If you are already a SDN learner, you have access to a range of useful information and resources to support your course of study. However, we understandably receive a number of Frequently Asked Questions and we have compiled a list of the answers to these below. If you can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us.
Dental Nurses provide ‘chair-side support’ for the dental team, which includes dentists, dental therapists, hygienists and technicians in their care for patients. They have a vital role in all dental practices.
We have many years’ of successful experience teaching both face-to-face and online. We have an outstanding Virtual Learning Environment to support our online learners away from the classroom environment. Our teaching staff are registered and current dental professionals who have a detailed knowledge of the NEBDN syllabus as well as current good practice within the dental industry.
All dental nurses must be methodical in approach, confident in dealing with patients and capable of working as part of a team as well using their own initiative when required. They need to have the sympathetic outlook that is required by a front-line caring profession.
You will not need to attend any classes as all the theoretical work is delivered online. You will need to log in to the Virtual Learning Environment and work through each module during your home study. It is advised that you do this for about 3/4 hours a week, along with reading the recommended learning resources.
Dental Nurses need to obtain the National Diploma in Dental Nursing which is the official qualification for entry into the profession. Once this is gained it enables a dental nurse to register with the General Dental Council (GDC) which confirms their qualified status.
The course consists of theoretical training either provided online through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), or in traditional face-to-face classes which are normally held fortnightly at our Acton centre.
We offer an online course so that you can enrol at any time that suits your individual circumstances. We also offer a face-to-face (on Campus) course in west London with several start points throughout the year.
This is dependent on when you wish to sit the exam. The shortest period within which you can complete the course is 9 months leading up to a scheduled exam date. Your Record of Experience (RoE) must be compiled over a minimum of 6 months and needs to be completed at least one month before the exam. Please ensure this time frame is achievable when you select your exam date in order to avoid additional costs.
Yes, the School of Dental Nursing provides a choice of traditional face-to-face classroom teaching where students attend one day per fortnight or flexible online delivery. In both cases students are fully supported by highly qualified professional tutors and comprehensive learning resources.
Normally twelve months part- time study. The Diploma combines the teaching of theory with practical experience gained by working in a dental practice as a Trainee Dental Nurse.
If you are not already working in a dental practice you can begin as soon as you find a vacancy for a trainee. The earlier you do this the better after you have enrolled on the Diploma in Dental Nursing course. However it is a good idea to wait until you have attended one or two sessions of the course in order to gain familiarity with the theory and terminology of dental nursing topics so that you are well-prepared to join a practice.
After completing the course, you can progress onto post-registration qualifications in radiography, oral health education, sedation nursing, implant nursing, orthodontic nursing and fluoride application. You can also use the course as entry to a number of higher education courses, including foundation and bachelor’s degrees.
On successful completion of the Diploma in Dental Nursing you will be able to register with the British Association of Dental Nurses as well as the General Dental Council, allowing you to work in this sector. Qualified Dental Nurses can look forward to secure well-paid careers with the opportunity to gain additional specialist qualifications and advance to senior positions such as Senior Dental Nurse, Oral Health Educator, Hygienist, Therapist, Practice Management and even a Dental Nurse Tutor.
Additionally, they enjoy the esteem and high regard awarded to healthcare professionals and the satisfaction of making a positive impact on the well-being and quality of life of dental patients.
You will be required to complete Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and/or Basic Life Support (BLS) training. Dental practices will usually carry out this training and we also offer this certification. We give discounts to all our registered students who undertake this additional training with us.
Yes, once you enrol on the course you will be provided with your tutor’s email address and can contact them directly with enquiries and questions out of class hours. Online students can readily access their designated tutor.
After successfully enrolling on the course, you are expected to maintain a minimum of 80 per cent attendance record. You will also need to commence employment in a practice to begin your work experience within 3 months of starting the course and complete your RoE within the specified time period.
Once you have successfully completed your RoE with the help of your supervising dentist and your tutor, you prepare to sit for the written exam at the next available examination session in either April or November.
Having successfully passed the written examination you proceed to sit for the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) which is the practical exam held two/three months later.
After successfully passing the three stages of the qualification -RoE portfolio, written exam and OSCE- you will become a qualified Dental Nurse. You then apply for your official General Dental Council (GDC) registration.
The Diploma in Dental Nursing course is a part time training course and requires learners to work in the UK as Trainee Dental nurses. Therefore, international students are not eligible to join this course.
The National Diploma in Dental Nursing is a qualification awarded by the National Examination Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN). The NEBDN has official recognition by the General Dental Council (GDC) which is the UK Dental Industry regulator.
