Every one of our team is fully-qualified in his or her field. We all participate in continuous training, so that we are able to build our technical skills whilst keeping abreast of innovations and new technologies in the field. Our extensive experience gives us a thorough understanding of how to deal with different people’s wants and needs.
Please don’t be afraid to talk to us! We’ll be delighted to answer your questions about any treatment and we’ll be pleased to hear any comments you may have about our practice.
General Dental Council
37 Wimpole Street
The Dentists adhere to the GDC standards.
Having joined Island House in September 2006, Mark Boyton became a partner in 2008. “It has always been my aim to run a dental practice and to do this in my home county of Suffolk is a dream come true.”
Mark Boyton decided on a career in dentistry after spending a week’s work experience in a busy practice.
“When I was doing my GCSEs, my parents arranged for me to get some work experience alongside two of their friends – one was a dentist, the other a GP. After just a few days in the dental practice, the sense of teamwork and the variety of activities persuaded me that this was the career for me!”
When he was in the final year of his dental degree at Guys Hospital in London, Mark was introduced to three dentists from Norwich who were scouting for trainees.
“One of my tutors introduced them to me, thinking that we’d get on and one of the three was Nick Lamb, who had qualified the year before. Following this intro, I went to work with him in Norwich. Then a few years later, it was Nick who followed in my footsteps to come to Island House and he and I are now the Partners here.
I spent five years working in the NHS in Norwich, and really enjoyed it. We’re privileged at Island House, not just because of the wonderful purpose-built premises and new equipment, but because of the time we get to spend with patients. I strongly believe that this is of huge benefit to both parties.”
One of the areas in which Mark is especially interested is ‘restorative dentistry’. This involves working with patients to restore teeth that have undergone years of wear and tear, in order to create healthy smiles of which anyone would be proud.
“Someone who’s had a lot of dental work over the years can find that the teeth at the back of the mouth become worn or begin to break down. In the worst cases, this can lead to the bottom jaw gradually settling closer to the top jaw, making the patient’s chin and nose appear more prominent and the cheeks sunken. By restoring the teeth at the back of the mouth, we create space for nicely shaped, more visible teeth at the front.”
This area of dentistry is becoming increasingly important as more and more people keep their own teeth for longer.
“A couple of generations ago, people expected to lose some or all of their teeth by the time they reached late adulthood,” explains Mark. “That thankfully isn’t the case now, which means that we’re seeing older teeth that have suffered more wear and tear.”
Having the freedom to explore areas of interest alongside general dental practice is one of the things about the Island House practice that is appreciated by Mark and his colleagues. Having the time fully to discuss issues means that he can offer patients long term solutions and involve them fully in the work that’s going on in their mouth.
“Once upon a time, people were afraid to ask too many questions or challenge the views of the dental professional,” says Mark. “These days, we discuss every aspect of treatment with the patient and use facilities such as intra-oral digital photography which enables us to show patients pictures of ‘before’ and ‘after’ treatment so that they can clearly see the impact of what we’re doing for themselves.”
Nick Lamb joined Island House in August 2008 and then became a partner at the practice in January 2013. Nick, when not at the practice is a Senior Dental Professional Adviser to NHS England East. During the first Covid-19 lock down Nick was one of the key people involved in setting up triage and the urgent dental care centres in the East of England for patients who needed to access dental care. Nick is also the secretary of the National Association of Dental Advisers which enables him to be actively involved with dentistry at a national level.
“The practice impressed me from the moment I first saw it,” says Nick Lamb. “It’s extremely forward-thinking, with a real commitment to carrying out top end dentistry. I love it.”
Nick moved to Island House after many years working in a group practice in Norwich, where he also trained newly qualified dentists. His career choice surprised some, coming as he did from a family of medics.
“I initially studied for a degree in parasitology, having decided that I didn’t want to follow my family into medicine. It was only during work experience that I discovered the appeal of dentistry.
I loved the way that this profession combines practical skills with specialist medical knowledge. In practice, every day is different, plus we have the option to pursue areas of specialist interests.”
