The Dental Team
Dr Alex Mechkov
BDS Dental Surgeon + BSC, Dip. Dent Technology
Marina Dentists’ owner and lead dentist.
Alex was born and raised in the city of Novosibirsk, which is one of the largest centres for the development of science and education in Russia. He graduated from Novosibirsk Medical University in 1986, followed by a residency at the Department of Surgical Dentistry. Alex went on to work as the head of the prosthetic department at Novosibirsk Hospital for 12 years.
Alex moved to New Zealand more than 20 years ago and graduated from the Central Institute of Technology, specialising in cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry. He regularly attends study courses and conferences both in New Zealand and abroad to ensure he is using the most modern techniques and practice.
Alex is married, has two grown children, and in his spare time he enjoys hockey and skiing.
Dr Juliane Eiko Smith
BDS Dental Surgeon
Juliane Eiko Smith was born and raised in Brazil, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science from renowned university of Sao Paulo USP. Upon completing her graduation, she proceeded with post graduate studies in the area of dental implants. Juliane has been practicing dentistry for close to 20 years, she worked and owned her own dental practice in Brazil for 10 years before the beauty of New Zealand caught her eye on a visit to our shores and she relocated here permanently.
Juliane has been working with us at Marina Dentists since we opened the first clinic at Half Moon Bay and has a strong focus in general, cosmetic dentistry and implants.
Juliane keeps her skills and practice at the highest level by regularly attending courses and conferences, and having completed training in facial aesthetics means Juliane is now able to offer Dysport and facial fillers treatment here at Marina Dentists.
She is recognised by her patients as having a kind and caring nature making them feel comfortable and at ease during their dental visits, providing the best care possible for every patient.
Dr Fiona van Heerden
BDS Dental Surgeon
Fiona was born in the mainland and brought up on the east coast of the North Island. She studied at the University of Otago and was awarded multiple academic prizes. As one of the top students in her year, Fiona secured a position as a Dental House Surgeon at Canterbury Health. The opportunity to work as a dental house surgeon provided her with valuable experience with surgical extractions, including wisdom teeth removal and working with medically compromised patients.
Fiona then settled into private practice, moving to Auckland in 1997. Fiona became one of the first dentists in New Zealand to use CADCAM systems for providing dental restorations. These systems helps us to provide durable restorations while minimising patients’ wait times and the amount of tooth tissue which we need to remove.
Dr Sanchit Bhatia
BDS Dental Surgeon
Sanchit works at both our Half Moon Bay and Pine Harbour clinics as a dentist. In 2002, Sanchit immigrated with his family to New Zealand and grew up in East Auckland. Having developed a passion for health care, he moved to Otago and pursued Human Nutrition before completing his BDS from the Faculty of Dentistry at The University of Otago, graduating with high endorsements.
Sanchit is enthusiastic, warm and passionate about providing the best care for all his patients and is a great support to all the co-workers in the clinic. Having a philosophy of providing personalised care which considers each patient’s individual lifestyles means Sanchit is comprehensive in his approach and believes it is crucial to understand his patients’ wants and needs before providing dental treatment. He is part of the New Zealand Dental Association, Auckland Dental Association, New Zealand Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and Professional Development and Mentorship programmes.
His love for travel and cross-cultural immersion allows him to connect with people of all ages and diverse backgrounds, making each patient feel welcome and comfortable, from children to anxious patients. While he enjoys all fields of dentistry, Sanchit has developed a special interest in urgent, restorative, minimally invasive and preventive dentistry.
Dr Olga Kopteva
Olga, a qualified neurologist from Russia, moved to New Zealand with her family in 2015. She works at both our Half Moon Bay and Pine Harbour clinics as a dental assistant.
In 1994 Olga graduated with a medical degree from Khabarovsk State Medical University continuing her studies at the university to specialise in neurology.
Her medical background means that Olga can provide the best patient care and be a great support to our providers in the clinic. Olga is also responsible for all our stock orders. Having spent many years working as a representative for a pharmaceutical company, she’s perfect for the job, using her experience and know-how to research every material and ensure that we are using the latest products and only of the highest quality.
Outside of work Olga enjoys spending time with her family and keeping fit at the gym. She particularly enjoys coming to work at Pine Harbour for the beautiful views and the friendly atmosphere.
Liza, originally from South Africa, joined the Marina Dentists team at the beginning of 2017 and works at both our Half Moon Bay and Pine Harbour clinics as a full-time dental assistant.
Liza is always cheerful and friendly and aims to create a fun and relaxing environment for our patients. She really enjoys working with all our providers and the satisfaction of giving patients the best care. Liza is a member of the New Zealand Dental Assisting Association and is studying hard in her spare time for the Dental Assisting Certificate. She has a particular interest in oral hygiene treatments.
Liza’s hobbies are oil painting and reading and she is a qualified, highly experienced horse riding instructor.
Dr Sama Al-Ahmed
While Sama enjoys all aspects of general dentistry she has a strong interest in aesthetic dentistry such as crowns, veneers and bridges. She loves making patients feel happier and more confident with their smile and the satisfaction of knowing she has helped them.
Sama is passionate about orthodontics using a combination of functional appliances and fixed braces to get the best results without having to extract healthy teeth to make space. She takes a holistic approach with her technique by using orthodontic treatment not only for the alignment of the teeth but also for correcting patients’ bone structure, posture and airway habits.
Sama is a very experienced provider of facial fillers and botulinum toxin (Botox) and strives to make patients feel more youthful but with a natural appearance. Outside of work Sama enjoys spending time with her young family.
Front Office Coordinator
Yasmin works at our Half Moon Bay clinic as the front office coordinator and sometimes assisting our dentists.
In 2015, Yasmin came with her family to New Zealand. She completed high school here in New Zealand with high endorsements.
She has done a lot of volunteering, including in low decile areas in Brazil. This means she is understanding and will help all the patients with the best care and support.
Next year, she will be coursing Oral Health at the University of Otago.
Outside of work, Yasmin enjoys spending time with her family and going for long walks with her puppy.