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Dental Chambers celebrates 110 years with makeover

Dr Denis Ingham out the front of the dental practice on 11 Barolin Street.

The iconic building which houses the Burnett Dental Centre has been given a major makeover just in time for the surgery's 110 year celebrations.

The heritage building, now tenanted by 1300 Smiles Ltd, was once dubbed the Dental Chambers and was initially constructed in 1911 by dentist O. J. Gruter.

Former partner of the practice and owner of the building Dr Denis Ingham was instrumental in organising the restoration work, which he said had blasted off many layers of paint to reveal the original bricks and uncover some of the building's history.

Burnett Dental
The restoration work underway at the Burnett Dental Centre.

“The original dentist’s name, O J Gruter, was revealed above the Dental Chambers wording along with a great surprise, six large red hand painted signs saying ‘dentist' on each facet of the façade pillars,” he said.

“This small but imposing building has a very unique architectural feature known as dentil blocks on the frieze.

“Dentil blocks or moulding are found in Ancient Greek architecture on the library at Ephesus in Turkey, the Parthenon in Athens, along with other notable buildings such as the American White House and Gracelands – the former home of Elvis Presley.”

History of Bundaberg Dental Chambers

With more than a century of history to its name, the iconic building on Barolin Street has seen many faces, and owners, walk through its doors.

Burnett Dental
Old wording was revealed when the paint was stripped back during the restoration works.

The business was first established by German-Swiss dentist O.J. Gruter before being acquired by a Maryborough businessman.

Overall, up to seven owners and partners have been recorded in the building's history, but it has always stayed true to its original purpose as a dental practice.

Dr Ingham and Dr Paul Stockham became partners at the practice, and the pair expanded the building to accommodate seven dentists.

In 2008, the practice was sold to the 1300Smiles Ltd. with Dr Stockham and Ingham staying on in a managerial role.

Dr Ingham left the practice in 2012 but stayed on as owner of the building, with his interest in its history remaining strong.

New look for historic building

The new colour scheme for the restoration of the Dental Chambers was masterminded and overseen by Dr Ingham’s daughter, Samantha Ingham.

“We love our building, we are the custodians of it’s history,” Samantha said.

“If the walls could talk imagine the ‘going to the dentist' stories over the past 110 years!”

Samantha said the successful restoration and colour palette of greys, white and gold was achieved with the support of Bernie and his team from local company Mark Haster Painting.

“It was a trial and error in testing the paint selections,” she said.

“Everyone thought my choice of the gold warm spice was slightly too out there, however they all conceded once it all came together to make the beautiful building shine again.”

The Burnett Dental Centre is situated at 11 Barolin Street.

Find out more about the current dental practice here.

110 YEARS: The Burnett Dental Centre has had a fresh makeover to the front of the building.

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