Meet the team

At Durham City Smiles our highly skilled, friendly team shares the same single vision: we put you first. Together, we are dedicated to providing you with a first class experience, from the comfort of our reception to the very latest innovations in dental technology. We make sure you have the best possible care from the second you walk through the door.

Find out more about each of our practice team members below.


Graeme And Surgery

Graeme Dentith

Principal Dentist
BDS (Newcastle) 1985
GDC No. 60157

Although we’ve tried to keep the tone of this website light and casual, please be assured, when it comes to what we do with our patients, we take it very seriously indeed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. Let’s face it, nobody likes coming to the dentist, so we try to make it as easy and friendly as possible. In fact, it has been said that the most disturbing thing about visiting us is my shirts!

As a team, we’ve worked together for many years, and we feel we bring a blend of expertise to the task in hand that is second to none. Our reputation is precious to us and so we are very keen to work closely with patients to see that their aims and desires are met. We consult our patients at every turn, so that they are fully involved in the decision making process.

As with so many things, the essence of good dentistry is communication at every level, and this is even more so in the field of Cosmetic Dentistry. We now have two very friendly faces running our reception, so patients are guaranteed a warm welcome.

Graeme qualified at Newcastle University Dental School in 1985 and started work at Bridge House Dental Surgery, Durham, July 1985. Graeme became partner in 1988 and completed a 12 month course in Advance Restorative Dentistry at Newcastle July 1997. Other achievements include:
Taught Restorative Dentistry to 4th and final year students, September 1997 to June 2006
Left Bridge House to set up Metcalfe House Dental Surgery, February 1998
Completed one year course in Implant and Restorative Dentistry at prestigious Harley St Centre for Implant and Restorative Dentistry, under internationally renowned Dr Ashok Sethi
Attended AstraTech International Implant Congress, New York City, April 2006
Completed one year course in Aesthetic and Implant Dentistry under Dr Dominic Hassall in Peterborough
Member of BACD, ADI, AACD, Denplan Excel accredited, and BUPA registered
Married – Lynne, kids – Jamie and Rebecca, and dogs – Moby and Archie
Hobbies – sailing, golf, walking in the Lakes, more sailing, cooking (including on boats), socialising with friends, eating out and sailing
Opened Durham City Smiles at the Crossgate Centre in August 2010

Stuart Cox

Stuart Cox

Associate Dentist
GDC No. 51555

Dr Stuart Cox qualified in 1977 from UCH London with BDS and subsequently passed the Licentiate in Dental Surgery (LDS).

I enjoy working in a happy and professional practice and look forward to coming to work. Reception and nursing support is second to none.

Having commenced working in 1978, I worked in my own general practice for 21 years.

I’ve also worked in a locum capacity in Saudi Arabia, and in restorative and periodontal dentistry at Newcastle Dental Hospital for 12 years.

My interests are skiing, wine, cars, travel and people!

Mel Hygienist

Melanie Dixon

Dental Hygienist
EDH (N'castle)
GDC No. 6695

Melanie Dixon is a qualified hygienist from Newcastle Dental Hospital and currently works Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I’m a real ‘book worm’ regularly seen with my Kindle!

I enjoy walking my dog Hollie and some retail therapy when given the chance

Sarah Gill

Sarah Gill

Dental Hygienist
GDC No. 108740

I qualified from Newcastle University in 2012 in Dental Hygiene and Therapy. I like to go to see live music and festivals, and enjoy trips to the cinema and theatre.

Gemma Royal

Gemma Royal

Senior Dental Nurse
GDC No. 176301

Gemma Royal is a fully qualified Dental nurse and is registered with the GDC.

I started working as a dental nurse straight from school in 2004.

Studied in Liverpool and qualified in 2009.

I have two little boys called Lucas and Oliver, who keep me busy when I’m not at work!

In my spare time I enjoys family days out, meals with my ‘other half’ and catching up with friends.

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson

Dental Nurse
GDC No. 270227

Emma joined our team as a trainee dental nurse and became a registered dental nurse in May 2017. She enjoys going to the gym, socialising and spending time with her family.

Kirsty Parker

Kirsty Parker

Dental Nurse
GDC No. 274327

I recently qualified as a dental nurse from Durham New College ( November 2017) where I received an award recognising my hard work and initiative. When I’m not at work, I love nothing more than spending time with my husband, children and grandson. I also enjoy listening to most types of music and driving. You will often see me singing at the top of my lungs while stuck in traffic!

Vicky Copeland

Vikki Copeland

Dental Nurse
GDC No. 133871

Jo Barella

Practice Manager

I am delighted to have joined Durham City Smiles in April 2018. Having started my dental career in 1986 it makes me feel very old! I qualified as a Dental Nurse in 1998 and have applied my skills to all aspects of Dental Practice and CQC Management. My focus is to ensure all patients receive outstanding care and that my team are happy in the work they do.

I have been lucky enough to be part of various dental charity projects in Africa and humbled to have received awards in patient care and dental practice management. Married to Peter, we enjoy all aspects of travel and I am dedicated to my Nieces and Nephews.

Gill Gimby

Gill Gimby


Gill Gimby, Receptionist and longtime patient of ours, offers a very sympathetic ear to patients as she’s been on the receiving end!

In my life BC (before children) I graduated with a BSc in Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics in 1979 and then worked as an Analyst Programmer in Edinburgh and Durban.

I have been married to my long-suffering husband, Gordon, for over 30 years, and we have 4 wonderful children (An HR manager, an writer/performer, a newly qualified dentist and a recently qualified chiropractor) and a little west highland terrier!

I enjoy music, theatre, keep fit classes and family get-togethers.

Graeme has been our dentist since we moved to Durham over 20 years ago. Durham City Smiles is a great place to work, with a calm and friendly atmosphere. Since starting work here in August 2010 I have been lucky enough to get to know many interesting people; an aspect of the job which I really enjoy. We go out together as a team to celebrate birthdays and special occasions, and sometimes have a BBQ in the courtyard at work, weather permitting!

Lynne Dentith

Lynne Dentith


Lynne states her hobbies as “Sailing, but only in luxury, and preferably in the Med or Caribbean, walking Archie, and a great love of fine food and wines, preferably in a warm sunny location. There seems to be a theme running here!”

Gail Swinburn

Gail Swinburn


Gail Swinburn works part-time to give us continuous cover for the telephone and reception desk whenever the practice is open and has worked here since August 2010.

I am the mum of twin boys, Andrew and Michael.

My husband Tom is an arable farmer and we have been married for over 21 years.

I like reading, holidaying and entertaining friends.

Nicola Illingworth


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The care of our patients is always our primary concern.

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Portman Dental Care Awards

Dental Industry Award - Portman Dental Care
Private Dentistry Awards - Portman Dental Care
The Dentistry Awards - Portman Dental Care
BDA Good Practice Award - Portman Dental Care
Elite Practice Award - Portman Dental Care