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Tea, milk, bread and… dentures?

For the first time in England, patients can pop into an NHS dentist to have their teeth checked while doing their weekly shop

Integrated Dental Holdings (IDH) has just opened the doors of England’s first NHS dental practice in a supermarket, at the Tesco Bedford Riverfield Drive Superstore in Bedford. The NHS practice, which opened on 24 June, is open everyday to everyone and also offers some private dental treatment.

New patients can register in-store and get an appointment quickly. Many shoppers have already been taking advantage of the improved accessibility, extended opening hours and evening and weekend appointments.
IDH is Europe’s largest dental corporate company, with a network of over 500 dental practices nationwide, looking after the needs of millions of patients.

Richard Smith, chief executive of IDH, says: 'We are proud to open England’s first ever NHS dental practice located in a supermarket. We have been working with the NHS to provide more flexibility and accessibility for patients and the feedback has been extremely positive so far. Staff and patients value the longer, more flexible opening hours and convenience of the location. We have been working closely with Tesco and we hope to open more dental practices in their stores in the future.'

The opening of the practice in the Tesco Bedford Riverfield Superstore follows the opening of an IDH dental practice in the Tesco Corstophine Superstore in Edinburgh, Scotland, last May. This was the first NHS dental practice in the UK to be located within a Supermarket.

The new practice has three dentists, six dental nurses, one hygienist, a receptionist and a practice manager. Shazna Bibi, practice manager at the new IDH site, says: 'Patients have been enthusiastic about the new practice, and many people have admired our facilities. We used to be booked for weeks before patients could secure an appointment, but now it’s much easier to see them as we have open books, more dentists and the availability of evening and weekend appointments. Patients can also see a hygienist without seeing a dentist first. We offer private dental treatments too, so patients can easily find out about the available options while in store.'

Patients can access a wide range of services at the new practice including an examination, crowns, dentures and emergency appointments, as well as a range of private treatments.

Richard Smith adds: 'A dental emergency is not just driven by pain, a lady who breaks a front tooth the Friday night before her wedding on Saturday is an emergency and as we are open longer, seven days a week, she could get this fixed quickly and get on with her big day.'

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