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Dental Nursing

Diploma in Dental Nursing Full-Time Programme

On successful completion of the Diploma in Dental Nursing undergraduate programme, dental nursing graduates will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and competence to work within a dental team, contributing to a patient centred approach to the delivery of dental care.

Trinity College Dublin confers the Diploma in Dental Nursing which entitles the graduate to register as a Dental Nurse on the Voluntary Register of the Dental Council of Ireland (

This course is divided into practical and academic (modular) components. Both the formal academic teaching and your practical clinical experience are gained at the Dublin Dental University Hospital (DDUH) on Trinity College’s campus. During the Diploma in Dental Nursing Full-Time Programme, students will spend time on external placements in a variety of dental settings throughout the Dublin area. The programme consists of lectures, tutorials, demonstrations and practical sessions. Students will be assessed on a continuous basis regarding suitability and application of theory to practice. By the end of the course, they will have developed appropriate skills in patient and team management.

A day in the life of a Full-Time Dental Nursing student

Dental Nursing students will attend the Dental Hospital Monday to Friday. Lectures are 8.30am to 5pm, but there will be opportunities to enjoy college life at various times during the week. The first year will be a combination of lectures and clinical practice, which will provide students with a variety of learning opportunities.

In the second year of the programme students will have the opportunity to work with various clinicians in a wide variety of disciplines. Clinical experiences will be gained within the Dental Hospital environment, external institutions and private practices. The majority of time is spent with the student acquiring skills needed to work and communicate within a dental team.

Frequently asked questions

What does a Dental Nurse do?

The dental nurse plays an important role in the organisation and management of the dental clinic, assists the dental practitioner in all aspects of patient treatment and plays a vital role in patient care. The modern dental nurse trains in all aspects of clinical practice and health education. This programme empowers students with the knowledge, skills & attitudes required to work in a dental setting. Students learn about the day-to-day running of a dental clinic and acquire the necessary qualification for entry to the Dental Council Voluntary Register of Dental Nurses. Dental nurses are valuable members of the dental team. This is an auxiliary profession, supporting the dental practitioner in the delivery of dental treatment. The Main duties of a dental nurse include but are not limited to Infection Prevention & Control, chair-side assistance, preparation and maintenance of the dental surgery, and patient care.

Skills required of students considering dental nursing should include the following: communication and organisation skills, the ability to use initiative, and be prepared to work closely providing support and assistance during the provision of dental treatment. The dental nurse may also be involved with the administration of the dental surgery.

What are the career prospects?

As a graduate of dental nursing, students will be able to find work in a variety of working environments including dental hospitals, health-service executive dental clinics, as well as in general and specialist dental practices. Depending on the work setting, advancement in the field may include: senior dental nurse, clinic nurse manager, practice manager, marketing representatives for relevant companies, dental nurse tutor, course coordinator, lecturer in dental nursing and the area of oral health promotion. Dental nursing provides graduates the opportunity to practice worldwide, although some countries require the completion of examinations for registration. Successful completion of this programme will permit entry onto the Dental Council Voluntary Register of Dental Nurses, Ireland.

How to apply:

Check out the College Prospectus for entry requirements

School leavers should apply through the C.A.O.

Mature students (over 23 years) must apply directly through the C.A.O.

Items of note:

All registered Dental Nursing students are required to pay approximately 110 Euros for three Hepatitis B vaccinations in year 1. Students will also be required to undergo Garda Vetting, receive a number of vaccinations as well as partake in health screening.

Students will be provided with scrub tops for clinical placements. Students are required to purchase their own clinical shoes and trousers.

Other programme costs include transport to and from College, including external placements - students will pay for their own transport.

Unfortunately, we do not have any current links to the following programmes:

  • B.Sc. Dental Science
  • Diploma in Dental Hygiene
  • Pre-Nursing programmes
  • Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) programmes
  • Level 8,9, 10 programmes

As a result, there are no direct links between the Diploma in Dental Nursing Full-Time Programme and other programmes at this time (including but not limited to the aforementioned programmes). Students would be required to reapply to the CAO as standard and enter Year 1 of these programmes, should they be accepted. Students in this case would be required to complete the full programme as standard.

Thus, the same fees would apply whether a person has completed a programme previously or not.