Dental nurses


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Dental nurses prepare patients for, and assist with, dental examinations, prepare and sterilise instruments and maintain case records.


Entry is most common with GCSEs/S grades. Training is available both off- and on-the-job. Most entrants work towards the National Certificate for Dental Nurses.

Typical tasks

  • prepares patient for examination;
  • prepares and sterilises instruments and follows guidelines to maintain sterile conditions within the surgery;
  • hands required equipment and medication to dentist during examination;
  • assists with minor treatment, such as preparing materials for fillings;
  • removes water and saliva from patient’s mouth during treatment;
  • maintains records, processes and mounts x?ray films and undertakes reception duties.

Common job titles

Nurse (dental practice)
Auxiliary, dental
Nurse-receptionist, dental
Assistant, surgeon's, dental
Nurse, dental
Nurse, surgery, dental
Attendant, dental
Assistant, chairside, orthodontic
Receptionist-nurse, dental
Assistant, dental
Assistant, surgery, dental

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.