DENTISTS can cut their teeth at a state-of-the-art new clinic in Heckmondwike.
Oasis Dental Care has injected 750,000 into its Cemetery Road practice and the surgery now boasts a newly-built dental implant centre – one of the largest in the country.
The investment has also funded a training centre, where dentists will be taught the specialist procedures through live video feeds and commentary from the surgery.
Oral surgeon Dr Naresh Sharma, who has been at the practice for 30 years, said: "Until recently most dentists in general practice had relatively little exposure to implant techniques. Now, whatever their level of professional interest we will be able to cater for their needs."
Dr Sharma expects to train up to 300 dentists at the Heckmondwike practice each year in workshops and seminars – as well as treating up to 800 patients.
Patients will be referred from across the country for implants, which are a permanent alternative to crowns, bridges and dentures.
New facilities at the practice include a hospital-standard operating theatre, complete with a new low-radiation x-ray scanner and a CT scanner, which allows the dentist to model the patient's jaw.
Dr Sharma, who is a tutor on the Royal College of Surgeons Implantology courses in London and Leeds, has overseen the clinic's development since his arrival in 1977. He built it into a large general dental practice before going on to specialise in implants in the late 1980s.
The practice was acquired by Oasis Dental Care in 2002.
"Now, thanks to the investment by Oasis, we have a facility that can match the best in the world," said Dr Sharma, who was commended for his influence at the official opening of the new facility.
Pat Langley, clinical director of Oasis said: "He has shown remarkable tenacity and dedication to realise this dream."
Dr Sharma plans to carry on practising for some time yet but he already has an eye on the next generation. He is mentoring three dentists in the practice, Rob Montgomery, Nick Lane and Kish Kumar to safeguard Heckmondwike's status as a recognised centre of excellence.