A dentist who has tended to the teeth of many South Holland residents is to retire this month.
Theo Butler (56) has worked at Ernevale House Dental Centre for 15 years – and has been a dentist for 33 years – and bought the practice from John Fulton in 2005.
Theo said: “John was a much loved and well respected dentist and I wanted to carry on in his footsteps.
“There have been some very rough patches, in the recession for example, but our patients stood by us.
“Ernevale House is a fully private practice and clients kept coming back to us at a time where maybe spending money on a visit to the dentist wasn’t their top priority, and thanks to their loyalty we pushed through.”
The dentist qualified in 1982 in South Africa and moved to Peterborough in 1992, before coming to Spalding in 2007, where he has since built a loyal client base who he knows will be well looked after by the new dentist at the practice.
Andre Bergh will be officially taking over the practice on January 15, but he is already there looking after Theo’s patients while he cracks on with the last few bits of paperwork on his desk.
Theo said: “I used to work with Andre at a practice in Orton Bushfield in Peterborough but when I left we lost contact. When we were working together, I got to know him very well and he is a very respectable dentist.
“He got in contact when he saw that the practice was up for sale and it didn’t take me long to decide that he was the person I wanted to take over.”
The practice will be the first that Andre, who is from Johannesburg and married with three grown up children, has owned in the UK, where he has lived and worked for 16 years.
Theo said: “I’m confident that Andre will carry on the traditions and good standards we have worked hard at.
“He is also very excited to take over and will be bringing in orthodontics for both children and adults, as well as continuing to offer the same services as I have done.
“It will be a continuation of the same.
“It’s great that he will be bringing in the orthodontics, which will be a first for the practice and I think it is much needed in Spalding too.”
A well earned rest lies ahead for Theo. He said: “The main reason I’m retiring is down to ill health, as I was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago, so I’m going to go to move to Puglia in South Italy with my partner Brano.
“I won’t be working out there, I’m going to join the ranks of the lazy and idle and enjoy the warmer climate.
“There comes a time when you have been doing one job for so long that you decide you have come to the end of your career. I can’t begin to add up how many teeth I have fixed or taken out over the years.
“I would like to thank all of my clients for all of their loyalty and support during my time in Spalding, and I wish Andre all the best for the future.”