Martin at St Stephens Dental Practice has some very sad news:

“On Sunday afternoon the 2nd April my Dad, Brian passed away after being ill on and off for the last couple of years. My Dad had lived in Canterbury all his life. He left school to take up an apprentice placement as a Dental Technician learning to construct dentures and crowns.

After National service he worked for a variety of dentists including Mr Matthews and Mr Gardener before becoming self employed in 1972. He built an extension on the back of my parents  house in Stodmarsh Road and worked from there until retirement. He worked for quite a number of Canterbury dentists but in 1978 he was approached by George Hamill to do the work at St Stephens Dental Practice. As Mr Hamill opened more practices in Bridge then Wingham and Chestfield Dad worked almost exclusively for these.

When I qualified as a Dentist at the beginning of 1988 I started to work at St Stephens with Dad doing my work and I thought we were a good team. Because I saw him every day it was easy to communicate what details either of us needed. It is very rare to find a dentist son and dental technician father working together at all and I think we provided a very good personal service. We almost had a telepathy between us. Dad continued to work for me and the other dentists until 2010 when he retired.

The life of a Dental technician is quite a lonely one. You spend your life making very precise prostheses under the instruction of the Dentist. It is very time consuming and requires great concentration. Then you supply the item back to the Dentist who then gets all the praise and feedback from the patient. Positive feedback then rarely reaches the technician but negative feedback although rare always gets back to the poor Technician. So in spite of doing some brilliant work my Dad never really felt appreciated for what he did.

But what he did was truly great. Improving the smile of many Canterbury patients, providing a truly brisk turn around service and working well into the night if required as it was always impossible to gauge the level of work that would arrive. He was always available to help patients and dentists alike. And he was totally reliable and punctual.

I could go on but one of my patients summed it up quite nicely. I had been seeing this chap for a long time and Dad and I had made him some dentures a long while back. He came in again for a new set after Dad had retired. These were made and fitted and the chap seemed quite pleased. But a few years later in conversation he commented on the new teeth. He said “It is a shame your dad had to retire as his work was really very good. If I could liken my dentures to a car, I would say my new teeth are a Ford. The ones your Dad made were a Ferrari.” Praise indeed. And I did tell Dad.

So that was my father. Brian Southon.  Unfortunately never realising how much he was appreciated by the dentists he worked for and the patients he helped. My mother, sister brother and I knew. And we knew what a great person he was away from work too.

And now we are being overwhelmed by the amount of lovely things people are saying about Dad. Loads of cards and messages saying how well liked he was.

He was a great Dad, a lovely man and a brilliant dental technician. And he will be greatly missed.”




What is your definition of an emergency appointment?

Being offered an appointment on the day, within a week, or within a month?

What if you were in sufficient pain that you could not sleep?

Would you be happy with being offered an “emergency appointment” 10 days away?

I thought not.

I was contacted late last Sunday by the partner of a colleague of mine. He regularly attended one of the corporate dentists that are taking over many independent dentists.

The receptionist there was dismissive of his problem and unhelpful saying no one could see him, let alone help him for 10 days. Obviously he was not very pleased with this and his partner contacted me. I responded within an hour, had seen the patient within another hour and the whole situation was resolved the following Monday morning.

This is what proper emergency treatment is about. A personal service because we care.  At my practice we aim to see our registered patients on the day if they are in trouble and, as much as possible will extend the same service to new patients as well.

There will certainly be none of this waiting for days on end, especially if the patient is in pain.

So for a proper emergency dental service and for routine treatment as well,  please think of St Stephens Dental Practice where we will give you the confidence to smile.

Martin Southon.

Practice Principal


Anyone familiar with St Stephens Dental Practice and owner Martin Southon will know it is an eye catching place filled with lots of personal features that Martin likes. There are lovely original paintings and interesting photos, unusual sculptures, and naughty 60’s postcards featuring dentists. The whole place is very bright and colourful.

In Martins surgery, there also are on display some very large diecast models of old racing cars and their transporters that he is very keen on. They are a bit too big for his house and his wife, Lucy put her foot down not allowing them to be displayed there. But as he is the boss at the practice he has them there!

They are made by a German company CMC models renowned for their high quality. After a wait of nearly 3 years from initial order a new model has arrived and is now on display.

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It is a 1/18 scale 1937 Mercedes LO2750 racing car transporter with 1938 Silver Arrows car and a figurine of the driver Roland Caracciola. The truck alone is made of 2365 different parts, 1900 of them metal. It is a limited edition of 1000.  It is quite spectacular and eye catching.

So if you are looking for an interesting dentist interested in providing a great service to you, then look no further than St Stephens Dental, a practice that features a very personal service.

St Stephens Dental Practice, a welcoming and eye-catching practice where we will give you the confidence to smile.


This February how would you like to receive £20 off your next dental visit?

Recommend our surgery to your friends, family, neighbour’s or colleagues via a referral card, and you will BOTH receive £20 off your next visit to us. Offer applies when the first appointment has been completed by the person you recommend.

To take advantage of this amazing offer please ask for a card at reception.

