Workforce, training and education
East of England

East of England

Dental Nurses

Information is presented here which will help you keep up to date with the General Dental Council (GDC) requirements and help to support you in accessing the education and training you need to embark on the career pathway of a dental nurse and if you are already qualified, there is information that will support you in fulfilling the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements ensuring you maintain your GDC registration.

There are several pathways to dental nurse registration; these all require the student dental nurse to have access to work-based learning in a dental practice. In most cases this is through employment as a student (trainee) dental nurse at a dental practice. Once employed, you can arrange a training place with a training 'Provider'. In most cases an employer will be able to recommend a Provider. You can remain a trainee dental nurse for up to two years /p>

There are several organisations which can provide further information for Dental Nurses. See the Resources section below.

Approved Qualifications

The GDC provides information about the qualifications which will allow you to register as Dental Nurse.




When applying for registration with the GDC it will be essential to provide a copy of your qualification certificate.

Extended Duties for Dental Nurses

The GDC Scope of Practice document clearly lays out the extended duties that a dental nurse can be educated and trained to undertake, these are:

Additional skills a dental nurse could develop during their career include:

  • Further skills in oral health education and oral health promotion*
  • Assisting in the treatment of patients who are under conscious sedation*
  • Further skills in assisting in the treatment of patients with special needs*
  • Intra-oral photography
  • Pouring, casting and trimming study models*
  • Shade taking
  • Tracing cephalographs*

Additional skills carried out on prescription from, or under the direction of, another registrant:

  • Taking radiographs
  • Place rubber dam
  • Measuring and recording plaque indices
  • Removing sutures after the wound has been checked by a dentist
  • constructing occlusal registration rims and special trays
  • repairing the acrylic component of removable appliances
  • Applying topical anaesthetic to the prescription of a dentist
  • constructing mouthguards and bleaching trays to the prescription of a dentist
  • Constructing vacuum formed retainers to the prescription of a dentist
  • Taking impressions to the prescription of a dentist or a Clinical Dental technician (where appropriate)
  • Dental nurses can apply fluoride varnish either on prescription from a dentist or direct as part of a structured dental health programme.
  • Dental nurses do not diagnose disease or treatment plan. All other skills are reserved to one or more of the other registrant groups.

Scope of Practice


Post-Registration Qualifications

After qualification and GDC registration there are various opportunities for dental nurses to undertake post registration qualifications.


Further Information




Monday, 1 June, 2020
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Monday, 1 June, 2020