Meet Our Team

Dr Alex Banic BDSc (Melb) Grad Dip Clin DENT (Melb)

Principal Dentist

team dr Alex Banic
Dr Alex Banic graduated in 1993 from Melbourne University and received his Graduate Diploma of Clinical Dentistry in 1999. He is a sustaining member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and attends an annual meeting each year to remain up-to-date with the latest cosmetic dental techniques and technologies. Dr Banic also enjoys continuing education both in Australia and overseas, and has attended conferences and other higher learning seminars in LA and Brazil.

Dr Banic is dedicated to helping his patients achieve their very best smiles, and is currently undergoing further education in cosmetic dentistry and occlusion which will enable him to better manage misaligned bites, occlusal issues and better manage dental pain.

With extensive experience in teeth whitening Dr Banic is at the forefront of rejuvenating smiles for the best possible result for his patients. Having tried all teeth whitening products available, he has found that superior results come with a refined technique – not simply the gel used. With KOR Whitening Dr Banic has found that all results are maximised and combined with customised treatment plans he can tailor treatment to suit his patients’ needs.

Dr Alex Banic has trained under Dr Newton Fahl, a world leader in composite bonding. He has done this to ensure maximised and long-term results for his patients for restorations that are of the highest quality.

Dr Banic has lived in Noosa with his wife and daughter for over 7 years, and outside of the practice you can find him enjoying karate practice with his whole family.

Dr Leesa Aukett BDS (Otago)


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.

Dr Aukett’s extensive background allows her to provide some treatments (where appropriate) under general anaesthesia at Noosa Hospital, so her patients can achieve the best possible results.

Away from the dental chair Leesa can be found spending quality time with her husband and two dogs as well as going to the gym, beach, national park and travelling.

Dr Virginia “Ginny” Ward BDS (Lon)


Dr Virginia Ward graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of London in 1985 and has been with us at Tewantin Dental since 1995. Ginny loves mixing with people and getting to know her patients and has a particular passion for children’s dentistry.

Working in the army as a children’s dentist, Ginny used to be called the ‘Tooth Fairy’ and spent 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.

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 (BChd(Leeds) MFDS RCSEd)


Dr Ashish Patel graduated from the University of Leeds (UK) in 2010. After practicing for a year he did a year in postgraduate studies in-Bradford Hospital where he developed a special interest in oral surgery. 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.

Dr Patel strongly believes in patient education and is always happy to spend his time explaining different procedures to ensure the patient makes the best choice.

Having a background in dentoalveolar surgery, Dr Patel is competent in removing most wisdom teeth. With the advantage of being able to offer inhalation sedation this can prove to be a smooth procedure.

Outside of dentistry, Dr Patel enjoys playing Futsal at the Noosa Leisure Centre and is currently embracing the beach culture by learning how to surf.

Scott Payne


team-dr-payneI completed my apprenticeship as a Dental technician in 1987. After graduating from Kangaroo point TAFE in mid-1986. I served the remainder of my apprenticeship under the instruction of one of Brisbane’s leading specialist Prosthodontists Dr. Arthur Marsden.

Over the past 27 years I have 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 Manchesler England. I now enjoy running my own laboratory where I have a passion for creating the highest possible standard of work using the latest equipment and materials available. I enjoy continuing to keep my knowledge updated on advancements in new technology and techniques which enables me to maintain the highest standards available for my clients and patients.

My entire career as a Dental Technician has been focused on the construction of dentures, which drove me to complete the Advanced Diploma of Dental Prosthetics course to obtain my qualification as a Dental Prosthetist. This has now enabled me to bring my 27 years of experience directly to my patients. Being able to control both the clinical and laboratory sides of the denture making process not only ensures that I am able to achieve the best result possible for each denture I create, but also gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction and pleasure when I see my patients smile at me when they receive their new dentures.

Away from dentistry I enjoy spending time with my family and pets, training at the gym and playing golf.


team-debraPractice Manager ADN (Melb)

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 in 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.

Sara van Polanen Petel

team-saraDental Hygienist

Graduating from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Health Science and Oral health with majors in Dental Hygiene and Oral Therapy, Sara is the newest member of our team with 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. Sara has been conducting high quality dentistry for 2 and a half years and loves making anxious patients as comfortable as possible.

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.