Western Special Needs Dentistry is headed up by Dr Helen Marchant, a registered specialist in the field of Special Needs Dentistry. As one of Australia’s pioneers in Special Needs Dentistry, Helen has worked extensively in both the public and private sectors during her 30 year career, and is the sole Special Needs Dentistry specialist in Melbourne’s West.
Dr Helen Marchant has been employed as a specialist in the Integrated Special Needs Unit at the Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne since 2005, and continues to work there part time. She has also worked at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, demonstrated and examined for the University of Melbourne and is also an examiner in Special Needs Dentistry for the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.
She is a member of the Australian Dental Association (ADA), the Australian Society of Special Care in Dentistry (ASSCID), the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Special Needs Dentistry (ANZASND) and the Special Care Dentistry Association (SCDA), based in Chicago. In 2020 Helen became a Fellow of the Australasian Section of the International College of Dentists (ICD).
Dr Marchant has a strong interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder and particularly welcomes autistic children and adults to her practice. Helen aims to create a calm, positive and happy dental environment, which often involves music requests, social stories and YouTube clips- proving that dental treatment can also be fun!
Allie Lockhart is Helen’s Dental Assistant. Allie has worked across many fields of dentistry for over ten years, and is currently training to be a registered nurse, so she understands the complex interaction between a person’s medical history and dental treatment. Allie finds Special Needs Dentistry challenging, interesting and fun, and has been working with Dr Helen for the past 4 years. You will see Allie at the clinic in Niddrie, out on home visits and in theatre at Wyndham Clinic Private Hospital.
Hayley Tolhurst is our welcoming and friendly receptionist and answers the phone with her lovely British accent! Hayley comes from a banking background and she completed a Certificate in Medical Administration last year. Hayley has found working in Special Needs Dentistry for the past 18 months incredibly rewarding, and enjoys working with Dr Helen and Allie to support patients with special needs and their families.