37 years of bright smiles: Long-serving dentist hangs up his tools
Copyright: Archant 2019
He has been responsible for thousands of bright smiles over the years, and now a long-serving Dereham dentist has decided to call it a day.
Dr Mike Edgecombe, 60, said he would be sad to leave the Wellington House Dental Practice, where he has tended to teeth since 1982.
Dr Edgecombe, who lives in Billingford, said he had been “very lucky” to work at the practice.
He said: “I think I have had a really fulfilling career and so much of that is down to being so well supported by such a brilliant team. I have also had fantastic and lovely patients.
“I will be very sad to leave in some respects.
“I have got to know people very well and to build a strong relationship with patients.
“It has been a real privilege to provide people with dental care and make them smile again.”
Originally from Cheshire, Dr Edgecombe started at the practice straight after qualifying as dentist at a London hospital.
He said dentistry had changed “hugely” in that time.
“We’re now living in a time when dentistry is getting really exciting,” he said.
“Many people are now coming into old age and keeping all their teeth and having a better quality of life as a result.
“That’s something I didn’t see 30-40 years ago.”
Dr Edgecombe said the practice had seen more than 20,000 patients pass through its doors since it opened in 1977.
He said: “As Dereham has grown, so have we.”
Dr Edgecombe said Trina Jones, who was the first dental nurse he worked with, still works at the practice, and would also be there for his final shift on April 2.
He said: “We’ve got quite a lot of staff who have ben very loyal to the practice and stayed many years.
“I can go away reassured it’s being left with a strong team.”
In retirement, Dr Edgecombe plans spend more time on two long-held passions, travel and birdwatching.
He also hopes to volunteer abroad as a dentist, perhaps in Africa or Nepal.
He said: “It would be a shame not to use the skills I have giving something back to a part of the world that has no access to dental care.”