A dental nurse supports the dentist in all aspects of patients’ dental care.To work as a dental nurse, you have to be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) or be enrolled on a GDC-approved certificate, diploma or degree course. You do not necessarily need academic qualifications to work as a trainee dental nurse but you will need to study for qualifications to progress.Most dental nurses in the NHS work standard hours, which are likely to be around 37.5 a week. They may work some evenings. Your starting salary will usually be between band 3 and band 4 of the Agenda for Change pay rates but some senior dental nurses will start at band 5 or higher. Terms and conditions may vary for those dental nurses not directly employed by the NHS.Being a dental nurse requires a friendly, responsible attitude, a positive approach to people and a willingness to study. You must be happy to work as part of a team and willing to learn and understand the science behind dentistry.Experience as a dental nurse is usually a requirement for those wishing to become a dental hygienist or dental therapist. With experience and further training, dental nurses can also work as orthodontic therapists.
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