The first new dental practice established in the Western Isles in over 30 years opened in Stornoway town centre in late March.
The Castleview Practice, on Cromwell Street, is under the direction of owner, dentist Mr Sridhar Kalvakuntla, who said: “Opening Castleview is a big responsibility but it is also exciting.
“At Castleview our main priority is to keep our patients pain-free. We understand the majority of patients can be anxious about dental treatment, and we put all efforts in to providing a stress-free environment in our new practice.
“We will be encouraging preventative care for our patients through regular attendance (every six months), and aim to attend emergencies within 24 hours with daily emergency appointments available. We also have a good referral system in place should patients need specialist care.
“Patient satisfaction is our prime importance and we believe our work speaks louder than our voice.”
An NHS committed practice, Castleview Dental Practice will offer NHS treatment to patients, alongside private treatments including teeth whitening, white fillings and crowns; Zirconium and Emax crowns; private dentures, including flexible, metal and high-impact resin made dentures; and dental implants.
With a complement of two dentists, a dental therapist, a dental hygienist, six dental nurses and two receptionists, the new practice also offers daily emergency appointments, available between 12noon and 1pm each day; and future plans include services such as Botox and facial fillers.
Mr Kalvakuntla began his dental career graduating with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Gulbarga University, India, in 1999; before gaining his Diploma in Dental Clinical Sciences in 2005.
From 2000 to 2004 he was employed at Vemulawada, in Telangana, South India, before opening his first general Dental Practice, serving a population of over 20,000 people.
He gained his Diploma in Dental Clinical Sciences from Queen Mary University, London, in 2005; and in 2013 received his licence in Dental Surgery, from the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, London.
2009 to 2016 saw Mr Kalvakuntla work for health trusts in England and in both NHS Dumfries and NHS Grampian in Scotland prior to employment as a locum dentist with NHSWI Dental Centre in Stornoway from October 2016.
“We have been very happy in Stornoway, it’s a very friendly community and a safe place for my kids,” said Mr Kalvakuntla, who moved to the Lewis town in 2016 with his wife and two children, aged seven and five.
He added: “There have been a lot of challenges to establishing the new Castleview Dental Practice, and a lot of support has been provided to us by the NHSWI Dental Centre staff, including NHSWI Chief Dental Officer Mr Colin Robertson; Centre Manager Mr Eric MacDonald, and all the dentists, dental therapists, hygienists, dental nurses and reception staff. I am very thankful to them all.”
Colin Robertson, NHSWI Chief Dental Officer, said: “Opening Castleview Dental Practice is a huge act of confidence on Sridhar’s part.
“His new practice adds choice, and will reduce waiting times in Lewis. He has found the patients a pleasure to work with and is looking forward to a long and satisfying relationship with them.
“His new premises are exceptional and show the level of commitment he has made to this project. With state-of-the-art equipment and a lovely outlook towards Lews Castle, visitors to his clinic will rightly be impressed.”