The Colne dentist who went from graduate trainee to practice owner

1 September 2023

* Did you know, tooth decay is the number one reason for hospitalisation among 5-7 year olds? This is an unbelievable fact in 2023. 

* Staying local and working your way to the top is absolutely possible 

Dr Tom Friar might be the owner of a busy Colne dental practice that sees 500 patients a week – but he’s worked his way to the top, all whilst staying local. 

Tom is from Barrowford and went to school at FisherMore, before studying dentistry at The University of Manchester. After graduating, he decided to come back home and joined Skipton Road Dental Practice as a trainee – and the rest is history. 

“I liked it so much, I decided to stay on as an associate dentist, then seven years later I became an owner. I’ve been here for 18 years, which is really crazy as I don’t feel like I joined that long ago! But Colne is a great place, I love the people – they’re interesting and down to earth, and really care about the community,” Tom explained. 

Skipton Road Dental Practice has proven so popular, it’s about to expand. They have purchased the adjacent building (formerly a hairdressers) and are looking to install three new surgeries, a state-of-the-art CT scanner (for 3D jaw scanning on implant patients), new office space and a dental laboratory. 

Why are they putting so much investment into the practice? Tom replied: “Because dentistry is changing. We want to maintain delivering the same volume of NHS work but expand on the bespoke and cosmetic private options that patients are now demanding. It is my dream that we can offer dentistry to all individuals in our community, whatever their requirements, and all under one roof.” 

A growing business for growing demand 

The practice is a large NHS one, although it’s expanded its private side due to an increase in demand. It covers everything you’d expect from a dentist, including teeth straightening and whitening, composite bonding, and other cosmetic dental services. 

Tom continued: “We’re really keen to offer a high-quality, comprehensive service that our patients deserve. It’s so exciting that we have an opportunity to expand the practice to meet these needs. We are particularly loyal to the NHS, and we plan to maintain our sizeable commitment, whilst modernising the way we deliver care. High-powered microscopes, 3D scanners and implants have been a game-changer for dentistry.” 

However, there is one change Tom isn’t quite so keen on – tooth decay in children. 

“Did you know, it’s the number one reason for hospitalisation among 5-7 year olds? This is an unbelievable fact in 2023. Many people also don’t realise that uncontrolled gum disease may contribute so health issues such as heart disease. Dental health really is important,” he stressed. 

Tom is proud to own a business in Colne; the bread from Oddie’s is a particular favourite, along with Live Like The Boy and About Coffee. 

“The high street is the living, beating heart of Colne. It’s interesting and vibrant, and it gives local people and visitors alike a more personable way to access the things they need and love. The internet isn’t the only answer!” Tom stated. 

So, what can new and current patients alike of Tom and his team expect? 

“We try and look after all members of our community, and we like to think our team is a bit like a family. We often surprise people by how accessible excellent, comprehensive dentistry can be,” he concluded.

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