A DENTAL practice which closed two years ago is expected to re-open under new ownership.

National chain Mydentist closed its Colchester clinic, in Flagstaff Road, in 2021 and the site has since remained vacant.

But a smaller Essex-based chain is preparing to move into the premises in the Abbey Field area of the city.

Dental Smiles’ intentions were confirmed after Colchester Council’s planning department received an application to install fascia signs bearing the firm’s logo at the Flagstaff Road site.

Gazette: Site - the former dental practice in Flagstaff Road has been taken over by Dental SmilesSite - the former dental practice in Flagstaff Road has been taken over by Dental Smiles (Image: Google)

The company, which already has practices in Takeley and Chelmsford, said on its website the new clinic “will open in 2024”.

Planning bosses have already granted approval for Dental Smiles to undertake refurbishments which will improve access to the clinic for disabled patients.

The application comes after Colchester Council granted a bid for a former solicitors’ office in the city centre to be converted into a dental practice.

The applicant, whose address is listed as the current home of North Hill Dental, received the green light from planning bosses last week.

Gazette: Transformation - the disused office of a law firm is set to become a dental practiceTransformation - the disused office of a law firm is set to become a dental practice (Image: Google)

North Hill Dental is currently based a few doors away from the disused Grade II listed building formerly occupied by a law firm in North Hill.

Are any dentists taking on NHS patients in Colchester?

Colchester, like many areas of the country, is suffering from a lack of availability for NHS dentistry.

In July, a new £2.2million NHS dentistry contract was awarded to the University of Suffolk Dental Community Interest Company.

The new contract will provide an extra 18,000 hours of appointments each year to residents in Suffolk and north east Essex, but they will only be available at a facility located within the University of Suffolk in Ipswich.

None of the 28 surgeries in Colchester listed on the NHS website were recorded as accepting NHS patients without a referral from another dentist when checked by the Gazette on Tuesday.

Five said online they were accepting patients aged 17 or under, but when called by the Gazette only one of these said they could offer appointments to newly registered children without a wait.

One dentist said it would be "a few months" before an appointment was booked, while another said it would take at least a month for a routine check-up to be arranged.

We were unable to get hold of the other two practices.