Your team for oral health,

it's vital

The power of many More knowledge, more expertise, more care…

Get the benefit of the experience and insights of an entire team that is dedicated not only to your oral health but to helping you live a better, happier life.

Dr Sean Phillips Dentist

I am very excited to be part of the friendly team of fantastic clinicians at The Dentists, Whanganui. My focus is to provide high quality dental care to our community using the latest technology and techniques.  

Growing up on a farm near the village of Puhoi, just north of Auckland, my interest in dentistry was sparked during orthodontic treatment. The satisfaction and confidence I gained was life changing.  

Early detection and prevention of oral disease is my passion. With a good home care routine and regular professional support, I believe everyone can have strong, beautiful teeth and a smile that will last a lifetime.  

Continuing education is vital, so I regularly attend conferences, courses and professional online lectures. I am a member of the New Zealand Dental Association, NZDA Mentorship Programme and the New Zealand Institute of Minimally Invasive Dentistry.  

After spending eight years as a Sea Scout, achieving both Chief and Queen Scout awards, I have developed a love of being in the great outdoors, tramping, camping, sailing and scuba diving. Additionally, I enjoy training in martial arts including Aikido, Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Dr Adam Durning Dentist - Co-Director

Hi, I’m Adam. 

I studied dentistry right here in New Zealand at our very own University of Otago. I received my degree in 1990 and moved to the lovely environs of Wanganui. I consider it a privilege and take great pride in knowing I will provide a lifelong service to the Whanganui community and find it difficult to express the gratitude I have of now treating the children and grandchildren of my original patients from so many years ago. 

I am happily married to Stephanie who is a practice nurse and we are the proud parents of three children, Anna, Finlay and Luca. I love the outdoors and am an avid fisherman, hunter, skier and love riding motorcycles. 

I am passionate about taking an all-encompassing approach to dentistry and oral health and to achieving the best outcomes possible for my patients. I firmly believe that oral health is a vital component to our overall health and well-being and have dedicated myself to this philosophy and the advancement of dentistry throughout New Zealand. 

Over the years I travelled extensively abroad to study and attend many courses. I am a life member and Diplomat of the World Congress of Micro Dentistry and graduated Dux in a 2-year Mini Orthodontic Residency Program. The insights, knowledge and skills I obtained resulted in me becoming the first accredited Australasian Clinical Laser Trainer and I developed a training program designed to pass on these modern dental techniques to dentists back home in New Zealand as well as Australia. During this period, I travelled extensively lecturing internationally. Because I was so actively involved in the rapid increase and utilisation of modern technology and techniques within Dentistry, I identified a need for a formal structure and organisation within the field and I consequently founded the New Zealand Institute of Minimal Intervention Dentistry in 2002.  

Over the years I expanded my horizons and am now a Co-Director of the Dentists Group which is a group of like-minded dentists who have our patients interests at the heart of everything we do. 


Dr Jamie Searle Dentist

I grew up in Levin before moving to Dunedin to study Dentistry. 5 years in the cold was enough to convince me to move closer to home, so I made the move to Wanganui.

Working at The Dentists has been very rewarding, with plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. It has also been very rewarding seeing the improvement we can make in peoples lives through their oral health.

I am a member of the New Zealand Dental Association and the New Zealand Institute of Minimally Invasive Dentistry, and am constantly striving to better myself and the outcomes I can provide for all patients.

Outside of work you can find me digging up dirt at a golf course near you.

Dr Mark Huang Dentist

Dr Mark Huang came to live in New Zealand from Taiwan in 1995 to pursue a better education and living environment and is “exceedingly satisfied with the opportunities New Zealand has offered”.

Mark graduated from Otago University in 2004 and even though he had no family or friends in Wanganui, he decided to move here because he wanted the opportunity to work with Dental Lasers in one of the most up to date practices in New Zealand. Mark believes in regular check-ups, early detection of decay and minimally invasive treatment. In the past three years Mark has been treating patients with I.V sedation, micro air-abrasion and CEREC (computer aided porcelain restorations). He enjoys the efficiency and quality treatments the laser technology brings.

Mark says “I am very thankful for the technology. There is no comparison to the treatment this technology provides. The dental laser especially has enhanced my performance and has helped me to treat my patients in a less invasive and more comfortable way”.

Dr Sue Cheah Dentist

Sue graduated from the University of Otago in 2015. Born in Malaysia, she is able to communicate fluently in English, Malay, Mandarin and Cantonese.

She enjoys partnering with people, especially to improve their oral health and appearance. Her passion lies in the restorative and oral surgery sector of the profession.

Driven by a simple work ethic, Sue treats her patients with care, as she would to herself and her family.

Outside of the practice she spends her time exploring nature, trying new cooking recipes, snowboarding, practising yoga and looking at dog memes.

