Dental Talent – 5 Career Paths That Dental Nurses Can Take – What to Know

The world of dentistry has so much to offer in terms of career opportunities, where you can work as a general dentist or dental specialist. However, before you can kick off your dental career, you can first start as a dental nurse and soon work your way up. As a dental nurse, you will support your dentist in all aspects of your patient’s dental care. Your duties and responsibilities include preparing dental materials, sterilising tools, processing x-rays, cleaning the dental surgery, advising on oral hygiene, and giving your patient support and reassurance.

In this article, we will share five career paths that you may take from a dental nurse to a higher dental position:

1. Treatment Coordinator

A treatment coordinator is exactly what it sounds like—coordinating with your patient and dentist as far as the dental treatment is concerned. Your primary role is to provide your patient with dental treatment plans, discuss their options, and help them decide on the best treatment. This new and fairly exciting career is ideal for those dental nurses with excellent communication skills and a genuine interest in oral health promotion.

2. Oral Health Educator

An oral health educator is focused on dental education and fostering overall oral health. As a dental nurse, you will use your knowledge to inform individuals about the best oral hygiene practices, dental treatments available in the market, and other oral health concerns. You can conduct orientation in various settings, whether in a dental practice, community, or medical setting. However, to be qualified, you need to have Oral Health Education (OHE), which takes about 6 to 12 months.

3. NVQ Assessor

A National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) assessor supports and evaluates individuals working towards the NVQ. In other words, you will help trainees earn their diploma in dental nursing. All you will have to do is observe their dental works and assess them based on standards set forth by the qualifying body. As a dental nurse having gained dental experiences and levelled your field expertise, you can take this route and become an assessor yourself.

4. Senior Dental Nurse

There’s no denying that dental practices are constantly evolving and expanding. Those dental nurses who have been in the field have so many growth opportunities. As a senior dental nurse, you can assume higher roles and take critical responsibilities. These include assigning nurses to certain surgeries and tasks, managing a nursing team for professional development, and becoming a cross-infection lead or supervisor, among many others.

5. Dental Practice Manager

A dental manager plays a vital role in a big dental practice with different departments and dental services offered. The dental position goes beyond the usual dental responsibilities and assumes a management role. This means that you have people to handle, whether in the administration department, dental training, general dentistry, or oral surgery division. As a dental nurse, you can aspire to reach this position someday.


At this point, you now know what your dental career options are as a dental nurse—such as becoming an NVQ assessor or a practice dental manager. To that end, be sure to consider all the valuable information discussed above to see what dental route to take. Also, be sure to get the required training and certification and gain enough experience so that you can climb up the ladder. Ultimately, you can have the flourishing and thriving dental career you deserve!

Are you looking to start working as a dental nurse and soon climb up the ladder? Let us help you kick off your dental career! As a dental job board in the UK we provide a job search platform for dental practitioners. If you’re looking for a dentistry job, use our online resource or get in touch with us today to see how we can help!