The first new independent dental practice established in the Western Isles in over 30 years was officially opened this morning (Thursday August 29th) by Public Health Minister, Joe FitzPatrick.
The Castleview Practice on Cromwell Street, Stornoway, opened to the public under the direction of owner, dentist Mr Sridhar Kalvakuntla earlier this year.
Working in partnership with NHS Western Isles’ dental services, the opening of Castleview has helped to eliminate the dental waiting list in Stornoway. The practice offers both NHS and private dental treatment, though between 80 and 90 per cent of the practice’s work is NHS.
Mr Kalvakuntla stated: “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.”
With a complement of three dentists, two dental therapists, a dental hygienist, six dental nurses and two receptionists, the new practice offers routine appointments and daily emergency appointments, available between 12noon and 1pm each day.
Mr Kalvakuntla was earlier employed as a locum dentist in the Dental Centre in Stornoway from October 2016.
Public Health Minister, Joe FitzPatrick, said:“I am delighted to open Castleview Dental Practice in Stornoway today which will provide patients in the community with a wide range of treatments.
“The Scottish Government has invested in Castleview and in the wider dental services in the Western Isles and it’s encouraging to learn that there is no longer a dental waiting list in Stornoway."
In the aftermath of the closure of the Bayhead Practice in 2014, waiting times had soared to as much as two years, it is understood. 
“The oral health of primary school children has also seen significant improvement and the Western Isles now has one of the highest percentages in Scotland of primary children with no obvious tooth decay. 
“These positive improvements are an encouraging outcome of this successful partnership between NHS Western Isles and Castleview Dental Practice.”
NHS Western Isles Director of Dental Services, Colin Robertson, described the new premises as ‘exceptional’ with state of the art equipment.
He added: “This ends the difficulties patients had obtaining NHS dental registration in Lewis. We look forward to Castleview being a valuable local service for years to come.”
NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson also attended the official opening of the new dental practice. He said: “I am delighted to be here to celebrate the opening of Castleview Dental Practice.
"It has not only had an extremely positive impact on the waiting list in Stornoway – which has been eliminated – but it also introduces an added element of choice for patients. I’d like to congratulate Mr Kalvakuntla and his team and we look forward to working in partnership with them in the years to come.”