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Dental Nurse Apprenticeship

The Advanced Apprenticeship in Health (Dental Nursing) is an 18 month full time course accredited by City and Guilds of London. Our dental nursing programme is based at the Leeds Dental Institute and is funded by Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber. Recruitment is undertaken every nine months with 25 places available.

What is a Dental Nurse?

The dental nurse works within the dental team to provide oral health care for a patient. As a dental nurse, you will come into close contact with patients of all ages who may be anxious and in need of support and reassurance. Good communication skills and a friendly and compassionate manner are essential.

You are expected to assist the dentist in all aspects of patient care. This will include

  • sterilising and preparing instruments
  • preparing and mixing materials
  • looking after the comfort of the patient
  • assisting the dentist with various procedures such as fillings, minor oral surgery and extractions.

Dental Nursing is a statutory registered profession. The regulatory body for the dental profession is the General Dental Council. Upon completion of your studies you will have to apply to the General Dental Council to be entered on the register. You will be assisted in this by the staff within the School.

The course is based in Leeds, but will include placements in Beeston, Bradford and Hull.

Apprentices work in clinical areas for 4.5 days per week and for one half day in the classroom within the School of Dental Nursing.

What will I study?

The course aims to provide a structured curriculum of study covering the knowledge and competence set down in the Dental Nursing Occupational Standards and those required to achieve the Apprenticeship Framework.

The Framework includes the following components:

Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing

Level 2 Functional/Key Skills in Maths and English

Level 3 Award in Employment and Personal Learning Skills in Health

During the training period, apprentices gain clinical experience in all clinical departments of the Dental Institute.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the entry requirements for the programme?

    Applicants must be over 16 years of age with a minimum of two GSCE's in English Language and Maths at level C or above. Functional Skills in English and Maths are also accepted.

  • Where would I be working?

    Your main base will be the School of Dental Nursing located on level 6 of Leeds Dental Institute, close to the city centre of Leeds.

    Dental Nurse Apprentices work on a rotational basis within the clinical departments of Leeds Dental Institute and at our outreach clinics in Beeston, Bradford and Hull. Travelling expenses are paid by for the journeys to Beeston and Bradford and apprentices travel to and from Hull by minibus.

    Apprentices work in clinical areas for 4.5 days per week and for one half day in the classroom within the School of Dental Nursing

  • Who will I be working with?

    You will be working, in the main, with Undergraduate Dental Students but will come into contact with the whole Dental Team including Dentists, Dental Hygiene/Therapists, Dental Technicians and Dental Nurses.

    You will be allocated to one of our Trainer/Assessors who will teach, assess and support you throughout your Apprenticeship.

  • Where will the programme be held?

    All classroom/study work is delivered in the School of Dental Nursing within Leeds Dental Institute. We have dedicated classroom facilities and access to the Leeds University Medical and Dental Library as well as access to IT facilities. Functional Skills are delivered within the School in partnership with Bradford City Training.

    Clinical teaching and assessment are undertaken during clinical rotations.

    You will have to undertake two rotations of one month duration to Hull outreach during your training. During these rotations you will have to arrive at the Dental Institute at 7.45am to ensure you catch the minibus transport to Hull.

  • What does the course cover?

    Each week time is spent in the classroom with trainers to gain underpinning knowledge and work on portfolio building.

    Clinical topics covered within the course include:

    • Health & Safety
    • First Aid
    • Principles of infection control/decontamination
    • Delivering oral health information
    • Assessment of oral health and treatment planning
    • Dental radiography
    • Scientific principles in the management of oral health diseases
    • Clinical materials and procedures

    You will be expected to achieve clinical competency in all elements of Dental Nursing and you will collect evidence of your clinical abilities throughout your training through witness statements and by direct observations recorded by your clinical trainer.

    You will be expected to complete work packs at home to evidence your underpinning knowledge of the academic content of the course.

  • What opportunities are there once I have completed the programme?

    Towards the end of the programme you will be given the opportunity to undertake work placement in General Dental Practices in your local area. This will give you a chance to gain contact with employers in your local area which will help you to gain employment once you have completed the programme. You will also be eligible to apply for any vacancies for Dental Nurse within the Dental Institute.

    Dental nurses can work within dental hospitals, in community clinics, in the Armed Forces, in the NHS and in private general dental practices. Once qualified, you may choose to undertake post qualification courses which cover different specialties within dental nursing such as Oral Health Education, Sedation, Orthodontics and Special Care.

  • How do I apply?

    We regularly recruit groups of 25 apprentice dental nurses.

    We update this page and our vacancies page when we are looking to recruit.