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Mike - Endodontist/Co-Director

Colloquially we call him the “tooth saver”. Mike originally trained as a General Dentist (graduating in 1991) and worked for 12 years in general practice in Hamilton. In 2003, he returned to Otago University as a Post Graduate Endodontic student and completed a Masters in Endodontics with Distinction in 2004. He returned to Hamilton as a registered Endodontic Specialist and set up his private practice – the first for the Waikato and first outside Auckland and Wellington in the North Island. He was also the first to bring the ‘paperless office’ concept with endodontic software developed by Endodontists in the US to NZ. As a foundation user, he shares and runs regular study groups with other local users and has access to a global online forum to discuss share clinical cases and problems.

He gained membership of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons in Endodontics in 2005. Mike has also been actively involved in running continuing education courses and lectures both in New Zealand, Australia and Asia.

You will find Mike’s approach to his patients is very relaxed and professional. He and Ana or Takara will manage your treatment in a very caring and quiet manner, working together to put you at ease.

Mike is passionate about ongoing study and keeping abreast of the latest advancements in the world of treating and managing oral disease. He has a special interest in evolving technology, treatment and management of trauma cases, the use of the operating microscope and Cone Beam imagery in Endodontics.

Clinically Mike is a perfectionist and has the knowledge and ability to train his own team to the highest technical standards. He is constantly active in the areas of ongoing personal and staff professional development, and every 2 years he travels to the USA to attend a conference organised by the endodontic software we use. This year he took both Loren and Ana who attended seminars and workshops for the administrative and assisting side of the business.

He currently reviews articles for the Australian Endodontic Journal and the New Zealand Dental Journal. Mike is the current President of the NZ Endodontic Specialists Group, the NZ councillor to the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Endodontics and he is a past President of the Waikato & Bay of Plenty Branch of the New Zealand Dental Association. He holds memberships with The New Zealand Society of Endodontics, The Australian and New Zealand Academy of Endodontists, the International Association of Dental Traumatology, and of course the New Zealand Dental Association.

Mike is a born and bred Waikato boy, proudly returning to Hamilton after his time away studying. Mike lives on a “forever outdoor jobs to do” block on the outskirts of Hamilton that he shares with his wife and 4 “fast growing up” children. While his youngest two have a couple of years left at school, his older two leave and return! He has developed a love of gardening and considers a Stihl chainsaw and garden blower amongst his prized possessions. Previously he kept fit running around after children with winter hockey and surf lifesaving; now he is a F45 convert, plays tennis as often as he can and tries to sneak away in the winter months for some snow skiing.  Luckily he also still gets to be a huge supporter at Waikato secondary school hockey games.


 

Loren - Receptionist/Practice Manager

Loren has been part of our small team in a full-time capacity since January 2013 – so she is truly our longest serving staff member. We are very proud of her history and now almost family relationship with us having started with us 3 years prior as our practice cleaner in 2010 when she was studying for her Bachelor of Sport and Leisure Science at Waikato University. Loren qualified with her degree when we were searching for a new special person to take on our reception role. Loren knew our team and culture and presented a wonderful case to consider her – the rest is history. Super keen to understand the field of dentistry, she qualified with her Dental Surgery Assistant certification in 2013 so she has the added skills of truly understanding what occurs in the surgery to answer and reassure patients, but also the significant advantage of being able to step in and assist in the surgery when the need arises.

Loren really loves being part of a small dedicated team and especially enjoys the contact she has with “her” patients. One of her greatest strengths is her people skills and extraordinary ability to engage with anybody. She thrives off the challenge of changing negative perceptions of dentistry and particularly “root canal experiences” and sets a very high expectation to offer a completely different service experience from anything else in the medical field. Her greatest rewards come from us as a team being able to manage patients who are in pain.

Born and bred in Hamilton, outside of work Loren in very involved with motocross and cross country motorbike racing. As a teenager she used to trail ride which led to being support crew for friends competing, and a move into the administration of the sport was then borne from her willingness to help out at events. She became the Secretary and Treasurer of the Cambridge Motorcycle Club in 2011 and has worked her way to up to qualify as a National Official which sees her overseeing motorcycling events all over NZ. Motorcycling New Zealand lured her away from us for a year where she honed her interest in event management and she returned more enthusiastic than ever taking on the role of Practice Manager in 2019.

When not at motocross events, Loren also loves the beach, snow skiing, travelling and walking around some of the beautiful tracks in the Waikato. Her new hobby is gardening now that she is a first time house owner.


 

Ana - Senior Surgery Assistant

Ana is our longest serving surgery staff member, having been with us since September 2014. She has enjoyed both full and part-time roles with us throughout this period, during which she took a break to have her son.

Originally from Rotorua, Ana came to us direct from the UK when her partner was lured back home with a job offer in construction. She had a strong background in dental assisting within NZ and Australia before heading north where she had a change working as a nanny and enjoying the chance to explore the UK and Europe. We were exceptionally lucky she chose to work in Hamilton and share her experience and skills with us.

Ana was very excited to join our small and dedicated specialist team and very quickly became an invaluable assistant, always keen to try new equipment and techniques. She was the driving force behind Mike adding the assistant’s scope arm to our operating microscope in 2019, which means now our assistants get to see what Mike sees!

In 2017 Ana enrolled in the NZ Dental Association Dental Assisting programme to obtain a formal qualification. She made our practice super proud topping the 2017 intake and getting a special writeup in the New Zealand Dental Association Journal as “Top Assistant of the Year”.

Ana was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic at the age of 11 and inspires us all with her extraordinary knowledge and disciplined commitment to managing her overall health. Additionally, she is an amazing role model for others with diabetes and plays a significant role as an advocate, working closely with Diabetes NZ and mentoring others on their health journey.

Ana and her partner truly embraced the kiwi dream, having built on and developing a rural lifestyle property that they share with their 4 year-old son.


 

Takara - Surgery Assistant

Takara is our newest staff member who joined our team as a Dental Assistant in September 2019. She is completely new to the industry, having worked previously for start-up tech companies. She did have a background in health science and has made a bold career move to explore dental assisting – a role she perceives allows her to combine her interest and dedication for superior customer service with IT and science.

She is currently working towards her dental assisting certificate and has the fortune of being mentored in the role by Ana and Mike.

In the role she is really loving our team atmosphere and the chances she has to meet so many new and interesting people. She is impressed with our digital office and has naturally embraced all our technology, both in the surgery and in the day-to-day running of our practice.

In her spare time, she explores her love of flying, travelling and spending as much time as she can with her dog, a golden retriever called “Ace”.


 

Megan - Administrator/Co-Director

Megan has been involved with the practice since the very beginning. Initially she was performing accounting roles and special projects in a part-time role as required to support Mike and the growth of the practice, whilst also managing family commitments.

Over the years, Megan has also moved into full-time reception roles when required as a result of staff transitions. More often now you will find her working behind the scenes; managing the accounts and reports to keep operations running smoothly as well as everything else admin-related in-between! 

In the office Megan will often be the other friendly reassuring voice that picks up the phone, and she thrives at being able to help patients with anything they may need. With a background outside dental in marketing and finance, she challenges us all to be the best specialist practice we can be - constantly looking at ways for us to exceed patient expectations and deliver better customer outcomes.

Her interests outside work include walking, pilates and she has a real a passion and talent for gardening.