Isle of Wight dentist downs his drill after 60 years of treating patients

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The UK’s oldest working dentist has downed his drill and started a very well-earned retirement. Dr Farouk Shamash, who is 85, has been treating patients for 60 years. 

Dr Shamash didn’t always want to be a dentist, and initially, when a family friend suggested the career choice, he wasn’t even sure what a dentist was. Farouk had ambitions to be a doctor and he had never been to a dentist before, but once he found out that a dentist was a doctor for the mouth, he was sold on the idea. More than 60 years later, Dr Shamash has finally downed his drill. 

For the past six decades, Dr Shamash has practiced at a clinic in Ryde overlooking the Solent. Dentistry has changed dramatically, but the goal to provide patients with the best possible standards of care has always been the same. Standards of oral health have improved drastically, new treatments and techniques have become available, and dentists have scope to explore extraordinary options thanks to innovative technology. It has been an exciting journey for Dr Shamash, who grew up in Iran before moving to a boarding school in Brighton at the age of 13, and one that he has treasured. He has always been extremely popular with colleagues and patients, and is an integral member of the community.

The Covid-19 crisis put a premature end to Dr Shamash’s career and he was planning to continue working until the pandemic hit. The outbreak has meant that he has been unable to bid farewell to patients, which is very disappointing, but he is hoping to stay in touch with the team and looks forward to bumping into patients and seeing friends at community events.

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