It’s never easy to replace an outstanding dentist – so when Shaun Pope stepped back from general practice in July, we were fortunate to find the perfect substitute in Charlie Hooper. Two months on, we thought it would be good to catch up with Charlie, introduce him properly, and reveal how he is settling in.
Originally from Kent, Charlie graduated with honours in dentistry from King’s College London in 2018, before moving down to Padstow to complete his general practice Foundation Training year. “Having spent my family holidays in Cornwall as a child, I have many happy memories of the south-west and was excited by the opportunity to complete my training here.”
Charlie subsequently spent a year working at Gloucester Royal Hospital in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, and was part of the COVID emergency response team, working in the hospital Intensive Care Unit supporting seriously ill patients.
“Following my time in hospital, and having seen the difficulty that the general public was having accessing urgent dental care during the pandemic, I was keen to put my new skills to good use” says Charlie, who went on to work for Truro Urgent Dental Care Hub. “It was one of the first hubs set up in by NHS England in Cornwall to provide emergency dental cover” he explains, “and oral surgery skills such as extractions and root canal treatments were in high demand.”
So what brought Charlie to Torrington? “I was fortunate to meet Ian Mills during my time at Padstow. He was Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP) UK at the time and came down to present on one of our study days. He struck me as an incredibly positive force in dentistry, and earlier this year when I was looking for a general dentistry position I wrote to him about a possible opening. My enquiry coincided with Shaun Pope’s semi-retirement – and to my great delight, I was asked to join the team as his replacement.”
Having taken on responsibility for Shaun’s patient list, Charlie is enjoying getting to know everyone. One message he is keen to communicate is that the surgery is very much open for business. “It’s surprising how many patients remain unsure if they can come in for routine appointments, such as a check-up or hygiene treatment, thinking we are still only accepting emergency patients. Whilst it’s not quite business as usual, with enhanced infection control measures still in place, I encourage all my patients to get back into the good habit of regular check-ups and hygiene treatment.”
Charlie says he couldn’t have received a warmer welcome from the team at TDP and is impressed at the quality and range of treatments available at the practice. “It’s unusual to find a dental surgery with so many different specialisms, particularly outside a big city” he says. “If I have a patient who needs sedation or wants to discuss implant treatment, for example, I don’t need to refer them. We have all the expertise here at TDP, which makes the whole process so much quicker and more efficient.”
Outside of work, Charlie loves listening to music, everything from classic rock to jazz, and enjoys dabbling with saxophone, guitar, and piano in his spare time. He is also enjoying exploring the rugged south-west coast, particularly when there is a tasty snack or beverage at the end – sugar free of course!
Mr Mills was kind, pleasant and reassuring, and explained everything to me, so that I knew what was going on every inch of the way. I can’t recommend him and his implant team highly enough.
Super helpful, friendly, clean, efficient and brilliant at informing us of procedures & treatment. We never feel rushed or have to wait too long. They have made the dentist experience a positive one for our children – who are always excited to go!
I would rate this dentist 1000 stars if I could! Everyone there is so friendly and smiley! I had my teeth done by John Cato and Paula and what can I say. Both of them made me feel so relaxed even though I normally hate the dentist they have made this all change! I couldn’t thank them both enough.
It’s nearly two months since my treatment for an implanted bridge concluded and I could not be more pleased. The treatment was excellent, the care by Ian Mills and his team was superb and the teeth look fantastic.
Rhys Gabe is an incredible guy. After 30 odd years of avoiding the dentist through fear I actually now enjoy going thanks to this man. I cannot recommend him highly enough to nervous and anxious patients.