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A dental nurse supports the dentist in all aspects of patients’ dental care.

At the Old Grammar School Dental Surgery, our dental nurses are at the heart of our practice welcoming our patients into our practice and supporting our dentists in their work.

Some patients will be there for a check-up while others will have more complicated treatment. Our nurses need to reassure patients and put them at ease while working together as a team in all aspects of patient care.

On a daily basis our nurses:

  • take responsibility for the decontamination of instruments.

  • maintain dental operating equipment.

  • ensure that all relevant materials and supplies are in place.

  • look after patient records – including making notes when the dentist is examining a patient.

  • work closely with the dentist, responding quickly to requests and generally keeping the surgery ready for use.

They are also responsible for ensuring high standards of cleanliness and control of infection.


The way to qualify as a dental nurse is to complete a dental training apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship is a real job with training, so you can earn a wage while you learn and become fully trained in Dental Nursing by the end of the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships are open to people of all ages over the age of 16 not enrolled in full-time education.


Caring nature and attention to detail are important qualities for a dental nurse, you will be handling confidential patient information and caring for people who may be anxious.

You must be able and happy to work as part of a team and willing to learn and understand the science behind dentistry.

You will be dealing with a broad range of people, each with their own characteristics and concerns so you’ll need to be tactful and friendly and able to offer advice and educate others. You will often need to follow instructions from the dentist.


Once accepted as a dental nurse apprentice the Old Grammar School Dental Surgery will co-ordinate your training through a specialist training company.

As an apprentice, you will then work four days per week in the surgery to complete the practical side of your training. On the fifth day, you will attend college online from within the practice.

As our apprentice you will have:

  • a detailed training plan.

  • regular progress reviews.

  • practical training on the job.

  • assessment testing at a training facility or in practice with an invigilator.

  • mentoring and support throughout your apprenticeship.

By the end of the course, you should have gained the qualifications, skills, and experience required by potential employers within the field and be eligible for a marked salary increase.


There is a minimum wage for all young people enrolled in apprenticeships. How much you receive depends on your age and other experience may be taken into consideration.

When you have completed your first year and are aged over 19, you’ll earn at least the National Living Wage, which varies depending on your age.

In addition to your salary, the practice pays your training fees currently valued at £4,000.


Apprentices working more than 33 hours a week are entitled to the same benefits as everyone else in the workplace. These include:

  • statutory sick pay entitlement.

  • at least 20 days paid holiday a year.

  • Statutory Maternity/Paternity Pay and maternity/paternity leave.

You might also be entitled to claim Universal Credit and elements to cover other costs such as housing or bringing up children.


As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, including being at least 22 years old, you will be automatically enrolled in a workplace pension even if you’re an apprentice.

If you are under 22 years old, you will not be automatically enrolled.


To apply for an apprenticeship with the Old Grammar School Dental Surgery please complete our application form.


To understand more about apprenticeships, visit the Government website:

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