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How to Study a Dental Nurse Course Online

27th August 21

Traditionally, if you wanted to become a dental nurse you would have to undergo in-person study, but now you have the possibility to gain an accredited dental nurse qualification online. A dental nurse is a crucial figure within the setup of a dental surgery as they are responsible for assisting and supporting both dentists and patients.  

By studying an online dental nurse course, you will equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the role. A nationally recognised qualification will put you in a strong position in the job market, and below we have explained how you can achieve this through online study. You will also learn about the day-to-day priorities of a dental nurse and what is involved in a dental nurse course with placement opportunities. 

The Roles and Responsibilities of a Dental Nurse

Primarily, a dental nurse is responsible for providing professional support to dentists during procedures and easing any anxiety experienced by patients. This means that you will need to possess a blend of practical application and a personable approach. If this sounds like something you could master, then consider signing up for an online dental nurse course

The daily tasks will be varied depending on the needs of the dental surgery you are working for. In general, though, you can expect to carry out the following as a dental nurse: 

  • Prepare fillings
  • Assist the dentist during procedures
  • Sterilise dental instruments
  • Keep daily patient records
  • Ensure the workspace is clean 


As part of your dental nursing role, you will also be expected to provide dental advice to patients as well as ease any nerves. Some people feel anxious about getting in the dentist’s chair, so it is important that you are able to be a friendly and comforting presence for both adults and children.  

Dental Nurse Courses Online - Dental photography - Dental nursing - Dental nurse - Dental nursing assistant - NEBDN

A Recommended Online Dental Nurse Course 

To become a dental nurse, you will need an accredited qualification that is approved by the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN). By studying through learndirect, you can enrol on the NEBDN National Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing course, which will provide you with the skills, knowledge, and techniques required. 

Throughout the dental nurse course, UK learners will cover an array of topics that are set out in the General Dental Council (GDC) Preparing to Practice publication. These topics will range from how to treat oral diseases to restorative dentistry. You will also learn how to assist during restorative and orthodontic procedures for children. Some of the subjects you will cover in your dental nursing studies include: 

  • Professionalism and the Role of the Dental Nurse – To act competently in your dental nursing role, you need to be up to date with current legislation, and aware of the professional and ethical responsibilities associated with your job
  • Child Dental Health – This section of your online dental nurse course will teach you how to develop patient management skills for appointments with children. You will also learn how to prepare the workspace for restorative and orthodontic procedures
  • Oral Disease – While most patients only require standard check-ups, you could encounter patients dealing with severe oral disease as a dental nurse. During this unit of your online dental nurse course, you will learn about various oral diseases, including oral cancer, and how they affect the oral cavity
  • Dealing with Medical Emergencies – In some cases, you may be required to assist in a medical dental emergency. By covering this during your dental nurse course, UK learners will know how to work effectively when a patient requires emergency treatment

Is this a Dental Nurse Course with Placement? 

To successfully complete the NEBDN National Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing you will have to undergo a placement period, where you will have to complete a Record of Experience (RoE). This will involve recording a portfolio of evidence of the clinical tasks carried out during your in-practice experience. 

When undertaking this dental nurse course with placement, you can either carry out the practical training at a dental surgery that you currently work at, if you do, or you can arrange a placement. To achieve the accredited qualification, you will need to pass a written exam, a practical exam, and provide a sufficient portfolio. 

It is important to note that if you go on to become a full-time dental nurse, you will be required to undergo 50 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). These rules are set out in the Enhanced CPD Scheme 2018 under the General Dental Council (GDC). The purpose of this is to ensure that dental nurses stay up to date with current healthcare practices and maintain a high level of competency. 

As part of your mandatory CPD hours, you can undertake a course that will enhance your skillset. For example, the NEBDN Level 4 Certificate in Dental Radiography will give you an accredited qualification that will allow you to perform dental x-rays, both intra-oral and extra-oral. You may also want to consider post-registration courses in Oral Health Education, Implant Nursing, Orthodontic Nursing and many more. 

Online Dental Course - Dental photography - Dental nursing - Dental nurse - Dental nursing assistant - NEBDN

How Much Does a Dental Nurse Course Cost? 

There is no set cost, but if you study through learndirect, you will be offered flexible payment options when undertaking our online dental nurse course. 

The Benefits of Online Study 

learndirect is one of the UK’s leading online learning providers, helping more than 4 million students achieve qualifications in their chosen courses. If you opt to undergo a dental nurse course with placement, part of your study will be undergoing work experience in a dental surgery. However, most of your learning will be online. 

You will be given all of the dental nurse course materials you need, and you have the freedom to study at your own pace. Online dental nurse courses are ideal for people who cannot commit to daily in-person study. For example, if you have children or work full-time, you can study dental nursing easily around your daily schedule. 

For the duration of your dental nurse course, UK learners will be able to contact their tutor and have access to Student Support Officers for advice. You will have everything you need to gain crucial skills and techniques for a potential career in dental nursing. By learning at your own pace, you will not have full control over your career journey. 

Begin Your Learning Journey Today! 

To kickstart a career in dental nursing, enrol on your chosen course today. As soon as you sign up, you will be instantly sent the course materials you need, which means that you can get started straight away! 

To speak to one of our Course Advisers, call 01202 006 464 or visit our support centre. Alternatively, click below to learn more about how you can become a dental nurse. 

Online Dental Course - Dental photography - Dental nursing - Dental nurse - Dental nursing assistant - NEBDN

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