Social enterprise to open brand new dental centre in Cornwall
A social enterprise that operates across Cornwall and the Scilly Isles has confirmed plans to open a brand new, state of the art dental centre, which is geared towards patients with special needs.
Smile Together has secured £1 million from Big Issue Invest to make the venture viable. The social enterprise was established in 2016 and secured the funding at the end of last year. The project will involve converting a former school in Cornwall into a modern dental practice, which is designed to cater for patients with special needs, including those who suffer from autism and mental health disorders. The site will also be open to other local residents and it will provide free treatment for children.
Owned by a group of employees, Smile Together currently works in 13 sites in the county and the Scilly Isles. In addition to providing emergency treatment for patients who don’t have a dentist, the team also offers oral surgery and orthodontic services for children. Treating more than 40,000 patients per year, the enterprise provides care for around 4,000 patients with special needs. Smile Together is linked to Brighter Dental, which operates five private dental practices in the region.
The remodel will improve access to the building for patients with mobility issues and those that use wheelchairs, and the treatment rooms will be kitted out with the latest equipment, including innovative dental chairs that are suitable for every individual.
Big Issue Investment is the social investment wing of the Big Issue. The loan for the dental centre development was taken from an investment pot worth £23.3 million.