Dr Tony Lin Dentist

Tony graduated from the University of Otago in 2015 with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery. Born in Taiwan and moved to New Zealand when he was 14. He attended Auckland Grammar School before heading down to Dunedin for dental degree. He enjoys all aspects of dentistry and has special interest on dental prosthetic, root canal treatment and cosmetic dentistry.

Tony believes modern dentistry is about patient comfort and quality service. He aims to provide the best care to all patients with latest technology. He attends courses frequently to keep up-to-date with the latest dental technology and clinical research. He also has publications in the Journal of Dental Research, Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry and Journal of Dental Education.

Tony is a member of New Zealand Dental Association and New Zealand Institute of Minimal Invasive Dentistry.

Outside dentistry, he enjoys basketball, biking and travelling.

Acacia Chairside

Brooke Chairside

Hi, My name is Brooke.

I am a Dental Assistant here at ‘The Dentists.’ I have recently graduated from Wanganui Girls College.

I am thankful for the opportunity to work here as dentistry is something that has interested me over the past few years.

I enjoy interacting with patients and meeting new people every day. In the short time I have been here I have learnt so many new skills and each day there is always something new to learn.

Outside of work, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family, sport and shopping.

Caitlin Chairside

Hi, my name is Caitlin and I am a Dental Assistant at 'The Dentists' Wanganui. I am born and raised in Wanganui and enjoy the atmosphere of our great little town. I feel very privileged that I had been offered such a wonderful job with the best team after our covid lockdown. Each day is interesting as I am always learning something new. The best part about my job is helping our patients feel confident about their teeth and oral health. It is so rewarding to see them smile.

Jessi Chairside

Hi, I’m Jess.  

I have been at the Dentists Wanganui for 4 years now, starting here when I was 18 after finishing my 1st year hairdressing, I wanted to try something new and thought dentistry would be an interesting option.  

I enjoy all aspects of dental assisting but have a particular interest in implant procedures and aesthetics cases, helping people get their dream smile. It's really nice to see how confident and happy people can become with their teeth. I enjoy the reward of seeing patients reactions and getting them the results they want. 

Outside of work I enjoy getting outdoors and keeping active. I love going to the gym, fitness classes and getting out for a bike ride. Spending time with family and friends is important to me also and I enjoy going out for lunch and catching up with them.  

I enjoy working at the Dentists with a great bunch of people and the good relationships we develop with patients. It is great to be in a job where we are constantly learning new skills and every day is different.

Phoebe Chairside

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join the wonderful team at The Dentists Wanganui in August 2019. In this short time I have learnt an incredible amount and I can proudly say I really enjoy being a dental assistant.

I love interacting with patients. I help calm their nerves, reassure and support them through their treatment. The most rewarding part of my job is when the dentist and I show the patient the end result. It’s an incredible feeling when a patient has such gratitude and praise for the care and treatment they’ve received.

Modern dentistry has the ability to improve people’s lives and that’s what it’s all about here at The Dentists. There is so much to offer and I’m going to continue to work and grow my knowledge in the dental industry for a long time to come.

Outside of work, I enjoy fishing and anything in NZ’s great outdoors. Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

Kelly Office Manager

Hi I'm Kelly. I was born in Wanganui and have lived here all my life. I love Wanganui and feel we have a really special community.

I have worked in the dental industry for over 25 years both as a Dental Assistant and Receptionist. What I really love about my job is the contact with the patients and building long lasting relationships. I have done this with many over the years, which has now carried over to some of their children!

I enjoy being a part of the team at The Dentists and am committed to making patients feel welcome and comfortable within our practise.

Louise Hygienist

Hi my name is Louise. I mainly grew up and did most of my education in Whanganui. It was a great place to bring up my children Monique and Shaun, now also my grandson Jaxon.

I am proud to say I have worked for The Dentists now for 25 years. I love my job and I'm very passionate about my work. I am highly trained, have years of experience and pride myself on being professional. I like to greet each patient with a friendly smile and ensure they are comfortable, relaxed and well informed about their treatment plan. I do this by working in a modern dental practice with all the latest technology and by being supported by a great team of clinicians.

I am a member of the NZ Dental Hygienist's Association and the NZIMID and I frequently attend conferences and lectures to keep up to date with the latest technology. I strive to give every patient the best care and expertise of our profession. I believe oral health is important to over all health.

When I'm not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, walking, yoga and helping my partner on a farm.

