What a Dental Nurse Actually Does – Have You Got What It Takes?

What a Dental Nurse Actually Does
What a Dental Nurse Actually Does – Have You Got What It Takes?

If you’re looking to get started in the world of dentistry, it’s an exciting time. But before you jump ahead, it’s a good idea to learn exactly what’s involved in dental nursing to see whether it’s the right career choice for you. With that in mind, let’s take a close look at the role of a dental nurse in the surgery and the qualities that are required to become successful.

The role of a dental nurse – what’s to know?

There’s no doubt about it, the life of a dental nurse is a rewarding one. From helping patients rescue their oral health to assisting with a full smile makeover that restores someone’s confidence, there’s definitely much satisfaction to be found within the role.

That said, in all honesty, it can also be a very demanding and fast-paced job. You’ll be on your feet most of the day and at the dentists and patients beck and call, all the while making sure that appointments run smoothly and on time, that all used instruments are cleaned and sterilised and your surgery stays stocked up and prepared for the next few treatments.

Have you got what it takes?

While we’ll teach you everything you need to learn here at the Dental Nursing Academy, there are a few qualities that are beneficial to the role of a dental nurse.

It helps to be:


Ask any dentist and you’ll quickly realise that being pro-active is an essential quality. You and the dentist work as a close-knit team and if you learn to think ahead, things can run very smoothly and efficiently for both the dental team and the patient. While it’s true that each dentist has their own unique ways, once you’ve learnt the basics, a great dental nurse will think fast and have what the dentist needs ready and waiting before they’ve even asked for it.

Caring & compassionate

Remember that the majority of patients you treat will be anxious and nervous. This calls for extra consideration from the dental team to help put the patient at ease and make them feel as comfortable as possible. That may mean grabbing an extra pillow for neck support, cracking a window for the nervous patient that’s overheating, or even letting a needle phobic patient squeeze your hand while they’re being injected.

Organised & Tidy

In the surgery, there are a wide variety of products used – some regularly and others only occasionally. For the smooth running of the practice, it’s essential that you keep your drawers and cupboards well stocked and make note of any products that are out-of-date or need re-ordering. What’s more, lab work must be checked daily. If you have a crown or denture fit booked in, it’s worth checking that it’s back from the dental laboratory the day before – there’s nothing worse than a patient turning up for their appointment only to be turned away…

Thorough & Clean

Like it or not, the dental surgery and team regularly come into contact with bodily fluids such as saliva and blood that can be infectious if not handled properly. For your safety and the health of your patients, it’s extremely important that every surface, instrument and piece of equipment is thoroughly sterilised after use. Other safety precautions involve wearing a fresh pair of gloves and mask after each patient and always wearing your visor during treatment.

There you have it, a sneak peek into the role of a dental nurse. If you think you’ve got what it takes, DN Academy is here to help you kick-start your career and get you qualified. To find out more about our courses, call us today on 020 3875 0569.


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