The reason you should learn to take dental radiographs

Have you ever wondered if dental nurses can take radiographs?

Radiographs, commonly called X-rays, are taken during many dental treatments by a GDC qualified dentist.

Since the beginning of your dental nursing career, you will have probably assisted your dentist to take 100s of radiographs of their patient. You will have handed over the correct bitewing or PA holder, moved the x-ray arm within reach of the dentist. Once the radiograph has been taken you will have processed it through your x-ray machine, or if digital enabled the PC to be viewed by the dentist or moved the patient monitor so the patient can also be shown and informed.

dental radiology postgraduate training

Yet the middle part of the process you will have left completely to the dentist. However, what if you, as a dental nurse, could take radiographs under the prescription of a dentist?

Well yes you could! GDC Registered dental nurses can take radiographs under the prescription of the treating dentist, once they have acquired the relevant postgraduate qualification. (Read on to find out how you can do this).

But the bigger questions is why are more and more dental nurses taking a postgraduate radiography course?

Taking a radiography course gives qualified dental nurses greater career options (Read story of Sara who took the radiography course). With your new skills you will be able to expand your role within your practice and therefore add more value to your team, and get more involved with patients treatment and care. This will lead to a more fulfilling career and an enduring and better relationship with patients.

Some dental nurse roles are more likely to need radiography skills, such as an orthodontic dental nurse, implant dental nurse, oral surgery dental nurse and periodontal dental nurse to name a few. If your future plans are to move into these jobs, then it would be worth investing 6 months of your time to add this qualification to your skills set and CV.

Essentially, taking the radiography course gives you highly valued skills, grows your confidence and opens doors of opportunity for your future career.

In order to safely take intra-oral and extra-oral radiographs of your patients you will need to undertake a Dental Radiography postgraduate course which you can complete in just 6 months and makes you an IR(ME)R operator.

During our course you will learn everything there is to know about radiology including patient and your safety, setting up for different views and treatments, exposure. Plus vitally, how to interpret the radiograph which will give you extra knowledge in identifying possible carries, abscesses and evaluate a patient’s oral health, which you can then discuss with your dentist. For more information see our course syllabus.

radiology for dental nurses

Our Radiography course is 6 months with the next enrolment taking place on the 1st September 2021

. Classes are monthly on a Wednesday morning from 9am – 1pm with Dr Liz Moran BDS. With a registration/ deposit of £180 to get started and six monthly payments of £100, we have made the course accessible to everyone who is motivated to develop their dental nursing career further.

For more information and application form contact our training team on 0207 205 2299 (press option 1) or email

If you are looking for a job as a dental nurse we have the largest job board when it comes to dental nursing with 100’s of jobs from Bupa Dental Care and Portman Dental Care, plus we work with a growing number of independent practices. Have a browse and see what your future could look like.