GROWING demand for cosmetic dentistry has led to expansion and the creation of more than 12 jobs at a Northumberland dental practice.
Dentists Jim Sykes and Mark Hanlon went into partnership and took over Hexham Dental Clinic five years ago after working together in Teesside and deciding they wanted to develop their own practice.
Now, with the initial team of two grown to 15 and a patient list that has quadrupled, the clinic is poised for further growth as one of only two in the North East licensed to offer ‘Six Month Smiles’, the latest teeth straightening system from the US.
“Once we decided to go into partnership, we looked for a suitable practice and felt that Hexham was absolutely right for us,” said Hanlon. “Since then we have invested substantially in refurbishment, state-of-the-art equipment including digital X-rays and intra-oral photography, and training for the whole team.
“We love the North East, especially the Tyne Valley, and we are delighted that our growth since 2007 is mainly down to word-of-mouth recommendations from our patients.”
The dental clinic now employs three associate dentists, two dental hygienists and eight dental nurses.
NHS and private patients come from across Tynedale but also as far afield as Scotland, London, Seattle, Kenya and Ethiopia.
These are patients who move, stay loyal or have had the practice recommended to them by visiting relatives.
“We want our patients to benefit from the very latest dental techniques,” said Sykes. “We work closely with them through every step of their treatment, whatever it may be, to achieve the results they want and make the whole experience a good one.
“The demand for cosmetic dentistry is increasing rapidly and we are carrying out more and more procedures such as dental implants and tooth-straightening. We’re also one of the first UK practices to offer ‘Six Month Smiles’ and this treatment is being very well received by the Tynedale community.”
The new ‘Six Month Smiles’ cosmetic brace system that straightens and aligns teeth in just six months has already attracted a number of celebrities, including Holly Willoughby and Kate Middleton, who opted for the procedure to avoid wearing braces for 18 months.
“These are treatments that have not been available anywhere in the Tyne Valley before,” said Sykes.
“People living here are willing to spend money on improving their appearance and we've seen our patient numbers quadruple since the introduction of these cosmetic procedures.”