Our Team

Meet the team at St Helens Dental

Peter Sands

MSc.* (Distinction) BDS. (U.Lond) LDS RCS (Eng) MFGDP(UK) FCGDent**

*Advanced General Dental Practice

**Fellow of the College of General Dentistry


Peter qualified from Kings College Hospital in 1983, and then worked full time in hospital dentistry and oral surgery for 2 years after which he entered general practice, although for the next three years he still maintained his keen interest in oral surgery, working part time at The Kent and Sussex Hospital in Bromley and The Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

In 1988 Peter moved to Oxfordshire and became the principal dentist and owner of Saint Helens Practice, where he remains. Having always maintained a strong interest in post graduate education, he formalised his post graduate training by embarking on a part time Masters degree (M.Sc.) in Advanced General Dental Practice in 2004. In 2010 he was awarded his Masters in Advanced General Dental Practice from the University of Birmingham with distinction, also being awarded the prize for the best overall student. This Masters degree provides general dental practitioners with advanced accredited training in all aspects of general practice, including endodontics (root treatment), surgical dentistry, periodontology (gum disease), fixed and removable prosthodontics (dentures and crown and bridgework), the treatment of tooth wear, aesthetic dentistry, and implant dentistry. Such training bolstered and reinforced over 25 years within the profession enables Peter to offer very comprehensive care and treatment in most aspects of dentistry. Subsequent to his postgraduate success he spent two years, part time, teaching final year dental students at the School of Dentistry at Birmingham University. Following this he took the post of part time clinical lecturer and examiner on the Post Graduate MSc programme tutoring and mentoring dentists from around the world in Advanced General Practice.  

He has lectured on many aspects of dentistry and is an author and co-author of a number of academic papers and case studies in both the national and international dental press. 

Research in dentistry is essential to progress and whilst studying for his Masters, Peter was asked to become a member of a group of general practitioners who undertake research in general practice, the PREP Panel. The PREP panel has close associations to Birmingham University and undertakes ethically approved research into, amongst other things, dental materials, their handling and longevity. We have been involved in numerous clinical research projects and many product evaluations.  Peter is a member of an Oxfordshire study group and has regularly contributed to several dental magazines and journals. 

He maintains total commitment to providing all his patients with high quality dental care and advice and is delighted to have an equally dedicated team alongside him. 

In June 2023 he was awarded Fellow of the College of General Dentistry. This is the new home of dentistry in the UK and is the highest award the college can award in the field of general dental practice. 

In his spare time (not that there is much) he enjoys walking his dog, good music, reading and sport. 

Greatest non professional achievements. 

Cycling the Big Battlefield Bike Ride for Help for Heroes. 

Cycling London to Paris for the Royal British Legion 4 times

Completing the London Marathon in 2018. 


Sands, P.J., 2012. Technique tips–management of a precision attachment crown fractured at gingival level. Dental Update39(10), pp.744-744. 

Sands, P.J., 2012. Technique tips--a provisional minimally invasive bridge. Dental update39(9), p.672. 

Win, L.C., Sands, P., Bonsor, S.J. and Burke, F.T., 2021. Ceramics in dentistry: which material is appropriate for the anterior or posterior dentition? Part 1: materials science. Dental Update48(8), pp.680-688. 

Burke, F.T., Mackenzie, L. and Sands, P., 2013. Dental materials–what goes where? Class I and II cavities. Dental update40(4), pp.260-274. 

Burke, F.T., Mackenzie, L. and Sands, P., 2020. Suggestions for non-aerosol or reduced-aerosol restorative dentistry (for as long as is necessary). Dental Update47(6), pp.485-493. 

Win, L.C., Sands, P., Bonsor, S.J. and Burke, F.T., 2021. Ceramics in dentistry: which material is appropriate for the anterior or posterior dentition? Part 2: recent clinical research. Dental Update48(8), pp.690-696. 

Burke, F.T., Crisp, R.J., James, A., Mackenzie, L., Thompson, O., Pal, A., Sands, P. and Palin, W.M., 2017. Five year clinical evaluation of restorations placed in a low shrinkage stress composite in UK general dental practices. Eur J Prosthodont Rest Dent25, pp.108-114. 

Burke, F.T., Crisp, R.J., Panchal, D., Redfearn, P. and Sands, P., 2016. A Practice-Based Clinical Evaluation of a Bulk Fill Restorative Material. The European journal of prosthodontics and restorative dentistry24(3), pp.152-157. 

