A SOUTH Ayrshire dentist at the heart of the community is expanding, meaning top service for over 11,000 patients.

Sandgate Dentistry in Ayr has joined Scotland’s largest dental group, Clyde Munro, adding four dentists, two hygienists, seven nurses and one receptionist along with 11,500 patients to the group’s growing portfolio.

The practice has been fronted by husband and wife team, Mark and Liz Fitzpatrick, who bought over Sandgate in 1989.

Mark, who hails from Troon, said: “We are based right in the heart of the community and those who walk through the doors of Sandgate are more like friends than patients.

“I have worked in the practice since I first qualified when I was 21, and have had very little turn over, with all of the dentists having worked alongside me for five plus years.

“As a practice we like to keep our ethos and approach to dentistry simple and very friendly, which is one of the many reasons why Clyde Munro is the perfect fit to take it on.

“I feel we also have the same vision for Sandgate’s future in growing the business and continuing to expand the treatments and services that we can offer to patients in the local area.

“The dental group will enable patients to stay within the practice for more experienced treatments like Invisalign and implants, as well as giving newly qualified dentists better post-graduate training opportunities”.

The acquisition was struck with the help of business property advisor, Christie & Co.

One of Mark’s proudest moments was seeing the practice move from a two story flat to a central, ground floor premise benefiting patients using public transport, as well as becoming more accessible for disabled and elderly patients.The practice is now proudly situated on the Sandgate, a main thoroughfare in Ayr.

The practice, which offers NHS and private dentist treatments from routine check-ups to complete smile makeovers. tooth whitening, veneers and dentures., welcomes patients from the local community and surrounding areas, with some travelling from Perthshire, Edinburgh and London. Sandgate even hosted a patient from as far away as Switzerland.

Having worked in the industry and the same practice for many years, Mark highlighted the most rewarding part of his job is seeing how many patients have now become his friends, and that the practice is a renowned name in the area, with many new patients coming in on referral.

Mark, 57, added: “In the next few months I will take a step back from the management side of dentistry and will focus on a new advisory role within the group.

“It’s an ideal situation which will allow me to remain involved in the sector, whilst also beginning my retirement.

“Nothing dramatic will change for patients and I am excited to see the opportunities that will arise with the ever-expanding Clyde Munro group on board, which I’m sure will present future growth and patient care enhancements.”