Words by Dan Warden
Wadebridge Dental Care continues to lead the vanguard of modern dentistry in Cornwall.
Andrew and Melissa Taylor
Headed up by husband and wife, Andrew and Melissa Taylor, Wadebridge Dental Care is the embodiment of the pair’s shared ambition since they were young. Melissa tells me: “I decided that dentistry seemed an interesting career and one I wanted to pursue, so I worked hard to achieve the GCSEs and A Levels that were needed.”
Melissa was born and raised in Truro and attended Truro School, until 2000, when she started studying Dentistry at Cardiff University. The aim, she explains, “was always to return to Cornwall,” one of the many benefits of dentistry being that you can choose where in the country you want to work.
The pair met at university, being in the same year and in similar groups. Melissa elaborates: “Andrew, originally from Birmingham, didn’t want to return there but preferred a life in Cornwall with me! He started as a trainee in Wadebridge in 2005, and I was a trainee in Falmouth in the same year.”
Andrew has owned Wadebridge Dental since 2007. Melissa joined him in 2016 and between them, they shared a vision of transforming a tired, predominantly NHS practice into one that could provide all aspects of dentistry under one roof, including advanced treatments using the latest technology. What’s more, Melissa continues: “We wanted to be a dental practice where people felt comfortable and at home, and the waiting room is just that; it feels like being in your front room.”
In fact, before they bought the building, the waiting room was, in fact, a living room, until 2017, when they knocked it through from the original building, thus doubling the size of the practice. And what a good move that was; since completion, the practice has become one of the largest in the south west, winning multiple awards and remaining at the forefront of advances in dentistry.
Such ambition and forward thinking, it appears, is a reflection of Andrew’s continuing dedication to his field, and the fact that he is currently in the second year of his Master’s Degree in Restorative Dentistry, having already gained a distinction in his first year, proves he is determined not to rest on his laurels. He’s also undertaking additional training in implants, teeth straightening (including the world-leading Invisalign), facial aesthetics, sedation and skincare; in short, almost all aspects of modern dentistry.
It’s no wonder, really, that he was honoured with an award from the British Dental Association just this year, with a ‘Certificate of Merit for Services to Dentistry’. This was the result of being Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Dental Committee (from the age of 28!), as well as his commitment to dentistry on a national level and his efforts to make a positive difference to NHS dentistry services. Unsurprisingly, he was also commended in the ‘Dentist of the Year’ category at 2018’s National Dental Awards.
This practice continues to go from strength to strength
Following Andrew’s lead, the practice continues to grow, accepting referrals from other practices unable to cater to certain patient needs – such as dental implants, advanced root canal using a microscope, sedation, teeth straightening and facial aesthetics – as well as self-referrals from patients seeking the specialist treatments and care on offer at Wadebridge Dental. It’s also the only practice in Cornwall to boast not one, but two digital iTero scanners. Not only can these scanners detect decay, they also eliminate the need for messy impressions across all aspects of dentistry. Indeed, with more than 300 five-star Google reviews, registering with Wadebridge Dental Care seems like something of a no brainer, and it comes as no surprise that it won ‘Best Practice South West’ in the 2018 Dentistry Awards, as well as being nominated as finalists at the Private Dentistry Awards in the same year.
This year the team, to whom Andrew and Melissa attribute much of their success, are finalists in both the Dentistry Awards and Private Dentistry Awards, nominated for five categories: Practice of the Year; Best Patient Care; Best Team; Most Improved Practice; and Most Invaluable Team Member. Andrew tells us: “[the practice] is bigger and better than we could ever have imagined. We have a brilliant and hardworking team around us.”
He summarises that while “it has been, and continues to be exceptionally hard work,” even more than they thought it would be, “we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved.”