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A NEW NHS dentist has opened in East Oxford as health bosses try to increase the number of people who go for regular check-ups.

The new Temple Street practice will have four dentists and a hygienist.

And three of the dentists will be taking on new NHS patients.

It comes after the Oxford Mail revealed fewer than half the children living in areas of Blackbird Leys and East Oxford regularly go to the dentist.

About 72 per cent of Oxfordshire’s under 16-year-olds get their teeth checked every two years.

The county’s primary care trust said on average in Oxfordshire children had only 0.86 decayed, missing or filled teeth, compared to 1.11 nationally.

But in the Cherwell area, it was 1.2 and in Oxford youngsters were found to have 1.32 decayed, missing or filled teeth.

NHS dental care is subsidised and free for under 18s, with three price bands for adults.

The Temple Street practice has been opened by dentists Mike Cooper and Rimmi Bhogal.

It has been part-funded by NHS Oxfordshire which has been trying to increase dentist provision in the area.

Mr Cooper said: “Our practice at Oxford Brookes is extremely busy and so we have been looking for an opportunity to open a new practice in Oxford that will serve the local residents and businesses, as well as extending our services to staff and students from the Oxford colleges.

“When the property, previously a publishing company, came up in Temple Street we knew it was the perfect location for us.

“After three months of refurbishment we now have a fantastic state of the art and high-tech practice that we are extremely proud of.

“We have had an excellent response from local residents.

“We feel this is a great location for a new practice – easily accessible by bus and only a 10-minute walk from the city centre.

“We have online appointment booking and the practice is open between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.”

Practice manager Louise Normington said: “We are very excited to have found such fantastic premises in East Oxford from which to offer quality NHS treatments to new patients.”

Temple Street Dental Practice is now accepting new registrations.Appointments can be booked using the website templedental.co.uk or by calling 01865 922111.