THE opening of Malvern's new dental access clinic next month should bring a smile to people who are not registered with an NHS dentist.

The clinic has been built in the grounds of Seaford Court off Osborne Road, the designated site for the town's new community hospital.

The clinic, which cost £340,0000, is being opened to rectify the shortage of NHS dentists in the area.

Currently people not registered with a dental practice have to attend a mobile dental clinic at Malvern Health Centre in Victoria Park Road.

However, when the new centre opens, they will be able to book an appointment and go there for treatment.

Finbarr Costigan, head of dental services at South Worcestershire NHS Primary Care Trust, said: "The new centre, which will be opening early in February, is a purpose-built dental surgery which will have modern facilities.

"Although the mobile dental surgery provided a temporary facility, it will in no way compare to the facilities which we have available to us in the new access centre."

Two full-time dentists will work at the centre, which will open five days a week.

Unlike a conventional practice, patients will not need to register.

People wishing to book a dental appointment should contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647.