Already, Nick Lamb is earning a reputation for his work with dental implants, a special interest area of dentistry that enables lost teeth to be replaced with titanium implants. Not only does the technology provide solutions for patients who have lost individual teeth and had nowhere to fix a crown, it provides much needed help for denture wearers who have suffered from having nothing to anchor their false teeth to.
“Professionally, it’s hugely satisfying to be able to develop further dental skills,” says Nick.
Dental Practice Advisors, or DPAs, are responsible for advising NHS England on dental practice issues in their region. This includes matters such as legal and dental issues as well as clinical governance and complaints handling. It’s a responsible appointment and one which Nick will be committed to when not at the practice. This role and the knowledge gained from it, was instrumental in enabling Island House to be one of the first dental practices to open when allowed to after the first Covid-19 lock down. “This opening as early as possible meant a huge amount to Mark and I as we wanted to help our patients gain access to dental care as soon as safely possible.”
“The DPA role is the reason that I won’t be in Island House everyday,” explains Nick. “My time will be spent helping to shape NHS England policies as well as visiting and assessing dental practices in the region. I’m sure that the role will be both interesting and informative and will enable me to feed new ideas and experience back into my work at Island House.”
Along with his advisory role as a DPA, Nick also lectures across the region both to newly qualified and experienced dentists. Nick has also given dental advice to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Nick’s wife is an oral surgeon who also works at the practice. They have two boys and a girl and have thoroughly enjoyed their move to Woodbridge from Norwich.
“Life is great, at the moment,” says Nick, “and I’m genuinely looking forward to my future at Island House.”
“I love general practice because it gives me the opportunity to meet and treat patients of all ages including very young children. For those who may feel anxious about a trip to the dentist I work really hard to help them overcome this fear.”
Shema Leith joined Island House in 2013.
After graduating in 1998 from The Royal London Hospital School of Medicine and Dentistry, she travelled to Australia and spent a year working in practice and hospital.
Once back in England, Shema worked in Ipswich for 8 years.
“I’ve been at Island House since 2013 and I really enjoy working in a friendly and conscientious team. It’s great to work close to home too and to be near to my three young daughters.”
Paul Davies joined Island House Dental Practice at the end of 2016.
His special interests are prosthodontics and restorative dentistry, particularly endodontics (the soft tissue inside the tooth).
In 2011, Paul gained a Diploma of Membership from the Joint Dental Faculties, Royal College of Surgeons. He is now working towards a postgraduate Diploma in Restorative Dentistry, with a special interest in endodontics, under the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons.
After qualifying at the University of Bristol in 2008, Paul returned to Suffolk where he now lives with his wife.
Outside work, he’s passionate about enjoying the countryside and participating in water sports, particularly sailing and windsurfing.
In his teens, Paul was part of the national junior sailing team, taking part in national and international championships. He was awarded a Bristol Red by his university for his outstanding achievements in sailing.
When not on the water, Paul enjoys cycling, snowboarding and golf.
Pratik graduated from University of Sheffield in 2005 and has worked in general practice for over 10 years. During this time, he was awarded a diploma of Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties (MJDF), with portfolio, and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
In 2012 he relocated to Suffolk and in 2016, whilst in general practice, he completed the three-year MSc in Endodontic Practice programme at Queen Mary University of London, with Merit. He gained further experience as a Specialty Dentist/Clinical Lecturer in Endodontics at the Royal London Hospital and gradually began to limit his practice to Endodontics.
Following a successful exit examination in 2019, he received the Membership in Endodontics (M. Endo) from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
The training and experience Pratik received have enabled him to understand and manage challenging endodontic cases from diagnosis through to follow-up care. He performs all endodontic treatments under an operating microscope or high magnification loupes and utilises a wide variety of endodontic armamentarium. He keeps abreast of new developments and techniques by attending various scientific meetings and relevant hands-on courses regularly.
