Meet our team
Tewantin Dental Centre brings together a team of specialised staff including Dentists, Hygienists/Oral Health Therapists, a Prosthetist, our Practice Manager, Dental Assistants and Front Office Co-Ordinators. Our highly experienced dental practitioners are kind, caring and focus on your overall comfort. We specifically tailor your treatment to suit you and your individual needs. Each member of our team has been chosen for their personal and professional qualities and are here to ensure your time with us is as pleasant and painless as possible.
Dr Alex Banic
Dr Alex Banic is the Principal Dentist at Tewantin Dental Centre and graduated in 1993 from Melbourne University and received his Graduate Diploma of Clinical Dentistry in 1999. Alex is a sustaining member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and attends their annual conference each year to remain up-to-date with the latest cosmetic dental techniques and technologies. Alex also enjoys continuing education both in Australia and overseas, and has attended numerous conferences and other higher learning seminars in LA as well as Brazil.
With extensive experience in teeth whitening and cosmetic dentistry, Alex is at the forefront of rejuvenating smiles for the best possible result for our patients. Alex has lived in Noosa with his wife and daughter since 2007 and outside of dentistry you can find him at the gym, enjoying karate practice or surfing.
Dr Leesa Aukett
Dr Leesa Aukett graduated from Otago University in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery, and has been with us at Tewantin Dental since 2008. Dr Aukett is passionate about all forms of dentistry and loves meeting patients and forming strong relationships for heightened mutual trust.
She is a member of the Australian Dental Association and has a particular passion for helping patients reclaim the function and beauty of their smiles.
Away from the dental chair Leesa can be found spending quality time with her husband, her beautiful daughter and her two dogs as well as going to the beach, national park and travelling.
Dr Virginia Ward
Dr Virginia Ward graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of London in 1985 and has been at Tewantin Dental Centre since 1995. Ginny loves mixing with people and getting to know her patients and has a particular passion for children’s dentistry.
Ginny has been called the ‘Tooth Fairy’ and spends much of her time helping children achieve optimal oral health. By doing so she has created a strong foundation in children’s dentistry and is able to skilfully identify and treat dental issues in children.
With four children of her own, Ginny is very family-orientated and loves helping adults and children achieve beautiful healthy teeth so they can smile with confidence. She is dedicated to remaining up-to-date on the latest treatments, techniques and technologies especially for children’s dentistry so she can create the best possible results.
Keeping up-to-date with the latest oral and dento-facial technologies and procedures is important to Ginny and she has consequently completed facial rejuvenation courses through The Australasian Academy of Dento-Facial Aesthetics (AADFA). She is dedicated to promoting the science, art and benefits of facial rejuvenation to her patients. Learn more here.
In her spare time you can catch Ginny keeping healthy and cheering for her football teams spanning across Rugby Union, AFL and NRL.
Dr Ashish Patel
Graduating from the University of Leeds (UK) Dr Ashish Patel completed his vocational training in 2011 followed by a year of postgraduate studies in oral surgery at the Bradford teaching hospital. From there he studied further to obtain Membership to the Faculty of Dental Surgery with the Royal College of Surgeons. Since then he has worked within the private and public sector in Australia and has now developed an interest in oral implants.
With his experience in oral surgery, Ashish is competent in removing wisdom teeth. This can be done at the clinic with inhalation sedation or it can be performed at Noosa hospital under general anaesthetic. He also enjoys other aspects of dentistry as he is pursuing a Masters in restorative and aesthetic dentistry.
Ash strongly believes in patient education and is always happy to spend his time explaining different procedures to ensure the patient makes the best possible choice.
Outside dentistry, Ash enjoys playing golf and is trying hard to get to single figures. He is a also a big soccer fan, and has played 11-a-side and 5-a-side locally.
Mr Scott Payne
Scott completed his apprenticeship as a Dental Technician in 1987.Over the past 27 years, Scott has worked for some of the top laboratories in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast as well as an 18-month stint working in a laboratory in Manchester England.
Scott now enjoys running his own laboratory where he has a passion for creating the highest possible standard of work using the latest equipment and materials available. Scott continues to keep his knowledge updated on advancements in new technology and techniques which enable him to maintain the highest standards available for his clients and patients.
