Specialist orthodontist John Sawyer (pictured) has just celebrated half a century of working at Croydon Orthodontic Practice.

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The practice was founded in 1972 in South Croydon by specialist orthodontist Pat McDonogh, and is now situated next to the train station in Blunt Road. It has cared for more than 100,000 people in the Croydon area.

Dr Sawyer said: 'I qualified as a dentist in 1969 and then travelled to Australia to do my Masters in Orthodontics. When I returned to the UK in 1972 I answered an advertisement in the British Dental Journal and the rest as they say is history!

'The orthodontic landscape was very different in those days. Back then there were Consultants in hospitals, a few specialist orthodontists, but most care was provided by GDPs. We also didn't get paid until the end of treatment - perhaps an interim payment of £50 or so but this meant we worked as GDPs too to make ends meet.'

After 50 years at the same practice, John still enjoys coming into the practice. He said: 'I love working with the kids - that hasn't changed. Fifty years may sound a long time but it has flown by - we are a social bunch and Croydon Orthodontic Practice has always been a happy place. It is not uncommon for me to now treat the grandchildren of some of my first patients - that makes me feel a little mature but also delighted to have helped three generations of the same family'.