Author Archives: nick.thompson

Celebrating 20 Years Of Ashford Orthodontics

The UK’s largest orthodontic laboratory is celebrating its 20th birthday – while recruiting more staff and fitting out a huge new, state-of-the-art premises.

Twenty years ago, Managing Director Sean Thompson started Ashford Orthodontics from his garage while working in the orthodontic and oral facial department of Sunderland Royal Hospital. After leaving the hospital, he was joined in 2005 by directors Craig Stevens, from Sunderland, and Graeme Winyard, from Durham, two experienced orthodontic and dental technicians.

“Back in the late 1990s there was a shortage in the provision of specialised orthodontic lab work which meant specialists sending work to non-specialised labs,” explained Sean

Now the company supplies clients around the world and employs 65 people from their premises in Southwick, Sunderland. Ashford is in the process of recruiting five more people while doubling the size of its facility at Southwick Industrial Estate to 24,000sq ft.

“I’m very proud we’ve come so far from starting in my garage on an evening and at weekends to the country’s largest orthodontic laboratory. What’s particularly pleasing is that so many of our team – and clients – have stayed with us. We owe huge thanks to the staff who’ve made us so successful, particularly the likes of Dave Newton, Paul Newton, Jeff Sanderson, Dan Connolly and Martin Murphy who’ve been with us since our first lab opened,” said Sean.

Ashford expansion is underway!

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt to the world as we know it; our Orthodontic laboratory are proud to say our expansion plans are still going ahead.

By early 2021 Ashford still hopes to have doubled it’s orthodontic laboratory in size. The extra space in our orthodontic laboratory will allow for more room to continue with our socially distanced safe laboratory whilst also operating at maximum capacity! The expansion plan does not hinder our current workforce, and we can still offer all of our brilliant products and services.


Eliminate the need for Plaster storage by converting your study models to digital files!

At Ashford, we can convert any existing plaster models you may have into digital files, or digitally scan any future impressions you may send in. This will save any need you have for storing your plaster models, while also allowing for any replacement/future appliances to be made at a faster turnaround.

Ashford will store all your files digitally as well as sending them to you every week – this means all your impressions will be safely stored without the risk of losing them. We can then reprint the models at any time without the need to take another impression, saving valuable chair time.

To get your digital files – “tick” the digital study model option on your lab ticket when sending your impression and we’ll do the rest!