The more referrals you make to us, the less your next treatment will be! ( max 3 cards )

So spread the word……



December 2016 and January 2017 are 2 months when we at St Stephens Dental Practice are celebrating 2 important anniversaries. In December Dawn Eyers dental nurse, on the left in the photograph celebrated 20 years of service. In January of this year Karen Leadbetter celebrated 30 years working as a dentist at St Stephens. Karens CV is rather brief; qualified in December 1986, started work at St Stephens in January 1987 and still here! Very few people these days can claim to have worked in the same job for as long as these two ladies. We at St Stephens are extremely proud of them and very grateful that they have stuck with us. We wish them many more years of work here. The good news for our patients is continuity as the same people provide treatment year in year out rather than seeing a different face at each visit.


At St Stephens Dental Practice we want to provide the best experience possible at a dental practice. To help us to provide a good service we collect feedback from our patients after they have finished a course of treatment. This can be anonymous or not, the patient can decide. On the summary of the feedback that we see there are initially 4 categories;


Clean/ comfortable

Entertainment/ literature

Friendly/ approachable

Level of trust

We routinely score 97-100% in 3 of these but seem to fall down a bit on the Entertainment/ literature category scoring 85-90%. This is quite disappointing for us as we think we have a great selection of magazines, lovely original paintings and sculptures and the televisions in the waiting room and ceilings of the surgeries. What else can we do??


We thought it would be amusing to do a montage of the magazines in the waiting room to check if you think we have covered all the bases.

There are about 60 different titles! And soon we will also have a magazine for you folk who microlite!

What do you think?

Any ideas or suggestions can be sent through by Email to


It is beginning to feel a bit like Christmas at St Stephens Dental Practice!

The Christmas tree has gone up in the waiting room and the room has been decorated in a festive fashion.

The tree has traditional decorations along with a dental twist, festive toothpaste samples!

The naughty Christmas elf is abseiling across the room.

The antique dental chair and pedal drill have had a Christmas make over.

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And Martin the practice owner has changed jobs and taken on the role of the fairy on the Christmas tree!!

So if you need the festive confidence to smile please think of the team at St Stephens Dental Practice, we can put the smile on your face this Christmas.

And don’t forget if you fancy a whiter smile for this time of year or want to give a whiter smile as a gift please remember our seasonal reduction on tooth whitening from £300 to £249.


Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

This years must have feature for Christmas is a whiter smile. At St Stephens Dental Practice we can give you a whiter smile. This could be by just having a simple scale and polish removing stains to tooth whitening to a full smile workover involving crowns and veneers.

For this Christmas we are offering an offer on home based tooth whitening.

This is normally £300 but until the end of January 2017 we have reduced the cost to £249.

So if you fancy having your teeth whitened by up to 6 shades within a couple of weeks please give the team at St Stephens Dental Practice a ring on 01227 452668  to book an appointment for an assessment.

St Stephens Dental Practice where we will give you  the confidence to smile brighter.



I do not think a day goes by without a patient saying that they are my worst ever.

They are all wrong!

My Father in Law used to farm beef and lamb, now only beef animals. He introduced me to my most difficult and interesting patient about 15 years ago. At the time he was farming Bleu de Maine French sheep. These are large sheep with a bluish face and a very muscular body like a gym body builder.

He found a prize pedigree ram, normally as a show animal price sky high but it had a broken lower front tooth so it was worth only what is known as kill value, about £20 at that time. He bought it as a stud but the tooth needed removing as it was an infection risk as it had fractured down to gum level.

This is where I was invited to meet the patient!

We put the ram in a sheep “crush” to keep him still as much as possible and my Father in Law helped to steady him as well. I anaesthetised the sheeps mouth with standard dental local anaesthetic and removed the tooth. However the patient was most uncooperative! Both my Father in Law and I ended up covered in green half chewed grass and saliva and lots of bruises.

The ram recovered quickly though and went on to sire many hundred lambs.

These days I have limited my practice to humans and although some of them can be tricky, not as much as that ram!

The point of this story is that at St Stephens dental Practice we can handle most things tooth related!

So for all your dental needs, all you need is St Stephens Dental where we will give you the confidence to smile.


Name – Anna West

Position in surgery – Trainee dental nurse

Qualifications – I am still training to be a dental nurse, I don’t qualify until November 2016.

Hobbies – I love sewing and baking, I’m not very good at either but I try. I’ve also just moved to the seaside so I’m going to treat myself to a bike for my birthday.

Pets – Not yet! However I am waiting for my new baby chicks to hatch their due date is 31t July which is the same day as my best friend’s wedding; I hope she forgives me if they tweet during her ceremony.

Why did I become a dental nurse – My childhood dentist worked with the loveliest nurse, I always remember wanting to be like her when I grew up. I don’t know her name but she inspired me!

Funniest experience in dental care – I was treating a really nervous patient a few months ago who brought her boyfriend into surgery for moral support. He was rubbing her feet whilst she was having a tooth extracted, however, the rubbing of her feet lead to kissing and the kissing lead to sucking her toes!! I haven’t eaten a sausage sandwich since….

Why did I join st. Stephens – I joined st. Stephens because I always knew it was a lovely practice.

Why do I think st. Stephens is the best in Canterbury – Our team make st. Stephens the best in Canterbury. Everybody who works at st. Stephens is a character, we all are friends and I think that’s obvious when you visit the practice. Everybody here puts the patient’s needs first and that’s how it should be!