Pratik teaches and mentors postgraduate students on the MSc in Endodontic Practice programme at Queen Mary University of London and is also involved with the delivery of hands-on CPD courses. He is heavily engaged in endodontic research based in the UK and abroad and has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.
Most importantly, Pratik's kind and caring nature and clear explanations of endodontic procedures help ease patients during treatments.
Outside root canals, Pratik enjoys keeping fit by swimming, football and long walks.
John is a specialist orthodontist providing a whole range of orthodontic treatment. He qualified from the University of Dundee in 2012 and then worked for a number of years in Edinburgh and Glasgow, gaining valuable experience across the dental specialties and in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Following this, he embarked upon his specialist training in orthodontics based between The Royal London Hospital and Ipswich Hospital. During this time, he was awarded the Membership in Orthodontics from the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and also completed a Doctorate in Clinical Dentistry at Queen Mary University London, for which he was awarded the Jim Moss prize for his independent research on smile aesthetics.
As an orthodontic specialist with a broad dental background, John is able to work closely with referring dentists for a multidisciplinary approach to ensure patients are well-informed, comfortable and ultimately satisfied with their results.
John offers an array of contemporary orthodontic treatment for both children and adults, with a particular clinical interest in discreet orthodontic appliances, such as Invisalign and tooth-coloured fixed appliances.
Outside of work, John enjoys cycling and spending time with his wife Sophie, also a dentist in Suffolk, exploring the local countryside with their dog Bear.
Hannah’s passion is dental politics. She holds positions in both local and national organisations which enable her to support other professionals and campaign to improve oral care and reduce health inequalities.
Alongside general practice, Hannah has worked in Community Dental Services, the prison service, and the out-of-hours service, helping people who can’t access regular dental services. She spent much of the last decade involved in postgraduate education for newly qualified dentists.
In addition to traditional dental treatments, Hannah can provide anti wrinkle injections to improve appearance and help with headaches and jaw problems from clenching and grinding.
Hannah was born in Suffolk and in 2006, returned to the county from training in Wales in order to begin her career in dentistry. At the same time, she learnt many new skills in house renovation.
Outside work, Hannah loves to travel and is always open to travel tips from patients. She is also an excellent cook and everyone in the practice looks forward to sharing her cakes.
The thing I love most about my job is promoting oral health to my patients. I use a gentle approach that puts people at ease and helps them learn to trust me.
I qualified as a dental hygienist in August 2020 at the University of Essex. My training began back in 2010 when I started working towards the NVQ level 3 in dental nursing. I achieved this in 2012.
During my time as a dental nurse, I’ve really loved being able to learn new skills. I’ve gained qualifications along the way too - I can now work with fluoride application, impression/ model making and radiography.
In my spare time, my favourite thing is to go on walks with my partner and our dog Milo.
Laura Hughes is a dental associate who started working with Island House Dental Practice in 2017.
She trained at Newcastle Dental School and began specialising in facial aesthetics in 2012. She continues to develop her skills in this field and is passionate about the impact that aesthetics can have on people’s confidence and quality of life.
Laura is a certified Bioclear practitioner. Bioclear is an established system that enables dentists to improve dental restorations, enhancing what’s possible with traditional composite repairs.
In addition to her work at Island House, Laura practices at an aesthetic wellness and cosmetic surgery clinic in Knightsbridge, carrying out non-surgical facial aesthetics.
She particularly enjoys the relaxed atmosphere at Island House and the way that it is shared by staff and patients alike.
Outside work, Laura enjoys yoga, running, cycling and long walks in the countryside.
Annabel Mehta brings impressive experience as a dental hygienist to Island House.
“It seems incredible to me that I’ve been helping patients get to grips with their oral hygiene for 33 years plus. The years have flown by, I think largely because I enjoy and am fulfilled by my career - there aren’t people who can say that about their jobs, so lucky me!”
Annabel Mehta works with us every Thursday, helping to extend our hygiene provision and making it easier for patients to book an appointment on the most suitable day.
