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An Ipswich dental group has undergone a period of sustained expansion after receiving combined funding of more than £540,000 from Lloyds Bank.

The group, which already owns and operates two dental surgeries across Ipswich and Diss, has expanded its offering after purchasing a third practice, Prime Dental Services, where work is already underway to upgrade and expand the new practice. This will allow for the addition of two new treatment rooms and a new larger reception area.

The funding has also allowed the business to purchase land adjacent to its practice in Diss, Diss Dental Health Centre, which will allow for future expansion of the practice to create more treatment rooms. Meanwhile, a portion of the funding has been used to refurbish the group’s other site, White Enamel Practice, located on Hawthorn Drive.

In addition, the business, which was founded in 1970, also received a separate £50,000 Bounce Bank Loan from Lloyds Bank after the group was forced to temporarily close its doors when all routine dental care in England was suspended.

Having furloughed the majority of its staff, the funding was used to support cashflow and make fixed payments while income had temporarily ceased.

Meanwhile, it maintained a small team of dentists, offering telephone consultations and prescription services throughout lockdown. Its surgeries have since now all re-opened, adhering to the necessary safety measures and furloughed staff have returned to work.

The practice now also plans to upgrade the services it offers patients in the region, including extended opening hours, an improved digital x-ray facility and an overhaul of its IT systems. The expansion has contributed to the group, which has an annual turnover of £100,000, taking on over 200 new patients this year alone.

Dr Ali Altikriti, owner and lead dentist at Prime Dental Services, said: “Following the recent disruption, this is an exciting new chapter for our business, and we’re looking forward to the completion of ongoing works, which will allow us to offer more patients across Ipswich access to the highest quality dental care.

“The long-term support of the bank as well as the short-term loan we received has made the bank a supportive partner every step of the way.”

Katie Ryan, healthcare relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “What has shone through while working with the team is their desire to help their local community and make sure every patient is offered professional and compassionate care and advice.

“The business has shown its resilience and ability to adapt by moving to holding phone consultations while in person examinations were prohibited, and that has stood the practice in good stead to emerge from these challenging times stronger and better. We will continue to back firms like this one, combining enterprising business plans with a genuinely caring ethos, during this challenging time.”