Because of technological advancement and the restrictions imposed because of Covid-19 we have all become increasingly accustomed to online engagement. Although traditional face-to-face (on campus) learning only requires physical attendance in the classroom fortnightly the flexible online mode of study can save travel costs and time and allows learning to be combined with work and family responsibilities and is efficient and effective. Online study allows you to enrol on the course wherever you live in the UK. Whether you study online or face-to-face you will complete the Record of Experience (RoE) electronically and will receive exactly the same qualification title and complete the same syllabus. Please note that the final examinations are conducted online for both modes of study.
If you’re a busy person, wish to save on travel costs & time or live far away from our study centre in west London joining our online course will be the best option. If you can easily attend our west London study centre, lack online confidence or feel that you will benefit meeting your tutor and friends in a classroom environment then you will be best suited to the face-to-face learning mode
Yes, you can cancel your course or pause and defer for a short period at any time. If you decide to cancel before starting your course, you’ll only be charged the non-refundable registration fee and you will get a full refund for the course fee paid without question. However once you start the course, any fees already paid cannot be refunded.
There are three components which contribute to your overall assessment:
1-NEBDN Record of Experience (RoE) to document your clinical competence. This is completed as part of your work experience.
2-NEBDN Written Examination. This contains a mixture of Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) and Extended Matching Questions (EMQs) which test your understanding of the theory behind dental practice.
3-NEBDN Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). This consists of tests of clinical competence which are widely used as a method of student assessment in the medical, nursing and allied healthcare professions.
Currently both written examination and practical (OSCEs) are conducted online. You will need to be familiar with a basic level of computer technicality and learn/follow the examination guidelines.
This will depend upon when you start the course and how early you begin the work experience and complete your Record of Experience (RoE). There are two examination points per year – April and November.
The examinations take place in April or November. You are usually eligible to sit for your first examination within 12 months of starting your course. The School will allocate and advise you of the precise examination date well in advance taking your progress on the course into account.
You will be given a choice to re-sit at the following examination session. There are two examination sessions each year, April and November.
Yes, but there will be a delay. If a student has not finished the RoE on time, they can re-join for support to work towards the next RoE deadline and will then sit the exam at the following examination session either in April or November.
There are two parts of the exam that are required for you to obtain your National Diploma in Dental Nursing after completing your RoE portfolio. The first part consists of a written exam which you will need to pass to proceed to the next phase. The second part is the practical Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) exam. We provide extra mock OSCE sessions for our students to help them to be fully prepared to enter the examination with confidence.
Certificates will be sent by the NEBDN to the School of Dental Nursing to distribute to successful learners usually one month after the result published. However, the NEBDN has agreed with the General Dental Council that you will not need the physical certificate to apply to join the register. The GDC are aware of all Learners who are eligible to apply for registration.
When applying, please ensure you are using the enhanced checklist in the application to make sure that all the requirements have been met.
The GDC will be provided with the names of successful learners so you are now able to contact the GDC directly in order to join the dental register.
When applying, please ensure you are using the enhanced checklist in the application to make sure that all the requirements have been met.
To do this, please follow the simple procedure outlined below:
How to join the GDC Register
Before you begin an application please read:
Practical experience gained in a work-based environment (typically the Dental Practice) is also an essential part of the qualification and constitutes a large component of your RoE. All students must demonstrate that they have an approved work placement; the School will where necessary provide assistance in making appropriate employment arrangements.
The National Examination Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN) course handbook defines the Record of Experience (RoE), as ‘a portfolio designed to provide a written and authenticated record of every student’s competence, so that when fully completed each student has evidence that they have nursed and assisted in the required range of dental procedures, and to a satisfactory standard, to deem them “safe and competent” to work unsupervised’. Your tutor will give guidance on compiling the portfolio which comprises the RoE which must be submitted by the deadline given to you. This is necessary for you to sit the examinations which along with the RoE are essential parts of the dental nursing qualification. In order for an individual RoE to be approved students must complete all set tasks and reply promptly to communications from School tutors and administrators. Additionally, they must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.
We have network of Dental practices who come to us looking for Trainee Dental Nurses. Depending on your location we direct you to the available vacancies or we may send your CV to a prospective employer on your behalf. We also research dental practices in your local area who are looking for trainees and forward their details to you. Additionally we provide you with help with your CV and cover letters to enable you to secure work experience in order for you to complete the course and Record of Experience (RoE).
No, as a training provider we do not guarantee any dental practice employment. However, the School of Dental Nursing has a student support team that assists with CVs and developing your profile to meet the specifications of dental nursing positions. We also provide our students with mock interview workshops and one-to-one training sessions.
Vacancies for dental nurse trainees frequently arise from our partner practices and clinics. We keep a record of employment places and inform our students of available opportunities as they become available.
