THE Holmfirth Dental Surgery has moved from an old terraced house to £½m state-of-the-art premises.

The new facilities, in the grounds of the Oaklands Health Centre, in the Holme Valley Memorial Hospital complex, were designed from scratch to offer hi-tech facilities for the practice’s dentists and more comfortable surroundings for patients.

The practice has already taken on 300 additional NHS patients – and is looking to increase this number. There are also plans to provide orthodontics and minor oral health surgery to ease the pressure on local hospitals.

Kirklees NHS chief executive Mike Potts said: "This development will improve access to NHS dentistry by providing treatment closer to home. This supports the national guidance on improving dental access, quality and oral health, alongside the NHS Kirklees oral health strategy."

The NHS dental services in the valley were saved from the axe after funding for the new practice was secured.

Plans to relocate the Huddersfield Road surgery to the new £½m building at the Oaklands were passed without a hitch in October 2007. But Dr Garritt, had warned that free NHS services could be lost if he could not come to an agreement with Kirklees Primary Care Trust.

The cash for the move was netted after a deal was done that saw Dr Garritt’s surgery take on 150 extra patients, briefly wiping out the waiting list in the HD9 area.

He said at the time: "With a lot of hard work with the dental team from the PCT we managed to secure funding that’s allowing us to continue to provide NHS services in our new purpose built premises. We’re in discussions with designers at the moment and the tender should be going out soon. We’ll be the only purpose built, state-of-the-art dental surgery in the UK that’s completely NHS."

Dr Garritt described the new surgery as "future-proof" and said it provided full disabled access and improved care for patients through fully computerised modern equipment such as digital X-rays, 3D radiological imaging, and examination rooms, giving dentists the facilities to perform minor oral surgery.

And with the provision of 16 extra parking spaces at the Oaklands site, patients have everything they need all linked into one site.

Dr Garritt, who has owned the practice for nine-years, said there was now only a handful of people on the NHS waiting list in the HD9 area, and he stressed that Kirklees PCT were doing all they could to find everyone an NHS dentist.

"We’ve been working longer hours, everyone has mucked in," he said. "The whole team here has worked really hard to get everyone seen to."

CONTACT: For information on how to register for an NHS dentist in Kirklees call 0800-587-2417