A new dental practice has opened in a coastal village. 

Smile, which is run by Sarah Godbolt, is located in a former hairdressers on Warren Road in Hopton.

The 39-year-old, who has 20 years experience as a dental hygiene therapist, said it was always her dream to open her own practice.

"I've driven past the building so many times and I used to wonder if the property would be big enough," she said.

Lowestoft Journal: Smile dental practice is located on Warren Road in Hopton. Smile dental practice is located on Warren Road in Hopton. (Image: Sarah Godbolt)

After the Covid lockdowns were lifted, friends said to Ms Godbolt she should open her own dental surgery.

In December 2021, she applied to Great Yarmouth Borough Council for planning permission - and on Monday, March 4, the practice opened. 

"Now I've managed to fulfill that dream," she said.

The surgery will not be accepting NHS patients - a decision that some people have questioned.

READ MORE: Hundreds in Norfolk attending hospital for dental problems

Recent figures show that people living in Norfolk and Waveney have the lowest chance of getting an NHS appointment at a dentist.

Ms Godbolt said: "We feel being a private practice means we can do our jobs the best we can.

"We want to present the best of our skills, so working on ten minute appointments, we can't do that."

READ MORE: NHS bosses under fire after a QUARTER of dentistry cash goes unspent despite crisis

Ms Godbolt, who worked at BUPA on Gorleston High Street for the last seven years. is joined at the practice by dentist Isabel Rodriguez-Garrido, dental nurse Birathiga Paramanathan and receptionist Evan Gannon.

Smile is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6.30pm. Appointments can be booked online and the practice is cashless.

The latest annual survey by the NHS showed that Norfolk and Waveney is the worst in the country when it comes to availability of NHS appointments.

One in three people have failed to see a dentist in the past two years.