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A workspace revolution for the independent hygienist

Post date: 30/04/2024 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 30/04/2024

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Anna Middleton shares her vision of a dental service in which direct access to oral healthcare is delivered from flexible state-of-the-art facilities.


Tell us about your new venture/chapter and the concept 'Until'!

Embarking on the journey of launching my independent dental business, 'London Hygienist,' has been nothing short of exhilarating. It's driven by a vision to revolutionise oral healthcare delivery and enhance accessibility to dental services. This idea stemmed from the introduction of Direct Access in 2013, which was the year I started my studies as a dental hygienist and ignited a passion to innovate within the industry.

As I began cultivating the ‘London Hygienist’ brand, I operated out of various dental practices, catering to a diverse patient base. Utilising channels like social media, Google, and word of mouth, I attracted a steady stream of patients who resonated with my approach. The onset of the pandemic necessitated adaptation, leading me to upskill to becoming a dental therapist and expand with a second location to continue serving my Direct Access patients. 

The introduction to Until—a concept geared towards empowering health and wellness practitioners through its sites that allow you to rent rooms —was serendipitous. Initially intrigued during the pandemic, my interest was reignited last summer when the founders approached me again. The timing felt right for a new challenge, presenting an opportunity to scale my business amid rising demand.

How does this type of direct access empower DHTs (in your opinion)?

Owning and operating a dental practice demands unwavering commitment. However, Until's innovative model offers a refreshing alternative. By providing cutting-edge facilities in a CQC registered building, without the burden of traditional overheads or commissions, dental professionals like myself can seamlessly cater to our patient’s needs. The collaborative environment with other dental and healthcare professionals fosters networking, shared care and cross-referrals among healthcare professionals, amplifying the scope and impact of our services, which in turn gives me confidence in the delivery of my services, as I know I am not working alone. 

This paradigm shift not only empowers dental professionals but also improves access to quality oral healthcare. Through Direct Access and initiatives like Until, we're breaking down barriers and reshaping the narrative surrounding dental care, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes and satisfaction.

What do you think / hope the future of DHTs looks like?

Venturing into this new phase of my career fills me with optimism. With Until poised for expansion, the future for dental hygienists and therapists appears promising. As these types of work space proliferate beyond London, spanning across regions and even internationally, opportunities for collaboration and growth will abound.

I envision a future where more clinicians embrace autonomy, propelled by the rising popularity of Direct Access. As our profession evolves, I anticipate further expansions in our scope of practice, enabling us to address diverse oral health needs and bridge existing gaps in accessibility. Together, we'll continue championing accessible, patient-centric dental care, driving positive change within the industry.

How does the support of Dental Protection empower you to take these steps?

Since my first graduation in 2015, Dental Protection has been a steadfast ally in my professional journey. Their unwavering support and understanding of the unique challenges faced by dental hygienists and therapists instil confidence and peace of mind.

Knowing that I'm backed by an organisation that prioritises my well-being and safeguards my reputation allows me to pursue ambitious endeavours with assurance. With Dental Protection in my corner, I can navigate the complexities of the dental landscape with resilience and determination, empowering me to take bold steps forward in my career.


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