How to know if a career in dental nursing is right for you

12th Jan 2023
Lady smiling

There are some key factors to consider when determining if a career in dental nursing is right for you. This includes your interest in dentistry and oral health, your ability to work well with others and maintain a professional demeanour, your ability to handle a fast-paced work environment, and your ability to pay attention to detail and follow instructions.

It may also be helpful to speak with other dental nurses or professionals in the field, to see what their experiences have been like and whether it would work for you. Ultimately, a career in dental nursing may be a good fit if it aligns with your interests and skills, and if you are comfortable with the duties and responsibilities of the role. Below are a few attributes, skills and interests a great dental nurse might have!

You love socialising 

If you find it easy to speak to new people and start off conversations, this will come in handy as a dental nurse. You will socialise throughout the day with your dental colleagues. In addition, you will also be in contact with patients which may be anxious, opening a chat with them, showing that you understand and care about their worries will make a positive impact in their dental journey. Even more, you can take on further training to become an oral health educator or radiography specialised dental nurse which will mean that you will be more involved in the patient’s journey and have more direct contact with them. 

You like helping others

Maybe you have been involved in charity activities and have experienced the great reward that comes with seeing other people happy. Maybe you have cared for a member of your family or friends in your spare time, taken part in volunteer activities or dedicated your time regularly to help someone or a cause. In dentistry we are all about helping patients whether that might be by getting them out of pain, helping them to confidently smile or providing advice to improve their oral health. It is extremely rewarding and it’s a work sector where you get to do this pretty much every day.  

You enjoy science 

If you have discovered in college or now that you like science subjects but think that university is not an option for you dental nursing could be right up your street! Dental professionals learn a great deal about oral and body anatomy, microbiology, physiology etc. Throughout life dental professionals continue to learn and maintain their knowledge through regular reading and dental courses. There are always learning opportunities as well as dental events for you to keep your science curious mind stimulated!

You like arts and crafts  

Dentistry is a very intricate profession that requires attention to detail and good manual dexterity skills. You will be tasked with handling several objects during procedures and passing them safely to the clinician. In addition, there is a substantial amount of cosmetic dentistry which requires an artistic flair to support in the patient’s journey to getting a perfect smile. 

Dentistry has been something of interest for you

Many of your friends or family may have had braces when they were young and seeing the movement of their teeth throughout months has always been something fascinating for you. From achieving correct alignment with all teeth to individually restoring teeth, which have been destroyed by decay to their original shape, dentistry has so many interesting procedures. The fact that we work in the small space of the mouth makes it even more fascinating. 

You need constant challenge in work to feel happy 

There are so many opportunities to challenge a curious spirit in dentistry. You could become dental nurse lead or take on additional duties in the dental practice like overseeing the audits for example. Another option is to specialise in an area of interest which will increase your dental knowledge and advance your level of skills. These specialties include radiography, oral hygiene educator, implants or sedation. The latter is commonly found in the community, and this would allow you to work in an environment that resembles the hospital. This would involve additional knowledge and skills to be gained. 

You would like job stability 

Dental nurses have always been in demand but now they are more than ever. This means that you will have a great deal of choice without having to worry about finding work. Many employers will be happy to work around your commitments to ensure that if you need to leave on time for school runs or other family responsibilities this is possible. It also offers stable income and flexible working hours, it's a great career option for anyone interested in dentistry. 

Dental nursing is a rewarding career and a popular choice among healthcare professionals. But what does it entail? And how do you know if this is the right job for you? In this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about becoming a dental nurse. We'll also show you which qualifications are required to get started in your training and share some tips on how to find the best institute near where you live or work.

Working as a dental nurse can be incredibly rewarding.

You may find that working as a dental nurse can be incredibly rewarding. Offering a stable income and flexible working hours, it's a great career option for anyone interested in dentistry. In addition to offering you a stable income and flexible hours, the role also provides an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. By helping them maintain oral health, you can improve their overall quality of life, leading to greater self-confidence and happiness.

But if you're thinking of pursuing this role, the qualifications you'll need to succeed will vary depending on the type of setting you'd like to work in.

For example, if you want to work as a dental nurse in a hospital or dentist's office, there are specific requirements that must be met. These include having at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C or equivalent qualifications and having passed level 3 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) or higher. You may also need experience working with adults with learning Disabilities or mental health problems - but this depends on where your employer is based and what sort of patient they treat.

If instead you're looking for a job as a dental nurse working for the NHS or private practice then again there will be different requirements depending on which area of dentistry interests you most. For example if it's orthodontics then an NVQ Level 3 qualification would be required whereas for general practice there are no specific vocational qualifications required but excellent communication skills are essential anyway so make sure these come naturally before applying!