A popular Darlington dental practice will cease seeing patients and will close its doors later this month.

Burgess & Hyder Darlington is based at Firthmoor Community Centre on Burnside Road and from March 31, patients will need to find a different dentist.

This is a blow to the community, with finding an NHS dentist is proving difficult for many.

Read more: Darlington's Savoury Café on business in the indoor market vs the Cornmill Centre

In a statement, the practice said: “We are writing to you as a patient of Burgess & Hyder Darlington to regrettably inform you that the dental practice will no longer be providing dental services with effect from March 31, 2023 and will cease providing both NHS and Private Dental Services.

“The reason for this decision is a result of difficulties experienced in recruiting dentists and ongoing running costs, which have prevented the practice from operating sustainably.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and we are very sorry we are no longer able to provide dental services at this practice.

“There may be other NHS practices accepting new patients across the wider area.

“To help you to find another NHS dental practice at the point you need your next check-up you can search online using the NHS website located at www.nhs.uk or by calling 111.

“Unless you need any immediate dental treatment, we would advise that you don't seek to book a dental appointment with another dental practice until the point your next check-up is due; in order to avoid a number of patients seeking appointments at the same time.

“Once again, we are sorry that we have had to take this decision and we thank you for supporting the practice over the years.”

For more quality journalism, subscribe to The Northern Echo for £1.50 a week here

Jonathan Dulston, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “We are actively having conversations with various dentists who are interested in occupying the facility and those commercial discussions are very much live.

“NHS England has responded to the issue faced by the UDA. I’m confident that Firthmoor will have a fully functioning NHS dentist in the next couple of weeks.

“Burgess & Hyder is leaving on March 31, and we’re hoping to secure another dentist by April 1.”