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Dental therapist

Alternative titles for this job include

Dental therapists carry out routine treatments prescribed by a dentist.

Average salary (a year)

£28,000 Starter


£43,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Dental therapist

You can get into this job through a university course or an apprenticeship.


You'll need a degree or diploma in dental therapy approved by the General Dental Council.

If you're a qualified dental hygienist or dental nurse, you might be able to do a part time course with a dental school to become a dental therapist.

You might be able to get additional student finance support through the NHS Learning Support Fund.

Work experience

You'll need to get work experience in healthcare shadowing a dental therapist or a dental hygienist.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology for a degree

More Information


You could start by doing the Dental Nurse Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship. 

With experience, you could then do a degree or diploma whilst working to become a dental therapist.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

More Information


Further information

You can find out more about becoming a dental therapist from the British Association of Dental Therapists and Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a dental therapist, you could:

  • remove plaque and other coatings on teeth
  • polish teeth, and whiten them based on a dentist's prescription
  • apply sealants and fluorides to help prevent tooth decay
  • provide care for implants
  • take X-rays, and extract baby or primary teeth
  • advise patients on how to care for their teeth and gums

Working environment

You could work at a dental practice, in an NHS or private hospital or at a school.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

  • progress to dental practice manager
  • become self employed and set up your own practice
  • move into research or teaching
  • do further training or go into orthodontic therapy

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Dental Nurse Apprentice

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually
  • Location: HUDDERSFIELD

Dental Nurse Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually
  • Location: BRISTOL

Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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