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Kreate Dental plans approved to expand former Quigly Dental Practice, in Northfleet, and take on more NHS patients

Plans to expand a dental surgery to meet the growing demand for more NHS slots and relieve backlogs have been approved.

Owner of Kreate Dental, Dr Mihir Shah, asked for permission to change the floor above an existing practice, in Northfleet, from a residential flat to a dentist.

Owner of Kreate Dental, Dr Mihir Shah
Owner of Kreate Dental, Dr Mihir Shah

This is to add three more surgery rooms at the former Quigley Dental Practice, in Hunt Road, meaning they can see double the amount of patients - from 30 to 75 a day.

The decision was approved unanimously at planning committee on May 22, despite concerns raised by Gravesham councillors and residents about potential parking issues.

The head of planning stated that there was no ground for refusal due to parking and officers previously said there is already “adequate local public parking provision”.

Speaking to KentOnline after the meeting, Dr Shah said: “We understand that any development can be a contentious issue and the residents’ needs.

“We are neighbours and want to minimise disruption caused to residents. We are very mindful of that.

“However, we are pleased. We feel that there is a greater good.”

Dr Shah owns Kreate Dental, which has branches in Sutton-at-Hone, near Dartford, and in the Midlands, and is in the process of buying the practice in Northfleet.

Once complete, it will form part of his brand and the new surgical rooms will be fitted with the “latest, state-of-the-art equipment and best clinicians”.

He added: “At the moment, the surgery cannot take on anymore patients so by adding more rooms upstairs we will be able to servce a greater number of people.

“We are realising there is a massive gap in the area. There is a real need, there are not enough dentists and the local population is increasing.

“The area is crying out for better and more improved dentistry so we are pleased that we can help more people.”

There will be three new surgery rooms upstairs
There will be three new surgery rooms upstairs

He cites research which suggests one in three families within Gravesham are not receiving adequate healthcare.

“One of the major things we want to push for is to improve those standards particularly with oral healthcare,” the dentist added.

According to his research, there are 15 practices in a five-mile radius supporting more than 220,000 people and none are accepting more NHS adult patients.

He explained a lot of this is because of the pressures and demands the industry is facing nationally following the pandemic.

Dr Shah, who has been a dentist for around 11 years, said during Covid surgeries did close for a period and when reopened, they could only see a certain number of patients a day due to government guidelines.

The new surgery will become part of the Kreate Dental brand
The new surgery will become part of the Kreate Dental brand

This, he says, created “massive backlogs” and waiting lists which many are still trying to fully recover from.

Dr Shah also explained many dentists have left the profession due to issues with NHS contracts which are “no longer fit for purpose”.

He added: “Hopefully by expanding our services we will be able to ease some of those pressures.”

In August hundreds of people spent hours queuing overnight outside a dental practice in Faversham after bosses announced it would be opening up NHS slots.

It came a month before a damning report found people across the UK have been forced to pull out their teeth because they cannot get appointments.

Quigly Dental Practice will now become Kreate Dental
Quigly Dental Practice will now become Kreate Dental

The Health and Social Care Committee’s examination of NHS dentistry called for “urgent and fundamental reform” and said there was evidence of pain and distress that is “totally unacceptable in the 21st century”.

The document cites a YouGov poll of 2,104 people across the UK conducted in March 2023.

It found 10% of people admitted to attempting “DIY dentistry”.

More than half (56%) of the group carried it out in the last year and 20% said they did so because they could not find an NHS dentist.

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