Richelle Hygienist

Hi my name is Richelle  

I have worked in the Dental Industry for the past 25 years. I started as a chair side nurse then went on to become a Hygienist. 
I have been married to my husband Shaun for the past 20 years and have been a couple since we were aged 15 at High school. We have 4 beautiful children aged between 13-25 years of age. 
I enjoy music and dancing. I am a keen gardener, and keep a very clean home, I might be just a little OCD and maybe this is what makes me such a good hygienist. 
I have a happy easy-going personality with a quick wit sense of humor. I enjoy making people laugh with my funny little stories. I find ‘laughter’ a great form of medicine for the nervous and sometimes anxious patient. 
I understand that most people don’t ‘love’ coming to the dentist, but my personal goal is for every patient to walk out feeling better than when they walked in. 

Oral Health is what I do and it’s important to me that I help my patients also to have a clear understanding of what is happening in their own mouthsso we can work together as a team to keep you healthy.  

I am honest, kind, caring, respectful, and totally passionate about what I do. It’s important to me not to just be your hygienist, but to become a friend in your journey to good Oral Health. 
I love what I do, and I do what I love.

Jeimy Laboratory Manager

I'm originally from Colombia and have a degree in Dentistry from the University of Columbia.  I came to New Zealand in 2004 and since then I have been working as a Dental Technician at the Dentists. 

I specialise in laboratory work and orthodontics and I'm very proud to be part of the team at The Dentists. There are always opportunities to learn new skills due to being able to access the latest technology and procedures.

Kendall Laboratory Assistant

Hi I'm Kendall.

I have been working at The Dentists for three years now and started off as a Dental Assistant. I worked as a Dental Assistant for the first year before moving in into the Laboratory, where i make dentures and mouthguards. I really enjoy the lab work as I feel like there is a real art to it and I've always enjoyed 'arty things'.

When I'm not working I enjoy being outdoors, going for walks and runs and doing workouts with my friends. I also love spending time with my family, attending concerts and travelling.

Kelsie Beautician

Hi I'm Kelsie.

I completed my diploma in beauty therapy in 2015 with international qualifications. I have been working in the beauty industry for the past 5 years at 3 different salons.

During this time I have done many extra advanced training courses to expand my knowledge and treatment skills. I'm very passionate about the beauty industry, especially when it comes to skincare!

Danielle Receptionist

I was born and raised in wanganui

Before working at The dentists I worked in retail for a little over 8 years starting while I was still at school

I have been at The Dentists for a month now and have loved every day since I’ve started! Each day is different and there is always new things to learn, I really enjoy meeting new people and look forward to getting to know everyone I meet along the way.

Donna Rasmusen CFO

Hi my name is Donna

I was born and raised in Wanganui and have lived here all my life. Wanganui is a beautiful relaxed place to reside in where I have raised my two sons who are now aged 24 and 21

I commenced working for the dentists in August 2012 as CFO across the group of Practices which has been challenging and rewarding. Prior to that I went straight from school to an Accountants office where I worked for 32 years. In this time I gained extensive experience in all aspects of accounting and financial management.

Since joining the dentists I have had the opportunity to work with a great team who take pride and are compassionate for dentistry and total wellbeing and have founded great relationships.

Outside of work I enjoy time with friends, family, travelling, camping and keen follower of rugby.

Jenni Gibson COO

I moved to Wanganui with my husband Dave 34 years ago. Wanganui is a great place and we raised our two children here who are now 34 and 32 years old.

I started working for Adam Durning in 1993 in a two-surgery practice in the National Bank Building in Victoria Avenue, as the Office manager. Prior to that I worked in the Retail and Hospitality industries. We then moved to our current location in Wicksteed Street and have continued to expand with 6 dental practices throughout New Zealand, also rebranding ourselves as The Dentists along the way.

As The Dentists have expanded so has my roll and I am now employed as the COO. I still play an active roll within the Wanganui practice as Practice Manager and I love interacting with our patients daily. I am lucky to have the opportunity to work within the other practices as well and enjoy working with a great team of enthusiastic people. I am very passionate about my work

Outside of work I enjoy family, friends, walking my dog, fishing, reading and relaxing.

Keri Hirst Accounts Assistant

Hi, I'm Keri.

I started working at The Dentists in 2013.  I am a qualified NZDA Dental Assistant. However I branched off and changed roles as office Administrator.

I really love this dynamic role with the great support of my team. This role helps me to remain as part of the team in a different capacity, more so in the back ground helping to keep everything running smoothly.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with family and friends.  I love getting outdoors and enjoying what Wanganui has to offer.

Nadia Cvitanovich-Kerr Chairside

I started working for the dentists in June 2019, and I have loved every minute of it! It’s a job where every day is different, and everyone we meet is unique.

I’ve always had an interest in dentistry and feel as though I am continuing to learn every day. I love building relationships with our patients and helping them achieve their oral health goals and making them feel safe, and comfortable! 

I will be off on maternity leave in July 2020, but will definitely be back in 2021! 

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