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Dental nursing diploma

Oral examinationA dental nurse’s role is to support the dentist in all aspects of patient care; this includes getting the appropriate instruments and surgery prepared, making sure infection control procedures are followed and continuing surgery preparation throughout the day.

They will complete patient notes on instruction from the dentist and ensure confidentiality is maintained. The dental nurse ensures the efficient running of the dental workplace as well as the wellbeing of the patient.

On successful completion of the dental nurses diploma you can be employed in hospital, community dental services, general practice and the armed forces.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic our dental nurses were redeployed to a number of other areas throughout the Trust, including intensive care, oncology, phlebotomy and the Cancer Centre at Guy's. They also helped to run the staff coronavirus swabbing and antibody testing services.

Is this course right for you?

  • You would like to be part of a continually growing profession
  • You enjoy working with the general public
  • You would like to be a patient advocate
  • You would like to work in a healthcare setting
  • You enjoy working within a diverse environment
  • You would like to receive a wage whilst gaining a professional qualification
  • About the course

    The course is based at Guy's and St Thomas' and you will work between both sites. You will be employed by the Trust for the duration of the course on a fixed term contract as an apprentice student dental nurse. During the training you will be expected to complete modules both in theory and clinical placements in different aspects of dentistry.

    The national written paper must be passed in order to take the National OSCE exam (observed structured clinical exam) to be able to qualify as a dental nurse.

    • Duration: 18 months
    • Starts: next intake will be in October 2022
    • Hours: full time, Monday to Friday, 8.45am-5.15pm
    • Contract: fixed term apprenticeship
    • Apprenticeship wage: £17,000 per annum
    • Number of places: 10
    • Campus: Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital
    • Awarding body: National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN)
    • Academic level: 3
    • End point assessment must be completed to be awarded an apprenticeship
  • Course criteria and qualifications

    Entry qualifications required:Course criteria If you are successful you will need to: 
    • English language GCSE grades A–C or equivalent
    • Mathematics GCSE grades A–C or equivalent
    • From age 16 and over
    • Successful completion of a one-day assessment centre. This will include an English and maths test. A practical test and interview will follow for those who pass the English and maths test.
    • Hold a British or European passport
    • Completion of online application form
    • Successful completion of assessment centre
    • Nominate two referees
    • Complete pre-employment checks
    • Be cleared by occupational health
    • Complete a criminal records check
    • Be up to date with immunisations

    You will need to bring your qualification certificates and passport to the interview for proof of status and to verify your qualifications.

  • Training programme

    • One day of the week will be classroom based learning.
    • The clinical placements will be rotational.
    • You will start working with undergraduate dental students.
  • Career progression

    The National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN) offers the following post registration qualifications:

    • oral health education
    • sedation nursing
    • dental radiography
    • special care dentistry
    • orthodontic dental nursing
    • dental implant nursing

    For further details of these courses please visit the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN) website.


Benefits of working here

We offer a wide range of staff benefits and services.