Normally within 3 months of starting the course. This will allow you to begin working on your electronic Record of Experience (eRoE) which is witness based evidence gained in practice, this is an essential part of the Diploma qualification.
It depends on the individual; on average our students find suitable dental employment within 2-3 months of starting the course.
A complete Record of Experience is necessary in order to qualify you to sit the examination. The suggested minimum work commitment is 14 hrs per week (so a full or part-time position could be suitable), to allow you to do this.
Payment plan: The total cost is £1490 (excluding the non-refundable NEBDN registration and examination fee below). This can be paid in full or by instalments as follows:
1- £150 registration fee (non-refundable)
2- Initial course fee: £390 and 5 monthly instalments of £220
3- NEBDN Examination fee: £485 payable when you begin your Record of Experience.
Remember, you will be paid during your working role in practice whilst gaining experience and your wage could offset these fees. Additionally, many practices sponsor their trainees financially.
This fee covers the costs of your both the Written and Practical (OSCE) examinations. It is required by the NEBDN.
You will need to buy a recommended reading text book, the details of which and URL is provided in your course resources section of eTrain which is our Virtual Learning Environment.
If you need to defer your examination for personal reasons or for failing to complete the RoE in time you will be charged an additional fee.
We understand there are many other providers offering similar courses. The School of Dental Nursing is committed to provide high quality training combined with value for money and therefore we keep our costs as low as possible so that learning and your dream to become a qualified Dental Nurse is accessible and can become a reality. We offer interest free payment plans to support you financially.
Our academic and student support team is 100 per cent committed to your success ensuring you pass the examinations at your first attempt. We have an outstanding record of student achievement.
When you register with us you will be assigned a tutor to help you every step of the way and we encourage you to contact us with any difficulties or just for a chat. We are committed to providing excellent student support at all times.
Although the NEBDN National Diploma is not funded the course fee is very competitive and excellent value for money. The fees can be paid on instalment basis and interest free flexible payment options are available. You will also be engaged in paid work experience as a Trainee Dental Nurse which will offset the fees. Additionally, many dental practices support their trainees with course funding. On completion of the National Diploma, you will have a highly regarded qualification which will allow you to enter the dental profession without a large amount of student debt.
While doing this course you will have to work as Trainee Dental Nurse and spend considerable time in a dental practice as well as studying the theory part of the course. Therefore, we do not recommend that you enrol on this course if you are already studying full time.
Yes, dental nurses are in demand as- you only have to look at various job sites to see that there are many opportunities throughout the country.
Yes, dental nursing can provide an ideal opportunity for those in their thirties, forties or older looking for a change of career so long as they have the aptitude and personal qualities required of all dental nursing trainees.
You have to be employed in a dental practice as a trainee in order to gain the necessary practical experience. You have up to 3 months to start employment from the point of beginning the course and we will provide assistance in finding a suitable dental practice.
Up to six months or up until you complete your Record of Experience (RoE).
Yes, we will support you to find the job in your local area.
There are three different components of the course that you will need to complete in order to sit your exams. These comprise:
- The teaching provided by the school
- Work Experience in Dental Practice
- Record of Experience (RoE) (to document your clinical competence).
Yes, if you are already working in a Dental Practice as a Trainee Dental Nurse and choose to study the course online. You would need to commit fully your spare r time and effort to your Record of Experience and the course syllabus. If you can do this then it is possible to finish the course in as little as nine months.
Trainee dental nurses or dental technicians don't need to have indemnity insurance as they are not yet registered with the GDC. However, the employer/supervising registrant must have indemnity as they are responsible for your work. Once you are qualified, you will need to pay for indemnity insurance unless your practice pays for it as part of your contract, or covered under your employers policy. Employers will be able to help you with this and further information is on page 10.
Once you are on a course of training you can expect it to last between 12 and 24 months. As part of your training you will be required to complete a portfolio of evidence, the RoE, to show performance of a range of clinical tasks. You will need the support of your employer to be able to complete this effectively.
No, learners are not permitted to have any other apps or websites open on their device whilst they are completing their examination.
Once you make the examination fee payment we will then send your details to NEBDN to enter for the appropriate examination point/intake/session. The examination board (NEBDN) usually take up to 28 days to send you the pebblepad login details to you directly. You are advised to check your junk/spam folder
If your first language is English or you can read, write and understand English language to a good standard you do not need any formal qualification or certificate.
144 hours (Not including time in practice or independent study).
• Part 1 – An online written exam combining 60 Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) and 40 Extended Matching Questions (EMQs)
• Part 2 – Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
Examinations are typically held twice a year; April and November for the written, and January and June for the OSCEs.