Friday, April 19th, 2024

Total Orthodontics: The Story of Success Behind Sevenoaks’ Smile Specialists

Our job at My Sevenoaks Community is to share with you the little-known stories behind the businesses that make up our thriving community. Total Orthodontics is an exemplary case study that demonstrates just how far a local business can go without ever renouncing their small business values.

Neatly tucked away on Brewery Lane, within the Bligh’s Meadow shopping centre, and next door to Cook, you’ll find Total Orthodontics Sevenoaks. Don’t be fooled by its slightly hidden entrance… it conceals a huge, brightly lit and modern clinic with several treatment rooms and a spacious reception area with a smiling reception team to boot!

Fun fact! Total Orthodontics is one of the last remaining of the original tenants in the Bligh’s Meadow complex. The original unit was storage space above Crew Clothing and in 2009, they took over additional floor space from next door, formerly Tan and Float.

John Costello – The man behind the business

John Costello is a Specialist Orthodontist and one of the founding partners of Total Orthodontics.

Growing up in Bromley North with a father who was a dentist, you could say John was called to the oral health care industry from a young age. Trained at Guy’s Hospital and later at The Eastman Dental Institute and rising through the ranks at various NHS hospitals across the Southeast, John always knew his end goal was to have his own business.

The stars aligned and opportunity came calling when he and 3 of his colleagues found themselves in a position to build a business together, and thus in 2000, Total Orthodontics was born.

The tenacity of our Sevenoaks business owners never ceases to amaze us, and John is no different; taking upon himself a mammoth 250-mile round trip to get the Total Orthodontics name out there – from meeting with local dentists to visiting matrons at local schools. That’s what we call commitment to the cause!

John is also a bit of a family hero, bringing his pet dog back to life with CPR! John shares the tale…

“A few years back, I’d recently completed CPR training at work and had to use these skills to resuscitate my young Border Terrier who was involved in a cricket accident involving one of my four sons. Arnie was completely knocked unconscious in addition to swallowing his tongue but some quick-thinking made me use a ‘mouth-to-muzzle’ technique and cardiac massage and Arine was brought back to life! He is still a much-loved family pet at 13 years of age.”

Start-up to Stardom – How Total Orthodontics has grown

Here are some impressive numbers that beautifully illustrate the growth of the Total Orthodontics brand across its 20 years – from just 4 founding partners in 2000 (which grew to 6 in 2006) and its eleven original clinics across Kent and Sussex.

  • 34 – the current number of Total Orthodontics practices across the UK – from Brighton to Blackburn, from Colwyn Bay to Crewe, from Beckenham to Belfast…
  • 407 – the total number of employees across the Total Orthodontics brand
  • 20 – the number of years Total Orthodontics has been in the Sevenoaks community
  • 4 – number of the founders who still operate in the day-to-day business (out of 4!)
  • 4,403 – the number of miles travelled by one patient who came all the way to Sevenoaks from Florida!

Keeping it in the Sevenoaks community

An unflinching commitment to community involvement is a core foundation that the brand built itself on 20 years ago and remains firmly at its core to this very day. Many businesses make the same claim, but Total Orthodontics have proudly put their money where their mouth is time and time again.

Local recruitment

Total Orthodontics Sevenoaks has an incredible track record for recruiting its staff from the local area and investing in their development through training and mentorship. They have set up a work experience programme and often employ school leavers – music to the ears of our younger generations!

Education and enrichment

You can often find members of the team delivering educational talks on oral health and suchlike at nearby primary schools or with a presence at career evenings for older students in secondary school.

Charity support and events

As well as supporting initiatives for locally formed charities, such as the Hygiene Bank, Total Orthodontics Sevenoaks has headed up its own charity events in the past. Most notable was a charity fashion show at the Stag Theatre in aid of BBC’s Children in Need. Bringing together the community as staff and patients alike modelled clothes from fashion retailers around the neighbourhood – like Mousetrap – for a great cause.

Specialists in straightening and smiles

There is over 60 years of combined orthodontic expertise at Total Orthodontics Sevenoaks between John and his fellow specialist Lindsay Shaw so rightly they have earned their reputation for being ‘specialists in straightening’.

Consultations are free of charge and the practice offers a stellar private service as well as an NHS service at the nearby Tonbridge branch which they can internally refer to (for those who are eligible). Did you know the waiting list for braces on the NHS in Bromley is an outrageous 3-year queue! Compare this to Total Orthodontics in Tonbridge, which is just 6 months – what a difference!

John sits on the UK advisory board for Invisalign, hailed as the most desirable and discreet approach to teeth straightening. Total Orthodontics is the UK’s biggest provider of Invisalign with 90% of their adult patients opting for this method.

They were Bupa’s ‘Practice of the Year’ in 2022, get to know the Total Orthodontics Sevenoaks team here.

Check out their blog for informative articles such as ‘Can wisdom teeth make your teeth crooked?’ and ‘Overcoming your fear of the orthodontist’.

Finally, 158 5-star reviews on Google really brings it home:

Had the best Invisalign experience. So much care and attention was made on all my appointments and I’m so pleased with the results! I actually love going there! (Never thought I’d say that about an orthodontist clinic!) the whole team makes you feel so welcome and looked after. Everything is so clean as expected and it’s just a great experience all round. All the team were great with me and my daughter who also had appointments, but a special mention to John and amazing Hannah for all their expertise! – Marilyn Francomb



Get in touch with Total Orthodontics

3A Brewery Lane, Sevenoaks, TN13 1DF


Monday: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Tuesday: 8.00am – 6.00pm
Wednesday: 8.00am – 5.30pm
Thursday: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Friday: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday: By appointment only
Sunday: Closed

Follow on socials: Facebook, Instagram, X and YouTube.

Visit the website here.

Book a free consultation here.

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