"One of the joys of the job is helping someone who is nervous get through their treatment."

Dave found that there were a number of opportunities for him in the dental field. He initially started working in a lab but quickly realised that a clinical role was right for him. Read his story to see how he was supported when training to be a dental therapist. 

Dave Martin

Dental therapist

Employer or university
Manchester and Thameside
  • Although I started out working in a dental lab, after a while I wanted to get involved in the clinical side of things. I worked for a short while as a dental nurse, and then trained for two years full time to be a dental hygienist. I followed that with two years’ part-time training as a dental therapist.

    The NHS helped me to move up the career ladder with a grant and a small bursary for me to train as a dental therapist.

  • The role of dental therapist is a relatively new one. Dentists are beginning to realise that we can make a real difference in helping to cut waiting times for patients. For example, I see around twelve patients on a typical day. It means the practice as a whole can see more people more quickly – and that’s really important if you are a patient in pain.

  • One of the joys of the job is helping someone who is nervous get through their treatment and become more confident. I like the huge range of patients you see in the NHS.

    It’s good to work with children – teaching them good habits that will keep their teeth and gums healthy.

    I am self-employed and I work in different practices, carrying out routine work under the direction of the dentist, allowing the dentist to focus on more advanced procedures.

    I really enjoy the job and earn a good living!

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