Certificate in Special Care Dental Nursing


The Certificate in Special Care Dental Nursing is available as an on-line programme and can be started anytime. This course is suitable for dental nurses who work extensively with special care patients and can be started at any time. To qualify for this programme in the first instance, you need to hold up-to-date CPR and Moving and Handling Certificates. The examination for this course is provided by the NEBDN twice yearly in March and September. Students must be able to access the variety of patient types needed to meet the criteria of the Record of Competence. The syllabus is available on request. We do not accept applications from registered dental nurses who do not hold a recognised qualification in dental nursing.



The Certificate in Special Care Dental Nursing is available as an online programme. To apply for this course in the first instance, please complete the online application form. There are many pre-requisites to this course so we advise you ensure you can meet the requirements prior to application.

Dental nurses must meet the following criteria in order to access this programme:

  • Hold a recognised dental nurse qualification (Delta Dental does not accept applications from dental nurses who are registered but not qualified)
  • Hold current GDC registration
  • Hold a current CPR certificate
  • Hold or have access to a Moving and Handling certificate which must be valid at the time of the course
  • Be able to access a wide range of special care patients with different oral health needs, therefore you will need full practice support.
  • Provide the name and details of a suitably qualified mentor — dentist or appropriately experienced hygienist/therapist.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the students will:

  • Be able to identify special care patient groups and their particular needs in respect of accessing dental care
  • Be able to describe the various types of disability, their impact on care and the ability to maintain oral health.
  • Be able to list the sources of support for these groups of patients
  • Describe the social context of disability
  • Understand the ethical and legal issues associated with providing care for these patients

Once accepted the course fee will be required to access the programme. The course fee is £786.00 including exam fee and VAT at 20%. It is also recommended that you purchase the textbook: Advanced Dental Nursing, 2nd Edition by Robert Ireland.

In addition to the online theory work, you will be expected to put together a Record of Competence detailing the provision of dental treatments to a variety of special care patients with different challenges. The deadline for completion of this is three months prior to your chosen exam date.

Once you are registered you will be allowed access to the course material. The course is set out in modules and each should be completed in preparation for the examination. At the end of each module is an assessment which must be completed to a satisfactory standard to allow progression to the next module. At the end of the final module, there will be a mock examination. Within each module there are revision activities. These are not formally assessed however you can email in these assessments for marking if you prefer.

The duration of the course will be decided by you as it will depend how often you see special care patients in the practice. The initial programme will be set over 9 months however can be extended if necessary. During the programme, you will be contacted on a monthly basis for an update on your progress, or at shorter time intervals if necessary.

To assist in your studies you will be asked to provide the contact details of a suitable mentor within the dental practice. This person can be a hygienist / therapist, or dental surgeon. This person will be expected to work with you to provide practical support throughout the programme.

The examination for this course is provided by the NEBDN. The examination is held twice a year in March and September.

An up to date syllabus for this course can be found on the NEBDN website

If you have any further questions please email us at info@deltadental.uk or 07501 661405