Rob Witton (Smile Together non executive director) standing on staircase looking up to camera

Robert Witton

Non-executive Director

My higher education role is very varied so no two days are the same. I help to run the clinical facilities of the Plymouth University Dental School through a social enterprise called Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC. I also teach, support research, passionately support community engagement and community outreach teaching, and have a leadership and management role in the University as one of the four Dental School Directors. In my NHS role I work for Public Health England providing advice to NHS England, local authorities and other stakeholders with an interest in oral health.


Having studied dentistry at Birmingham University, I began my career in the British Army as a Dental Officer. Wishing to pursue an academic career I undertook a role at Portsmouth University and during this time completed postgraduate dental studies at Bristol University and the University of Central Lancashire, I then completed an MSc in Public and Community Health with the Universities of Exeter & Plymouth as part of my higher NHS specialist training in dental public health, remaining in the South West when I was appointed to Consultant in 2012.


I like the variety that my role has to offer and the fact that I’m able to work in partnership with so many wonderful community organisations and people. The most fun aspect of my role is most definitely working in the community with dental and dental therapy students – it’s a real privilege and something that is not only great for their education as future healthcare professionals but also in terms of our contribution to local communities. The challenge however is that it’s a constant juggling act meeting everyone’s expectations!


I engage with many regional and national networks ranging from dental networks such as Managed Clinical Networks, oral health improvement groups and national policy committees. I was inspired to join the Board of Smile Together as I felt I could help to share best practice from my own experience of working in a related social enterprise and my public health knowledge of oral health and dental commissioning – I love the ambitious nature of the organisation and its desire to improve dental services across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.


Outside of work I like to travel, swim and watch rugby.

The fun bit

Cats or dogs? Dogs every time

Surfing or sunbathing? Sunbathing

Manual or electric toothbrush? Manual

Cornish cider or gin? Gin

Mini or VW Campervan? Mini

Peace and quiet or loud and lively? Peace and quiet (with Gin)

Flossing or interdental brushing? Flossing

Full on roast or salad? Roast

Football or rugby? Rugby every time

Rock or classical? Rock

Under cover or outside in the elements? Outside