Dental surgery gets its teeth into Sheffield expansion

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ONE of Sheffield’s best known and biggest dental surgeries is preparing to open a second centre.

Over 12 years, Taptonville House in Broomhill has developed from one surgery and 150 patients to ten surgeries and 15,000 patients, becoming the first in the country to have undergraduate students working in general practice alongside NHS staff.

Now plans have been drawn up to convert part of the ground floor of Willis House in nearby Peel Street into premises for private work. One of the features would be a ‘cowards’ clinic’ giving extra help to nervous patients.

Extra accommodation would take some of the pressure off the centre in Taptonville Road. “It would create more space for the NHS work at the practice,” said principal and dentist Nigel Mallon. “At the moment we are chock-a-block.”

The surgery has grown as it has taken on more education work (it now has post-graduates as well as under-graduates from the Charles Clifford Dental School) and NHS contracts to cover emergency and critical care around the clock in Sheffield (“I was out twice on Christmas Day”) and local nursing homes.

Proposals for part of the former office block in Peel Street - once earmarked for a replacement for Broomhill Library - have been submitted to the council. If they are approved, it is hoped the new clinic will be open by April 1, employing an extra two dentists and three nurses.

It is designed as a base for private restorative and cosmetic dental work, procedures requiring sedation, specialist facilities for children and out-of-hours work on Saturdays and Sundays. It would also be home for a practice currently in Canterbury Avenue in Fulwood.

The aim was to offer “affordable quality care” without affecting NHS work. Between 15% and 20% of private care would remain at Taptonville House.

“I’m excited about the prospect of providing a wider range of services, but a bit nervous at the same time,” said Mr Mallon. “Is the business going to thrive? But we know our work with the NHS is good, and I feel we need people to take risks and make a difference, which is very much what I do in life.”

Mr Mallon returns to Burundi in Africa in April to a clinic organised by the Dental Community Fellowship in South Carolina for people unable to afford treatment. The team helped1,800 patients last May, extracting about 4,000 teeth! Previously he has done charity work in Ecuador and Rwanda

Meanwhile, his wife, Sue, his business partner and a dentist at Taptonville House, will cycle across Cuba in October, joined by nurses Scarlett Woodhouse and Hameshah Green, to raise money for the charity, Women Against Cancer.

Last year Sue cycled across Kenya and raised £9,500 in appreciation of staff at Weston Park Hospital following her recovery four years ago from breast cancer.

The couple returned to Broomhill from Arizona where Mr Mallon did a theological degree.