“When I left school in Norwich, my first proper job was as a dental nurse trainee. The practice was very prevention-based and had two hygienists, which was most unusual in 1978! This experience fired my interest in hygiene and I went on to study and qualify from Birmingham Dental Hospital.”
After beginning her professional career in Norwich, Annabel Mehta worked in a private practice in Colchester for 30 years.
“My areas of special interest include gum disease (including bone loss prevention), tooth decay prevention, tooth whitening and halitosis control, diet and smoking cessation support for mouth health; and looking after baby’s and children’s mouths.”
Island House hygienist, Karen Easton, wanted to work in the health field for as long as she can remember. “I started working as a dental nurse in the school holidays,” she explains. “I knew that I wanted to do something health-related but I didn’t want to be a nurse. I loved the sense of teamwork of working in a dental practice, and the variety that comes from meeting different clients every day.” When Karen left school she began the two-year training programme to become a dental nurse. “I worked in Ipswich initially, and although I enjoyed the dental nurse role, it was always my aim to become a hygienist,” she says.
Once she’d made the decision to develop her career, Karen headed off to Edinburgh to undertake a year’s training as a hygienist. “I loved Edinburgh and made a lot of great friends there. However, I was very young and being so far from home made me quite homesick.”
Back in East Anglia after successfully completing her training, Karen began working as a hygienist at dental practices in Ipswich, carrying out a mix of National Health Service and private work. “One of the dental nurses I knew told me that Mike Smith in Woodbridge was looking for a hygienist to work with some of his patients,” explains Karen. “Initially, I came to the old Island House practice in the car park in Woodbridge for just one day a week. It was just me and Mike in those days, before any of the other dentists had joined.
As the practice grew, we did become rather cramped, although I had a lovely surgery with views of the River Deben. We were all really excited about moving to the new building, however, because it would enable us to offer our patients so much more.”
The new Island House is anything but cramped. Plentiful space gives all dental staff more room to work and helps create the relaxed, peaceful environment for which the practice is renowned. “It can be tricky generating a relaxed, warm atmosphere in a large practice,” says Karen, “but the team here has managed it. There’s a really good mix of people here – everyone is very welcoming and helpful. That attitude, combined with the latest equipment and facilities help to make visits stress-free for patients.”
There was a time when people were as anxious about visiting the hygienist as they were about going to the dentist, fearing that they’d be ‘told off’ for not looking after their teeth properly. “Thankfully, times have changed, and my patients know that I’m here to help,” says Karen. “Many people now look forward to seeing the hygienist and to getting some support with maintaining a healthy mouth.
If a hygienist can help people to keep their gums healthy, it leaves the dentist free to do their work. We can help people not only by cleaning tricky places but by helping them learn how to look after their own teeth properly.
None of us is taught how best to brush our teeth, so even as adults it’s helpful to learn new habits because they, like healthy teeth, should last a lifetime.”
Hygienist Sue Bilner joined Island House in July 2009.
“The variety of patients is something I really enjoy and many look forward to their hygiene appointments! Getting to know patients as people and not just a set of teeth is important – it means that we can tailor the help, advice and treatment to each individual’s needs.”
Sue Bilner began her career on work experience with her own dentist in Ipswich.
“My dentist asked what I would like to do when I finished school and when I explained that I wanted to work in something health-related, he kindly offered me the chance to spend a few days at the practice. It was a great opportunity and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
After completing a two-year training programme to become a dental nurse, Sue Bilner worked at the practice that had given her work experience. After a couple of years she was accepted on the dental hygienist training course at Guys Hospital in London.
“It was a great place to train with a huge variety of patients and I loved the atmosphere of a large teaching hospital and the buzz of a big city”.
After qualifying, Sue Bilner worked in Suffolk for the National Health Service and private practices in Ipswich and Hadleigh, together with one day a week working in the Oral Surgery Department at Ipswich Hospital.
“The staff at Island House work really well as a team. They are very supportive and welcoming, so it didn’t take long for me to settle in. I believe the very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, together with the spacious modern treatment rooms, helps to create a more stress-free experience for patients”.