Dental nurses work in a clinical environment that could be located in a NHS general dental practice, hospital, private dental practice, specialist dental practice, community dental service or military dental clinic. The clinical environment is called a dental surgery and consists of a dental chair, x-ray unit and various equipment and instruments required for dentistry. Apprentice will predominately work with a dentist, dental hygienist, dental therapist, clinical dental technician or orthodontic therapist within a surgery environment with patients attending throughout the day.
The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide chair side support to all dental professionals and ensure high standards of cleanliness and infection control. Dental nurses prepare instruments, materials and medicaments for dental procedures, mix materials, sterilise instruments, keep records, note dictation, carry out stock control and ensure patient comfort and safety throughout their visit.