Scott’s entire career as a Dental Technician has been focused on the construction of dentures, which drove him to complete the Advanced Diploma of Dental Prosthetics course to obtain his qualifications as a Dental Prosthetist. This has now enabled him to bring his 27 years of experience directly to his patients at Tewantin Dental Centre.
Being able to control both the clinical and laboratory sides of the denture making process not only ensures that Scott is able to achieve the best result possible for each denture he creates, but also gives him a tremendous sense of satisfaction and pleasure when his patients see the final result and improved smiles.
Away from dentistry he enjoys spending time with his family and pets, training at the gym and playing golf.
Debra is a fully qualified Registered Dental Nurse and has many years experience in the dental and allied fields. Debra’s experience includes working and studying in both Australia and overseas. Debra has lived and worked in the UK and Canada as a Dental Nurse/Practice Manager. Debra is a past member of the Australian Association of Practice Managers, The Australian Institute of Management and the Australian Dental Association (Melbourne Branches).
Debra is passionate about providing the best in patient care in a professional yet friendly environment. Debra moved to the Sunny Coast in 2012 and is enjoying the wonderful lifestyle in Noosa.
Our hygiene team
At Tewantin Dental Centre we pride ourselves on our amazing, highly trained hygiene team. One of the most important things your hygienist will do during a hygiene appointment is professionally clean your teeth which will involve removing plaque, bacteria and tartar.
Tartar is a solidified result of bacteria that is impossible to remove by yourself, and if left on the teeth it can rapidly result in decay of the tooth and erosion of the enamel, which can make your tooth susceptible to even more complications.
By visiting our dental hygienists on a regular basis you are assured of optimal oral health care.
Sara Van Polanen Petel
Hygienist / Oral Health Therapist
Graduating from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Health Science and Oral health with majors in Dental Hygiene and Oral Therapy, Sara has extensive knowledge in dental hygiene and is a member of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
Sara loves seeing an improvement in her patients’ dental health and is enthusiastic about giving detailed and full information on proper dental hygiene routines. Sara’s overall ambition is to help her patients maintain their natural teeth for life and believes in providing gentle and virtually painless dental treatments for her patients.
When she is not maintaining the health of her patients’ smiles, Sara is living her passion of experiencing the great outdoors and loves hiking, outdoor walks and fishing.
Kira moved to Noosa from Vancouver, Canada in 2014 and is excited to help Sunshine Coast residents achieve their optimal oral health. Kira graduated from The University of British Columbia, Canada with a Bachelor of Dental Sciences focused in Dental Hygiene.
She is a member of the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), as well as the Dental Hygienists' Association of Australia; Queensland Branch (DHAA).
Kira loves meeting new patients and is passionate about educating patients on their oral health and how it can affect their overall health. Kira's goal with each patient is to provide comfortable dental treatments that are specifically tailored to their diverse dental needs. Kira is dedicated to preventative dentistry and helping you keep your teeth for life.
Kira is excited to join the team at Tewantin Dental Centre as the dentistry is exceptional and the staff genuinely care, and the patients are treated with friendly, high quality service.
Outside of the dental field, Kira enjoys spending time at the beach surfing, going for walks in the national park, snowboarding and travelling.
Helen enjoys making dentistry fun and enjoys building relationships and creating positive experiences for each patient. She is often told that she has a gentle, personal approach. She has a strong commitment to oral health and preventive dentistry and provides valuable treatment and support to patients in the prevention of major dental diseases.
Helen graduated from Griffith University in 2009 with a bachelor degree in Oral Health Therapy. Since graduating, she has gained experience working in both public and private practices.
Helen is member of the Dental Hygiene Association and is registered with AHPRA. To provide her unique care and treatment, she regularly attends continuing education courses and enjoys keeping up to date with current treatments and research.
On a personal note, Helen is local girl who loves being outdoors, camping, fishing and boating as well as spending time with her family.
Personalised care from your dentist
Our highly experienced dental practitioners are kind, caring and focus on your overall happiness. We specifically tailor your treatment to suit you and your individual needs. We aspire for you to leave us with the memory of a valuable experience. In order to provide the best service possible we will listen attentively to your concerns during an initial consultation. Our dentists will ensure that your concerns and expectations for your smile become their own so that they can satisfy your expectations.