Ashford is not only the UK’s top orthodontic laboratory in terms of size* but also productivity with more than 10,000 retainers being sent out to our clients each month. We even have the biggest bank of Form 3D printers.
Our directors share 95 years of experience, bridging commercial and hospital-based lab work. As a result, we know what is important to our clients and have been able to develop our product around that.
We are proud to be a homegrown business offering affordable, high standard and tailored solutions.
*Based on our state-of-the-art 24,000 sq ft facility
In 2001, director Sean Thompson created Ashford Orthodontics in pursuit of his long-standing desire to run a first-class specialised orthodontic laboratory.
Over 70 staff, four facilities and hundreds of clients later, Ashford has gone from strength to strength with consistent year-on-year growth, now servicing a majority of NHS contract holding practices.
Sean founded Ashford in 2001 after being in the industry since 1982, gaining valuable experience in both commercial and hospital labs. Academically, Sean has achieved distinctions in all areas of dental technology and further studied advanced qualifications in Prosthodontics, Orthodontics and Maxillofacial Technology. An OTA council representative, he has a love for three things; his family, orthodontics and Sunderland city – thus its unfortunate football club!
Craig joined Ashford as a director in 2005 and has over 25 years of experience working in laboratories. Craig has a vast amount of knowledge of the dental and orthodontic market, which has been a contributing factor in Ashford’s 18 year span of continuous growth. Craig makes the most of his free time with his wife and two children, playing golf and travelling.
Graeme joined Ashford as a director in 2005 having worked in dental technology since 1982. Graeme qualified as a dental technician in 1984 and further studied for his advanced orthodontics qualifications, working extensively within hospital laboratories. This ultimately led to him managing of the Orthodontic Laboratory at South Tyneside Hospital prior to joining Ashford. In his spare time, Graeme has a passion for music, walking and keeping fit in the gym.
Rich came on board in 2018 and leads both the sales and marketing functions for the company. Previously, Rich completed a degree in Business Studies (BA Hons) and a Masters in Marketing (MSc), and was an account manager at Nike, where he worked for six years.
Business Development Manager
Dave has 31 years of experience, joining us in 2008. As part of the senior leadership team, he is responsible for production and quality control. Dave represented England at junior level in football and has been a keen cricketer for 20 years at Corbridge Cricket Club.
With us since 2009, Paul has 33 years experience. As part of the senior leadership team, he is responsible for production and training. Out of hours, Paul enjoys playing cricket, golf and spending time with his family and dogs (two very energetic Springer Spaniels!).
Layla joined Ashford in 2017 and oversees our Operations. Layla studied Environmental Biology (BSc Hons) and has a background in Resource Management and call centres. Keeping busy outside of work, Layla supports her son’s U15s football team and explores her hobby for fell walking.
“Going fully digital with 3 Shape intra-oral scans was an exciting and educational change. There were initial inertia and difficulties from my previous lab. However, once I moved to Ashford Orthodontics, it all seemed so effortless. Making twin-blocks is now so easy, we can go straight from consultation to fit in so many cases. We are now 99% alginate free. Anyone thinking of making the switch to digital, then Ashford are a great choice to make that change as hassle-free as possible.”
Robert Irvine – Borders Orthodontics
“I have bounced around trying various ortho labs over the last 10 years trying to get the level of service I need to run a busy mixed ortho practice. So it has been a relief to have found Ashford – a dedicated Ortho specialist Lab who are always two steps ahead of the field, and genuinely good folk too. I would recommend them to all my colleagues.”
Ruaridh McKelvey – Beam Orthodontics
“Since we have started using Ashford, our appliances have arrived so much quicker than the previous lab we used! The appliances are always on time, don’t go missing like they did before and their service is impeccable! This allows us to offer our patients a better service, so it’s a win-win situation. It was such a good decision to change laboratories!”
Kaye – Hamstead Orthodontics
“I have worked with the team at Ashford for five years now and I have found the quality of their appliances and predictability of fit to be consistently high. Despite this, I have felt the temptation to reduce costs by bringing manufacturing within the practice, but wanted to ensure the quality of the retainers rather than introducing an unacceptable risk of relapse for my patients if the process was passed to less experienced hands. Working with Ashford means I have the best of both worlds – hard to resist in an era of squeezed NHS margins and increasing overheads.”
Guy Deeming – Queensway Dental Clinic