New dentist opens on site of former Hartlepool pub
A new dentist has opened its doors to help give the people of Hartlepool a healthy smile.
Health & Smile Dental Practice has opened on part of the former Saxon Pub site on Easington Road.
Run by Kusum Chawla, she plans to make it a community dentist by going into care homes and schools to offer care and advice.
Her motto is prevention is better than cure and she wants to help educate people in the area.
She also aims to keep treatment charges as low as possible for those who struggle to pay leading to tooth decay, and open on evenings and a weekends to make it easier for patients who work to look after their teeth.
The practice opened last week around a year since winning planning permission from Hartlepool Borough Council.
Kusum, who has worked for various dentists in the region over the last 15 years, said: “For five years I worked for MyDentist in Hartlepool and Stockton.
“When they decided to close one of their branches it made me realise I should do something for myself.
“It has taken nearly a year to get everything ready and open. It feels nice.
“It is challenging but we are getting there.”
Around 60 patients have registered so far. The practice does not currently have a contract for NHS patients.
Kusum is joined at the practice by associate dentist Syed Razvi who specialises in cosmetic dentistry.
She added: “We are thinking of covering care homes where people are restricted to go out. We can go and provide care there.
“We are also contacting schools to do health education and educate children about brushing their teeth and diet such as less drinks and sweets and drinking plenty of water.
“It’s something to give back to the community.
“We are trying to keep costs as low as possible. It is not just about the money, it is about fitting in with people’s working hours.
“If you work you have to take time off to visit the dentist. For some people it is competing priorities.”
The practice is open until 8pm Monday to Thursday and also offers Saturday appointments.