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Dentists

Our dentists have different special interests; let us know your requirements and you will be placed with the dentist to best meet your needs.

Sophie McKenna

BDS

Sophie grew up in Canterbury and graduated from Otago Dental School in 1995. She immediately moved to Wellington with her dentist husband Andrew, beginning her dental career in an Upper Hutt practice. She spent time working in Paraparaumu before buying her own practice on The Terrace. Fate intervened with the pregnancy of their first child resulting in Sophie choosing to merge her practice with her husband’s in Thorndon on Tinakori Road. Sophie and Andrew saw their own patients but shared a surgery across each week for 14 years while their children were small, successfully covering each other’s patients when needed, when the other was at home parenting.

Now their kids are older and Sophie works across 4 days per week. She practices all forms of general dentistry and particularly enjoys seeing families and helping nervous patients improve their dental experiences. She is very motivated by minimal intervention as a philosophy in dentistry and strives to offer as much information to patients as she can to help them understand their mouths and how best to care for themselves at home, to help avoid the need for dental intervention.

Sophie volunteers at the free dental clinic associated with DCM in central Wellington and is currently in charge of running the clinic, with other volunteer dentists and assistants plus the very generous help of donations from dental companies. This has become a major joy for Sophie to help people many of whom have been in pain for months often to the detriment of their general health, who are below the normal line of government assistance, often with no housing, who cannot easily access the limited assistance our health system offers.

Gumboots are Sophie’s preferred footwear in the weekends with a love of gardening, on their lifestyle block that is yet to be completely tamed.

Andrew McKenna

BDS

I graduated from Otago University School of Dentistry in 1994 and returned in 1996 to Wellington where I grew up.

In 1997 I became part owner of the Thorndon Dental Surgery and have enjoyed working in a great area with wonderful people ever since.

I am interested in all aspects of general dentistry and have a particular interest in oral rehabilitation, cosmetic improvement and minor orthodontics. I am also very enthusiastic about the use of preventative techniques and improved oral hygiene to help our patients keep their teeth for life.

My wife Sophie is also a dental surgeon here at Thorndon Dental. We have three wonderful ( nearly always!) children who are at secondary school and university. Practicing together has allowed Sophie and I to share the parental duties which she has said made me a better person.

I enjoy fishing, squash, snowboarding, reading, music and carpentry in my spare time. I also enjoy a good pub quiz if I get the chance.

Parm Gill

BDS (Otago 1995), MFDS(RCS Lon), MFGDP(UK), PGDip Dig. Orth.(UK) – Non-specialist Orthodontics

Dr. Parm Gill graduated from the University of Otago obtaining a Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 1995.

Following graduation, Parm embarked on a house surgeon position at the Rockhampton Base Hospital in Queensland for a year before returning home to New Zealand to work as a dentist in private practice in Hamilton.

In 1998 he began work in London, covering NHS (National Health Service) and private dentistry, and continued his career working at Kings College Dental Hospital. During his time overseas, he embarked on an extensive study programme, obtaining two fellowships with the Royal College of Surgeons of England (MFDS) and The Royal College of General Dental Practitioners (MFGDP).

Upon his return to New Zealand in 2007, Parm developed an interest in the area of implant dentistry, attending courses in Wellington, Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne. He then proceeded to achieve accreditation with the Australian Society of Implant Dentistry through completion of the Levels I-III Accreditation courses as well as the Level IV Advanced Surgical Skills course. A Diploma in Head and Neck Anatomy at the University of Sydney Medical Faculty was obtained in 2008.

Parm has worked across the globe and has continued to strive for professional excellence by keeping abreast of the latest and most up to date dental treatments by attending regular dental courses here in New Zealand and overseas regularly to provide the best possible care for his patients

Parm is a member of the New Zealand Dental Association and International Team of Implantologists and adheres to the strict guidelines governing the profession under strict guidance from the New Zealand Dental Council (NZDC Standards for Dental Professionals).

With a great deal of experience under his belt, Parm looks forward to providing the highest level of dental care to all of his patients. He especially enjoys carrying out minimally invasive smile makeovers using simple and advanced corrective teeth straightening techniques followed by any necessary restorative/cosmetic procedures. He firmly believes in the motto of prevention is better than treatment and works to ensure that all his patients are able to be dentally healthy for the long term.

Parm just recently successfully completed a Diploma in Digital Orthodontics. He is very much into his fitness, golf and gardening in his spare time.

Our team

Our compassionate team will help you feel completely at ease.

Anne

Office administrator

Anne has worked as our receptionist / administrator since 2009. Her helpfulness to patients, dental knowledge and administration skills are what makes her an important cog in the wheel that helps to keep this practice running smoothly. During her spare time she likes to spend her days more often than not pottering round the garden in the Wairarapa with her husband and pets.

Vanessa

Dental Hygienist

Vanessa has been a Dental Hygienist for 20 years. Having worked in various private and specialist periodontal practices she has been at the forefront of the growth in popularity and importance of Dental Hygiene. During her years of experience Vanessa has worked on many challenging yet rewarding oral health issues and is adept and helping her patients feel at ease and supported when they visit her. She keeps up to date with the latest techniques in her field and studied in Melbourne to complete her local anesthetic qualifications.

Vanessa is always encouraged when her patients return with much improved oral health having taken on board the importance of looking after their gums as part of the holistic approach to oral hygiene. In her leisure time Vanessa is a keen gym goer, teaches spin classes and enjoys sewing, being a member of the Australasian Sewing Guild.

Kerry

Dental assistant

Kerry has been in the dental industry for 35 years. She joined our practice in 2014 as a senior dental assistant.

When not at work she enjoys relaxing at home, travelling around with her partner Pete on his motorbike and spending quality time with their 9 grandchildren.

Susan

Dental assistant

Susan is our newest team member, a real people person and a senior Dental Assistant with excellent chair side manner and patient focused skills. She began her dental career volunteering at the Wellington People Centre where she completed her NZDAA Dental Assistant qualification, now the Downtown City Mission where she still volunteers providing dental care for the most marginalised in the community. Since then she has gone on to complete an IV Sedation course, Level 4 Resuscitation Certificate, Implant Course in Shanghai and a live Implant Placement Course in Wellington. She went onto train and work as a digital workflow technician undertaking intraoral digital scanning for implant placements using the latest digital technologies. When not at work she can be found moaning at her husband, avoiding her three grown up children and walking her two Daschunds, Frank and Sally along the Wellington waterfront.

Richa

Dental assistant

Richa started working as a Dental Assistant in 2016 and joined the practice in 2019. She enjoys working in the surgery. When not at work she likes to socialise with friends and read books.