Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practice of Dental Nursing CACHE

About this qualification

This qualification focuses on direct chair-side work and support during a range of dental treatments. It encompasses the underpinning ethics, professionalism, teamwork and communication required to work as a Dental Nurse.

The qualification covers the current General Dental Council (GDC) learning outcomes and Skills for Health National Occupational Standards and on completion it will enable learners to register with the GDC

The GDC has confirmed approval of this qualification and details can be found on their website www.gdc-uk.org.

Entry requirements Learners must be at least 16 years old.

Experience in the workplace

Learners will need to be working or on practical placement to be able to show competence in knowledge, understanding and skills.

It is recommended that learners spend a minimum of 16 hours per week in a Real Work Environment.

If learners are already working as a Dental Nurse this qualification could be undertaken to consolidate and extend their knowledge, understanding and skills. It will also confer their competence in their role as a Dental Nurse.


Assessment Units DN 1 – DN 11 and unit UFAE are internally assessed, and units DN 12 – DN 16 are both internally and externally assessed.

On completion of the programme learners may progress to qualifications in the following areas:

  • Dental sedation
  • Dental radiography
  • Dental technology
  • Oral health education
  • Special care dental nursing
  • Orthodontic nursing
  • Dental practice management.

Learners may also progress into employment as a Dental Nurse or to other career pathways (with additional entry qualifications), including:

  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental therapist
  • Orthodontic therapist
  • Laboratory technician
  • Dentist
  • Senior nurse
  • Practice manager
  • Lecturer
  • Teacher and assessor of student dental nurses.

Interested to become a Dental nurse?