Burke, F.T., Crisp, R.J. and Sands, P., 2018. A ‘handling Evaluation of the dentsply sirona class II solution system by the PREP panel. Dental Update45(11), pp.1032-1040. 

Burke, F.J.T., Crisp, R.J., Palin, W.M., Sands, P., Thompson, O., Jones, J., James, A. and Osborne-Smith, K., 2017. A randomised controlled trial of a nanofilled composite at three years: Did selective enamel etching have an effect?. The European Journal of Prosthodontics and Restorative Dentistry25(1), pp.35-41. 

Burke, F.T., Crisp, R.J., Cowan, A.J., Raybould, L., Redfearn, P., Sands, P., Thompson, O. and Ravaghi, V., 2017. A randomised controlled trial of a universal bonding agent at three years: self etch vs total etch. Eur J Prosthodont Restor Dent25, pp.220-227.

Burke, F.T., Mackenzie, L., Sands, P. and Shortall, A.C., 2021. Ten tips for avoiding post-operative sensitivity with posterior composite restorations. Dental Update48(10), pp.823-832. 

Burke, F.T. and Sands, P., 2009. Use of a novel resin composite crown as a long-term provisional. Dental Update36(8), pp.481-487. 

Burke, F.T., Crisp, R.J. and Sands, P Dental Update. The value of practice based research has been previously discussed with the arena of general dental practice having been considered the ideal environment….. 

Crisp, R.J. and Sands, P., A practice-based evaluation of the Voco GrandioSO composite restorative system by the PREP Panel. 

Sands, P., Crisp, R.J., Thompson, O. and Burke, F.T., 2021. A Practice-based Evaluation of a Novel Resin Luting Material and Dentine Bonding Agent. Dental Update48(1), pp.34-40. 

Sands, P., 2018. Ten year follow-up of a trauma case treated in general practice. Dental Update45(2), pp.130-134. 

Crisp, R.J., A “handling” evaluation of the Dentsply Sirona Class II Solutions system by the PREP Panel. 

MACKENZIE, L., 2015. Minimally Invasive Replacement of Missing Teeth: Part 2–Tooth-Coloured Materials. Minimally Invasive Esthetics: Essentials in Esthetic Dentistry Series, p.257.

GDC 58612

Fiona Sands

DipDT, DipDH RCS (Eng)

Dental Hygienist/Therapist

Fiona qualified as a registered general nurse in 1990 from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and spent several years working in operating theatres both in Aberdeen and Oxford. She left nursing to pursue a career in the commercial healthcare sector and held the post of training manager for a company that supplied theatre products. In latter years she worked as an implementation consultant for a medical software company.

In 2003 Fiona embarked upon a complete change of career and qualified in 2005 as a Dental Therapist/Hygienist from the Eastman Dental Hospital, London. Fiona worked in both Oxford and Aylesbury community dental services where she cared for children and vulnerable adults and was one of the first therapists in the country to complete the inhalation sedation course for therapists and used this skill to treat children with a fear of dentistry.

Now solely working at the practice both in a clinical and administration role, Fiona uses her knowledge and expertise in both healthcare and commercial settings to deliver great patient care in all aspects of the patient journey.

In her spare time.....

Fiona is a qualified massage therapist and has recently added deep tissue and cancer massage to her holistic and remedial qualification. She is also a Footcare Health Practitioner. Greatest achievements include cycling from London to Paris (twice) to raise money for the Royal British Legion twice and running the London Marathon…apparently never again!

GDC 101300

Dental Nurse 

Alexis Nascimento

Hello! My name is Alexis but everyone calls me Lexi. I was born and raised in New Jersey by my very Portuguese family. I spent most of my summers in Portugal and moved to England in 2014. I became a qualified dental nurse in 2017 and adore what I do.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my fiance and friends, video chatting with my family, doing yoga and being a cat mommy to my little cat, Maverick. 

Michaela Long


Michaela joined us in 2018 and is likely to be the first person you talk to when you call the practice.She  has lots of experience working in the dental environment and sometimes helps out in our decontamination room as well. Michaela has 2 dogs and her husbans Sean,  which occupy most of her spare time!

Jo Denn


Jo has recently joined us as a part time receptionist . Working closely with Michaela they both make sure thjings run as smoothly as possible