About Us

We are a close-knit team of dental professionals who aim to excel in the way we deliver dental care. Collectively, we offer more than 35 years’ hands-on experience and our ability to implement modern dental treatments is one of our main assets.

The practice was originally founded by Mr Turnbull in 1948 and a number of other partners have come and gone through the years. We were first introduced to the practice in 2015 when the joint owners, Mr K Giles and Mr S Muscat, (trading as Melita Dental Practice Limited) expressed a desire to sell to like-minded dentists.

The former partners effectively ran two distinct businesses from the same premises and, in order that one was not seen to dominate the other, the premises were referred to generically as “the dental practice”. To avoid confusion and simplify the running of the practice, the incoming owners, Dr D Hickleton and Mr E MacDougall, decided to combine both owners’ businesses within the existing limited company, known as Melita Dental Practice Limited.

However, it was felt that referring to this new business simply as Melita might have left Mr Giles’ patients feeling excluded. So the solution was to rename the practice according to its location. As a result, Melita Dental Practice Limited is now the owner of Ilfracombe Dental Practice, situated at 18 Ilfracombe Gardens, Whitley Bay.

Ilfracombe Dental Practice is a three surgery practice led by Dr David Hickleton and Mr Evan MacDougall as Directors of Melita Dental Practice Limited and as principal dentists.

Both owners currently work full-time within the practice. They have a part-time associate, Miss Celine Reynolds, and a part-time hygienist, Mrs Karen Mandle. Both Mr Hickleton and Mr MacDougall have worked for over 15 years as Denplan, private and NHS dentists in the Newcastle area, including several years working together as dentists within the same practice.

Recently, as UK dentistry underwent a major change that now allows a non-dentally qualified person or company to own and run a dental practice, David and Evan were left feeling concerned about the impact this would have on patients. It was at this time, they decided to purchase their own practice.

The strongly held belief at Ilfracombe Dental Practice is that treatment should be delivered with a working knowledge of delivering patient care and not based solely around profit and loss charts viewed offsite in an accountant’s office. The culture we promote is one where clinical decisions should not be constrained by a limited laboratory choice, the cheapest restoration material available or profitable time in the chair.

We treat every patient as an individual with their own unique needs. We believe that everyone has the right to consented and person-centred care and should be treated with dignity, respect, care and safety. As a business model, this may seem idealistic and naive to some but we feel it is integral to building on what Mr Giles and Mr Muscat achieved.

Our new owners are committed to building a family dental practice that reacts to the needs of all who attend and where patients feel welcomed and accepted as real people.

We offer Denplan Care Plans, NHS and cosmetic dentistry, which allow you access to a comprehensive range of dental cosmetic treatments that will enhance your smile.

Our dentists are now taking on new Denplan patients and periodically, we are able to take on new NHS patients. Please phone our friendly reception team for more details.

Our aim is for all patients to enjoy the experience and service at Ilfracombe Dental Practice. We hope you will be happy with the treatments you receive and we make patient care survey forms available for you to complete should you have feedback you wish to share. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can present your views to any of our staff members.

All feedback is reviewed monthly by our team to identify any aspect of our care that should be tuned more closely to your needs. We have already implemented a surgery rota so that patients with a preference of seeing their dentist either upstairs or downstairs can be accommodated. We also offer choices of morning or afternoon appointments. Messages can now be left on our answer phone whilst we are closed for lunch, as we realise some people are only able to call during their own lunch breaks. These are just some of the many recent improvements we have made as a result of your feedback.

Dr David Hickleton, Dentist
Registered dentist. Reg no. 79944

Mr Evan MacDougall, Dentist
Registered dentist. Reg no. 70577

Mr Gary O’Neill, Associate Dentist
Registered dentist. GDC no. 271493

Celine Reynolds, Dentist
Registered dentist. Reg no. 258190

Miss Roisín Parahoo, Foundation Dentist
Registered dentist. Reg no. 290234

Mrs Karen Mandle, Hygienist
Dental Care Professional. Reg no. 5983

Miss Helen Davison
Dental Nurse GDC 155549

Miss Sarah Turnbull
Dental Nurse GDC no 155488

Mrs Anna Brown
Dental Nurse GDC no 285883

We take complaints very seriously. If you have a grievance or concern that you feel strongly about, please request an appointment to discuss this matter with the relevant dentist in the first instance. We find that most issues can be resolved with a simple face-to-face conversation.

A copy of our Practice Complaints Procedure is also available upon request at reception if you feel that a verbal discussion will not provide a satisfactory outcome. Please address all complaints to the particular dentist and we will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days. We will investigate the issues raised and under normal circumstances will reply to you within 10 working days.


18 Ilfracombe Gardens,
Whitley Bay,
NE26 3SL
0191 252 1155


Monday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Tuesday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Wednesday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Thursday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Friday 8.30am – 4.00pm
We are closed daily for lunch between 12.30 – 1.30pm

Meet Our Team

A fine and good-looking group of professionals

Dr David Hickleton

Principle Dentist/ Director to Melita Dental Practice Ltd GDC no 79944

Mr Evan MacDougall

Principle Dentist/ Director and secretary to Melita Dental Practice Ltd GDC no 70577

Miss Celine Reynolds

Associate Dentist GDC no 258190

Dr Mehdi Dehgani

Associate Dentist GDC no 279092

Chloe Worts

Part Time Associate GDC no 283551

Mr Stuart Aynsley

Associate Dentist GDC no 79378

Miss Lara Shoesmith

Foundation Dentist GDC No. 297038

Mrs Anna Brown

Dental Therapist GDC no 285883

Mrs Karen Mandle

Hygienist GDC no 5983

Miss Helen Davison

Dental Nurse GDC 155549

Miss Sarah Turnbull

Dental Nurse GDC no 155488

Miss Stephanie Dodds

Receptionist and Deputy Manager

  • Ilfracombe Patient
    “I'm always made to feel welcome and at ease. The dentists are friendly, with a good chair-side manner - an excellent experience all round.”
    Ilfracombe Patient