Mark Johnstone

Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Board

From as early as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a dentist, so I feel very lucky to be doing the career I love.  I have held various roles in my dentistry career to date, starting off in general practice and managing my own practice for a number of years before studying for an MSc and becoming a Periodontal Specialist.

I joined the Community Dental Service (CDS) in 1994 and am now Clinical Director for a NHS Foundation Trust based CDS which, through tendering, provides special care and paediatric dentistry in Kent and North East London, Oral health programmes in six London Boroughs and Kent, plus dental care in prisons and via mobile dental units. I studied successfully for an MBA, was Clinical Adviser to the Chief Dental Officer for about 6 years and am Chair of the NHS England Local Dental Network covering Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

I have always had an interest in the politics of dentistry and was until 2018 Vice Chair of the British Dental Association English CDS Committee.

In 2010 I was able to convert the CDS in my own Trust to a semi-autonomous Business Unit with the ability to set our own dental strategy within the context of an NHS Foundation Trust.  My ideal would have been a dental spin-out and my interest in this and employee ownership led me to meet Paul Critchley, Smile Together’s former Managing Director, who had the vision and confidence to lead the company’s transition out of the NHS/Trust environment into an independent employee-owned dental CIC – we have been in contact now for many years.

I love the passion, ambition, employee involvement and innovation of Smile Together, and I am really excited to be part of the Board, able to share my knowledge and experience with the team. I was proud to be appointed Chair of the Board in 2023.

Outside of work  I am the Executive Chair of Governors of three Academy Schools in Kent, I like motorcycle touring and watching the weeds grow on my allotment!  I am married with two children (well, young men – one being at University and the other at College – and my youngest is an England Football Schoolboy international).

The fun bit

Cats or dogs?

Surfing or sunbathing?

Manual or electric toothbrush?

Cornish cider or gin?

Mini or VW Campervan?

Peace and quiet or loud and lively?

Flossing or interdental brushing?

Full on roast or salad?

Football or rugby?

Rock or classical?

Under cover or outside in the elements?





VW campervan with a motorcycle on tow

Loud and lively

Interdental brushing

Salad – I’m a vegetarian but you wouldn’t guess if you saw me!

Football – Manchester United forever

(Progressive) Rock


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