One of Worthing’s iconic old Victorian buildings has been saved from being demolished by a £1.2 million restoration project by a local dentist.
Ross Drybrough, who has worked in Worthing since 1994, is already a very familiar face as co-owner of the popular Strand Dental Practice, which has been established since the 1950’s.
As a well-established and highly qualified expert in implantology, Ross has expanded his business to house the increase in demand for his skills in Worthing, giving it its own dedicated space in a grand Victorian building.
About the building
Formerly a council-owned building, it had been boarded up for seven or eight years since the previous tenant, Citizens Advice Bureau, vacated. In that time the lovely old building had fallen into disrepair, with some classic features such as period cornices and mouldings collapsing entirely, while damp rotted the floors and damaged most of the walls and ceilings.
Squatters and vandals had also taken their toll on the ageing beauty, leaving it in a perilous and unhabitable state, before Ross bought the building outright and began his transformation.
The new look
There were some planning restrictions to comply with, but what has been created is a bright, modern surgery space with state-of-the-art equipment, housed in a building where the historic staircase and façade has been saved, with the rest brought up to 21st century needs.
Ross said: “What we now have is a property which feels really nice to be in. Our patients always tell us how beautiful it is now – some of them had been in the old building when it was the Citizens Advice Bureau, and they cannot believe the transformation.”
One of the biggest expenses was ensuring the building was fully disability compliant. This involved raising all the floors, doors and windows at the rear of the building up by two feet, to get everything on one level.
Situated in the centre of town adjacent to the dual carriageway near Waitrose, the practice also has free parking for patients.
He added: “This has been a labour of love … I bought the building in 2015 and we’ve encountered many problems along the way, with planning restrictions, building problems and, of course, Covid. But we got there in the end and I am absolutely delighted with it.”
What patients don’t realise is that there are over 400 different implant systems in use around the world. Here in the UK any qualified dentist, even just weeks out of university, can offer implant services with very little experience. Some patients have previously chosen to go abroad for treatment, where the training systems, implant systems and standards can be very different.
Ross and his professional colleague Barry Tibbott, pride themselves on being experts in their field. Ross completed the Diploma in Implant Dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons (London) in 2006 which was the gold standard in postgraduate implant training at that time. He went on to train other dentists at the Royal College of Surgeons for 8 years in these involved techniques, making him extremely experienced.
He said: “It can be terrifying to see the quality of the dental implant treatment that some people have been subjected to – we are seeing more and more patients who require reparative work or even replacement of their implants. If their treatment has been done cheaply abroad, it can be very difficult for us to source components for the implant systems which are normally of a low standard.”
“Anyone considering dental implant treatment should make sure they feel comfortable and that they know they are in safe hands before choosing a dental implant provider.”
Ross now concentrates all of his time on implant-based treatment solutions for his patients, due to the high demand for his clinical skills.
To find out more, visit www.worthingimplantcentre.co.uk