Registered Dental Nurse
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United Kingdom and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (May 2012)
In the United Kingdom, a Registered Dental Nurse sometimes shortened to RDN, works as part of a dental team in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings.
From 30 July 2008, all qualified Dental Nurses in the UK have to be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC).  "Grandparenting" arrangements were in place 2006–2008 to allow unqualified dental assistants to register on the basis of experience. They now hold the title Registered Dental Nurse on the Dental Care Professionals register of the General Dental Council.
Qualifications & Entry
Entry for Dental Nursing can be competitive; especially for the new BSc Dental Nursing degree. The most up-to-date recognised qualifications that lead to registering with the GDC are specified by the General Dental Council.
A small proportion of student Dental Nurses start their career in a hospital. They will attend lectures, usually at a school of dental nursing several times a week. Their practical experience is gained from placements on specialists clinics within the hospital, before qualifying.
Professional associations in the UK
The British Association of Dental Nurses is the professional organisation representing dental nurses in the UK – whether qualified or unqualified, working in General Practice, hospital, community, the armed forces, industry, practice management or reception. This Association supports dental nurses themselves and represents the interests of Dental Nurses at all levels. BADN Executive Committee is made up of dental nurses elected by the members.
The National Dental Nursing Conference, held each year, provides an opportunity for members of the dental team to meet with colleagues, socialise and further their professional education. The Conference is held in a different location each year. Current BADN members receive a discount on Conference registration fees.
BADN members in all categories have access to the digital quarterly journal “The British Dental Nurses’ Journal”. In addition, members have access to the legal helpline, as well as information and support, a members only area of the BADN website, and a range of discounts and special offers.
Full membership is available with or without indemnity cover. Student Associate e-membership is also available to Student Dental Nurses on or awaiting a place on a recognised course.
The Society for British Dental Nurses (SBDN) is another professional organisation representing Dental Nurses in the UK. Their sole purpose is to act on Dental Nurses’ best interests, and with their training and development.