DENTIST Mike Allen started working in Burton for convenience in the late 1980s – and he is still here a quarter of a century on.
The mouth marvel set up shop in a practice on Bridge Street in October 1988, when he and his wife were looking to move to the area, and since then, business has thrived and he has developed quite a following in the town.
He marked the silver anniversary of his arrival in Burton earlier today, with a visit from some of the patients he saw in his very first week of practice her in the town.
“Most patients have followed me around my practices,” Mr Allen told the Mail. “They have been very loyal.
“When I arrived, I was one of the youngest dentists in the town; now I think I’m one of the oldest.
“My patients have been coming for a long time – most of them for at least 23 or 24 years. You get to know them as people, rather than patients, and you become friendly with them and their families.
“Mostly we are all getting old together and enjoying each other’s company.”
Mr Allen qualified as a dentist in 1982, and his first job was based in Halesowen, near Birmingham.
He moved to Hunter and Hall, in Bridge Street, following the death of one of the partners, and stayed with the firm until 2001.
He then took on his own premises in High Street, before moving to a purpose built unit at Centrum 100 in Burton six years ago.
Things have changed a lot since he first arrived in the town, he said.
“We have now got more older patients keeping their own teeth for longer, and fewer children with decay. Our oldest patient is 97, and he still has most of his own teeth, which is pretty good. It’s a great advertisement for people looking after their teeth.”
But Mr Allen is not alone in witnessing these changes at the practice, as dental assistant and receptionist Jayne Pargeter is also marking her 25th anniversary with the company this year. She also joined in yesterday’s celebrations.