as NVQ assessors. The assessor’s role is to act as an unbiased person who ensures the trainee dental nurse is competent in their area of work. They assess the performance criteria within the workplace that the students must undertake.

Dental Nurse Tutors…Nurses may also become dental tutors or trainers involved in the set up and delivery of  the National Diploma or NVQ. Level 3 Award in Education and Training, would be advantageous.

Senior Dental Nurses….The role of a senior dental nurse may include allocating nurses to surgeries and tasks, monitoring leave and responsibility for continuing professional development of the team. In some big practices, they act as assistant practice manager for everyday running of workplace.

Practice Management….Challenges can be faced when the dental nurse-come practice manager is faced with making decisions about business strategy, disciplinary procedures or financial management. For those interested in a practice manger role, there is a BTEC Level 4 Diploma in Dental Practice Management and there are resources such as the Association of Dental Administrators and Managers (ADAM) and Dental Practice Management (DPM) to offer support.

Treatment Co-ordination….The aim of the treatment coordinator (TCO) is to remove non-clinical dentistry from the dentist. Dentists are increasingly realising that having a TCO benefits the practice, the team and the patients. Essentially, it is a desk role but at the front line—the TCO deals with the patient from the first phone call through to treatment follow-up. A dental nursing background is invaluable because many of the questions that patients will ask are about clinical treatment.A Level 3 BTEC Advanced Diploma in Dental Care Co-ordination is available that covers effective communication, marketing and sales and clinical governance for the TCO.

Specialist Practice….There is lot of scope for nurses in specialist practice. Nurses are required to perform extended duties in the specialist areas of orthodontics, radiography, sedation, implantology, cosmetic dentistry, endodontics and special care in specialist practices.

Hospitals….Dental Nurses may also develop their careers within hospitals that offer dental treatment – district/ general hospitals, dental teaching hospitals and postgraduate teaching hospitals. Dental Nurses working in district or general hospitals would be expected to undertake postgraduate training in the appropriate discipline.

Armed Forced….Dental Nurses looking for something completely different from civilian life, could consider a career within the armed forces.

Dental Hygienist & Therapist….The Diploma in Hygiene and Therapy is now offered by most of the training schools in the UK as full-time course. A dental nurse qualification can be advantageous although some schools will accept A-level entry or equivalent. All schools expect students to have five GCSEs grade C or above, including English language, Maths and Science. Following qualification, dental hygienists and therapists can work in many settings – NHS/Independent general practice, specialist periodontal or orthodontic practice, hospital (staff posts, tutors/lecturer, and specialist departments eg. special needs), education, research, health promotion and community as well as working aboard and setting up their own dental practice.

Orthodontic Therapist….Orthodontic Therapists are members of a group of dental care professionals (DCPs) who work as part of the dental team. They carry out orthodontic treatment under the prescription and close supervision of a dentist, who would normally be an orthodontist.To train as an Orthodontic Therapist you must be qualified in dental nursing, dental hygiene, dental therapy or dental technology. Visit the GDC website to see which Universities offer the Orthodontic Therapist Course and their individual requirements.

Your very first step as Trainee Dental Nurses, can lead  to a rewarding  career pathway and progression.

Why not begin your dental journey at Buddha Dental Tree!!