Dental Hygienist

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Medical
Level:Rating
Healthcare
Adventure
Humanitarian aid
Sciences
A Royal Navy Dental Hygienist at work.
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The role at a glance

What you’ll do

Being a Dental Hygienist in the Royal Navy means working in a dental practice that’s just as well-equipped as any you have experienced.  There’s one major difference: you could be seeing your patients in a shore establishment anywhere in the UK, on an aircraft carrier or an assault ship. You could even find yourself working with a special portable dental unit that is on a warship. And when you’re there? You’ll be responsible for the smooth running of your surgery, working with a highly trained team of dental professionals.

Your role

  • Play a key role in the day to day running of your surgery, from restocking essential supplies, to looking after hygiene and supporting your Dental Officer.
  • Work as part of the dental team, under the guidance of the Senior Dental Officer to provide oral health care to military personnel either at a shore establishment or at sea, and participate in Unit health fairs and national oral health campaigns.
  • Help patients to maintain their oral health by educating, preventing and treating dental diseases under the prescription of a dentist, referring to a periodontist for more complex cases.
  • Take responsibility for carrying out screening for diseases such as oral cancers and periodontal disease. You may also have the opportunity to train as a smoking cessation adviser, running clinics both on shore and at sea.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Study for GCSEs, A-Levels, NVQs or even a degree
  • Gain specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses

Skills you'll develop

  • The discipline and organisational skills needed to be part of a professional dental practice
  • Experience dealing with patients from all backgrounds

Career progression

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • You need a minimum Diploma in Dental Hygiene. You can apply while still studying, but need to qualify before you can start training
  • You must be registered with the General Dental Council
  • You’ll need to be aged at least 18 years when you apply, and 36 years old when you begin basic training
  • You need to be a minimum height of 151.5cm and within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen who has lived in the UK continuously for the 5 years prior to applying, or a dual national

Skills and interests

  • A passion for helping people
  • Great team players who thrive on working with others
  • Enthusiasm for working in highly challenging environments
  • A real sense of adventure
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you

  • Pre Royal Navy Course (PRNC)

    Pre Royal Navy Course (PRNC) – This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy is a pass or fail course

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh


Initial training

You’ll spend 30 weeks training at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) in Dartmouth, focusing on: Military Skills, Maritime Skills and Initial Fleet Time. The military skills phase includes learning leadership and teamwork skills, and the principles of command and management. You will put this into practice during several exercises on Dartmoor.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape. There’s also a swimming test, so if you can’t swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.


Professional training

You will go straight into a Navy clinc and meet your team, and develop your skills learnt at University. You’ll then go on to complete a leadership course.