Dental Nurse Apprenticeship

Dental Nurse Apprenticeship

A dental nurse is a practitioner who assists a dentist in all aspects of patient care. Dental nurses are educated in various dental procedures, from standard check-ups to specialised treatments.


Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:

  • sterilise instruments and pass them to the dentist
  • prepare materials to make fillings
  • remove water and saliva from the patient’s mouth during treatment
  • make sure the patient is comfortable
  • tidy the surgery and keep records about each patient.


  • Starting salaries for an apprentice is £21,730 per year.
  • Experienced dental nurses can earn up to £32,934 per year.

Working hours

You will typically work 37 to 40 hours per week, including evenings and weekends on a rota.

Working environment

You could work at a dental practice, at a health centre or in an NHS or private hospital.

You may need to wear protective clothing and a uniform.


Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice dental nurse include:

  • Level 3 Dental NurseEntry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 18 months to complete.


On a dental nurse apprenticeship, you’ll learn:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • move into a team leader, manager or dental practice manager position
  • serve in the armed forces as a dental nurse
  • become a dental hygienist or dental therapist with further training
  • become an orthodontic therapist to help dentists improve the look and position of patient’s teeth.
Updated on December 22, 2022

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