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Providing Dental Care as a Dental Nurse

Oral care is just as important as medical care. The health of the mouth can dictate the health of a body.

This is why it is so important for people to seek dental care, and for dental nurses to be available to make their experience a good one.

What is a Dental Nurse?

A dental nurse is someone that works alongside a dentist providing patient care. They often get the instruments a dentist will use ready for procedures, cleaning, and treatments.

Dental nurses will adjust chairs, speak with patients, and do whatever it is that will make them the most comfortable. This can be greatly helpful to people who have anxiety about dental care.

Sometimes, dental nurses will take notes, complete paperwork, and make appointments. They will perform many different duties with patients directly and indirectly.

Dental Nurse Salary

According to Payscale.com, dental nurse jobs in October 2010 earned approximately $29,000. This is just an average though. Many dental nurses earned more than $29,000 because of the dental office they worked in. Nurses often earn more if they work for a successful dentist in a metropolitan area.

Dental Nurse Job Description

When a dental nurse reports to work, she will speak with the dentist about the procedures scheduled for the day. She will then go to work getting instruments and room sterilized and ready for patients.

As patients come in for their appointment, they will be escorted to their room where the dental nurse will guide them to their chair. The dental nurse will then adjust the chair for the patient, give them a bib, and ask questions to gauge how anxious the patient is about the visit. A dental nurse has people skills to help calm patients.

When the dentist arrives, the dental nurse will be by the dentist’s side to find instruments, help with procedures, and continue to provide comfort to the patient. If the dentist needs a record or needs someone to write down information, the dental nurse is the one for that job.

How to Become a Dental Nurse

You do not need to have any academic qualifications to become a dental nurse. Most dentists would like their trainees to have a high school diploma or equivalent however.

As soon as you find a dentist willing to take a trainee dental nurse, you should register with the General Dental Council (GDC). You will then need to seek the NEBDN National Diploma in Dental Nursing. You can do this by taking the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses.

Dental Nursing Courses

To pass the exam to receive your diploma, it’s a good idea to take dental nurse courses at a dental hospital or community college.

Some of the courses you’ll take will focus on:

  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Medical emergencies
  • Drugs and equipment
  • Infection control
  • Decontamination
  • Health and safety
  • Dental nursing procedures

Dental Nurse Training

Most trainee dental nurses work with the dentists. The dentists will show them everything they need to know, while they receive the knowledge of the practice from the courses they take. In some facilities, senior dental nurses will train new nurses.

As long as you pay attention, do what you’re told, and put the knowledge you’re learning in courses to work, you could be successful at dental nursing.

Is Dental Nursing for You?

If you love working in a medical facility, but you’re not interested in working with people’s body, dental nursing could be perfect for you. It’s a great way to care for patients, and help them feel and look their best.

There’s nothing more beautiful than a healthy smile, so if you want to help people have a mouth they can be proud of, start looking into dental nursing.


About Marcelina Hardy

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