The growing demand for specialist dental treatment has led a Dundee firm to invest £300,000 in expanding its premises.
Beam Orthodontics will expand into the premises beside its practice in South Tay Street that was previously occupied by popular cafe Avery & Co.
The firm, which currently has a team of 23, is actively recruiting more specialists as hopes to complete the refurbishment by Christmas.
Beam’s co-founder and leading orthodontist Rhu McKelvey said: “When we bought the building more than a decade ago, it was originally a church and the congregation was moving to other premises.
“Although we split it into two properties, it was always at the back of my mind that we would move into the ground floor at some point.
“This will improve capacity for surgeries, as we already have a waiting list for NHS patients – though there is an element of ‘if you build it, they will come’ as well.”
Mr McKelvey said there had been a rise in demand for orthodontics, which sees teeth straightened by a range of brace options.
“It’s all been down to good relationships with dentists and customers – a huge amount of our work now comes from word of mouth referrals,” he said.
“NHS children’s orthodontics is a major part of what we do, but adults are also coming in for treatment, often for cosmetic reasons.
“Often people will look at a photograph of themselves and see a flaw in their smile that they want to have repaired.
“We have been playing catch-up in the UK to an extent and we live in selfie generation where people are looking to address imperfections.”
Mr McKelvey said the expanded premises will increase his number of ‘chairs’ from five to eight.
He added: “We are seeking to add to the team. However, despite the fact that orthodontists are being trained round the corner at the hospital, it is a challenge to recruit.
“We are hoping to capitalise on the buzz around Dundee at the moment to encourage people to relocate.”
Beam has also embraced new technology with the development of an app where patients scan their own teeth, and treatment progress is monitored by the firm. With patients travelling from places such as Edinburgh, the app can reduce the frequency of visits.