Hygienist lays down his scalers after 61 years

Hygienist lays down his scalers after 61 years

The Watford Observer has reported that Kenneth Walter has retired at the age of 80 after 61 years in practice, having qualified as a dental hygienist in1958. He worked at Pentonville, Wandsworth and Holloway prisons and in various practices up and down the country, most recently working at Smith and Luck surgery in Bushey.

Speaking about working in the prisons, Mr Walter told the newspaper: “Medical and general staff had been attacked at one point or another by the prisoners, but we never were. I think it was because we treated them like real people and nothing else. I think the prisoners were happy that we were treating them as any other patient.”

After being conscripted into the Royal Air Force following his time at school, Mr Walter had originally aimed to attend evening classes to work towards becoming a dentist. However, Mr Walter said: “This job as a dental hygienist appeared on the list of things that was available – and I was told by someone in the Air Force that it was a good earner and I should get on it. I think it’s the best decision I have ever made. It has given me a career and an enjoyable one which is the most important thing.”

Mr Walter added that over time, patients had become his “friends” - and he would miss working at the surgery. He said: “I have had lots and lots of memorable moments. Its been a good life - and I have thoroughly enjoyed my life and the job. All the people I have been seeing for so many years were sad to see me go, as was I.”

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