Category Archive: Uncategorized

Christmas 2023 – Key Dates

We will be closed Monday 25th December and re-open

Tuesday 2nd January 2024.

Orders received on or before 4pm, 20th December will be

dispatched 21st December*.

*Retainers only / all other appliances will be standard manufacturing lead times

Par Scoring

We know how important par scoring is in orthodontic treatment and we are working hard to make this process easier, to ensure you hit your audit deadlines.

We have recently added new members to our par scoring team so practices can send us requests to and we’ll schedule them for you! They will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis with your audit deadlines in mind.

Please follow the instructions below:


Your batch of STL files sent on one WeTransfer link to We will need the upper, lower and occlusion to complete the scoring.

2. Excel document including:

  • Patient Name (and/or Patient Number if used)
  • Practice Name/Clinician Name
  • (helpful hint: specify which clinician if there’s more than 1 at a practice)
  • Due date

Helpful information

You can download an Excel ‘Par Scoring Template’ on the downloads section of our website:


  1. Excel document including:
  • Patient Name (and/or Patient Number if used)
  • Practice Name/Clinician Name
  • (helpful hint: specify which clinician if there’s more than 1 at a practice)
  • Lab reference or scan ID number
  • (If you don’t have this, we should still be able to locate scans without, however this will push the completion time back)
  • Due date

Helpful information

You can download an Excel ‘Par Scoring Template’ on the downloads section of our website:

If you have any questions at all, please just email

The ALS Orthodontic Labs join together at the British Orthodontics Conference

We are delighted that all three ALS Orthodontic Laboratories will be exhibiting together at this years British Orthodontic Conference at The International Convention Centre in Birmingham, 15th – 17th September 2022.

Come and meet our team, representing Ashford Orthodontics will be Rich Dodds, Craig Stevens and Sarah Brown. From Norwich Ortho Vanessa Day will be in attendance and from Cardiff Ortho, Steve Daniels.

Craig Stevens says ‘This is the first event that all three labs have joined together under the ALS brand and we are really excited to be at the BOC this year as a group. Our stand tells the story of our journey so we hope many delegates and customers will visit us during the event”.

Visit us on stand 53 & 53.

New MD and Commercial Director for the UK’s No1 Orthodontic Laboratory

Ashford Orthodontics is celebrating its 20th year of continuous growth since its inception in 2001, bouncing back from the pandemic even stronger than it already was previously, and currently in the process of doubling in size by extending into the building next door. Ashford puts this success down to strong strategic planning, robust structure, and clear foresight for the future, as well as a totally committed and loyal workforce and management team.

‘’We continually assess previous performance and rigidly scrutinise the structure and mechanism to continue future growth. The unprecedented growth over the last two decades has been because of this and has allowed us to develop and grow a strong managerial structure within the company’’ said Sean Thompson, current Managing Director, and founder of the company.

With this structure firmly established and already showing its value to the company, Ashford feels there has never been a better time to hand over the baton to current Operations Director Craig Stevens, who will assume the role of Managing Director with immediate effect whilst Sean steps aside to enjoy his well-deserved retirement from the end of June. Craig will continue to grow and develop the structure already established over the last 3 years and will oversee the occupation into the new 24,000 sq ft extension next door.

Sean added ‘’Craig has been instrumental in Ashford’s growth and thoroughly deserves the opportunity to take the company even further in the coming years. Ashford has some really exciting up-coming projects and as Craig and I have always been side by side on everything to date, I have no doubt at all that Ashford will continue to go from strength to strength in the future.’’

Craig has been with Ashford as Operations Director since joining in 2006 along with Technical Director Graeme Winyard and the three life-long friends have been instrumental in the extra-ordinary growth of the company over the last 20 years.

Craig added ‘’Sean had the foresight all of those years ago to realise that investment in Digital Technology was the way forward. Along with this significant investment we all worked hard to establish ourselves as the ‘go to’ orthodontic laboratory for every clinician offering orthodontic treatments in the UK and this has provided the foundation for our monumental growth. Personally, I will always be immensely grateful to Sean for giving me the opportunity to flourish within Ashford in the early days, and now equally grateful for the opportunity to take this fantastic company to the next level once again and continue the great work Sean started all of those years ago.’’

The top team also welcomes the addition of current Business Development Manager Rich Dodds stepping up to the new role of Commercial Director. Rich first Joined Ashford as a graduate intern 9 years ago, and after spending 5 years honing his skills at Nike, he returned to the Ashford family to help with its growth strategy. ‘’Many congratulations to Rich and thoroughly well deserved. Rich is  extremely competent and more than capable of operating at this level and fully deserves this recognition for all of his hard work and dedication. More importantly for Ashford though is that he’s such a great lad with great values and I’m certain he’ll continue to drive Ashford in the right direction going forward.’’ said Sean.

Rich added ‘’I’m delighted to be taking up this new role within Ashford. I’ve been working really closely with Sean since re-joining from Nike, and the relationships I’ve forged in this time are invaluable to the company. I’m really looking forward to continuing the great work Sean has put into the company over the last 20 years and I’ve learned so much from his almost 40 years in the profession during this time.’’

Ashford is currently recruiting for more staff to join its 70 plus workforce at its Sunderland headquarters in Southwick, whilst also promoting several current members of the team to supervisory and managerial positions.

Sean has worked in the profession for almost 40 years and has developed a wealth of experience, expertise and connections which is second to none and this has firmly established him as one of the industries most trusted professionals. He has also developed a wide range of interests outside of the profession and is looking forward to spending time following his passions outside of the Lab.

Ashford became a founder member of the growing ALS group in 2020 and their passion and desire to support Craig and the Ashford team going forward will no doubt result in even greater success for the company in coming years.

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.

Lockdown – We Remain Open

We remain open.

As during the last period of national restrictions, dental services are to remain open and therefore, our lab will continue to support you and your patients.

We will continue to work under strict safety conditions, with spaced work stations, perspex screens, PPE and a one-way system.