A NEWTOWNARDS dental nurse, who has retired after 50 years in the profession, said she’s ‘loved every minute of it’. 

Sharon Taylor retired from Park Dental Care on Frances Street on Friday with a whirlwind of flowers, lunches, dinners and drinks.

Starting in the role in June 1973, Sharon wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life but was always interested in dental care.

“I guess I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but yes I always wanted to work as a dental nurse,” she said.

“I mean I probably would have liked to be a film star but I was always very interested in dental nursing.”

She started in Regent Street when John Stewart owned the practice before it changed hands a couple of times before Portman Park took it over, meaning Sharon has stayed within the same practice for 50 years.

As she’s been a dental nurse since the 70’s, Sharon has seen numerous changes and huge progress to dentistry.

“The role has changed amazingly since I started, the progress has been amazing,” she said.

“When I started out, there wasn’t any PPE and now after Covid there’s lots.

“Such progress in saving teeth, you can see it in the materials that we use and even in the cosmetic treatments.”

She says the best thing about the profession is the friendships and camaraderie with her coworkers and caring for the patients.

“The best thing about this job is the staff that we’ve got and the friendships and meeting the patients and caring for them,” she said.

“I’ve had a wonderful time especially with the Parks. We’re going out for lunch locally, then out for dinner, then cocktails and then in September Parks Dental are having a dinner for me to celebrate my retirement.

“It’s been a bit crazy and to be honest I’m a bit sad to be leaving but I know I have to slow down at some point.

“It’s been a great day and I love it, but it’s also sad for me after all this time.”

Now she has the time, Sharon is hoping to plan a big holiday for next year and get into photography and get inspired by her love of wildlife and nature.