Dr Manie Opperman - Principal Dentist - Hockerill Dental

Principal Dentist B.Ch.D (Pret)
GDC no. 70239

Dr Opperman graduated in 1983 from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. After finishing compulsory national service for two years, he re-joined the army as a Captain where he served for an additional two years. Dr Opperman bought his first dental practice in 1987 in Centurion, South Africa, where he practised as a general dentist until 1994. During this time in 1992, he developed an implant system which led to a special interest in implantology and minor oral surgery. Dr Opperman then came over to England and initially worked as a general dental practitioner in a referral practice for minor oral surgery in Hackney, London. After three years the practice owner sold up and moved to Tunbridge, Kent, while Dr Opperman also moved on. In 2000 he moved to Bishops Stortford and bought the Limes dental practice, changing the name to Hockerill Dental Practice. Dr Opperman is married with four daughters, enjoys cycling and sport in general except for football!

“Being embarrassed about your teeth can affect your whole life, emotionally and physically. You can be perceived as sulky or rude if you don’t smile or smile behind your hand. It can even hinder relationships and can lead to low self-esteem and loss of confidence. Being apprehensive about visiting a dentist is normal. Some people have a genuine phobia which we understand.”

“At Hockerill Dental in Hertfordshire, we are very aware of these facts. People do not get treated as 28 teeth in a ball of protoplasm with a wallet around the neck! Our aim is to provide you with the surroundings where you can relax, feel no pain and leave confident, smiling and without fear of a dentist! We look forward to welcoming you to Hockerill Dental.”

Dr Thinus Oelofse - Dentist - Hockerill Dental

Dentist B.Ch.D (Pret)
GDC no. 53087

After finishing his education, Dr Oelofse completed a year of National Service in the South African army. The following year he began training as a dentist at the University of Pretoria and completed a dental degree (BChD) in 1977. In the same year, he started working for a dental group treating patients employed by several gold mining companies, which was an excellent experience for a newly qualified dentist. In 1979, Dr Oelofse first came to England and registered with the British General Dental council. He worked in practices in Luton and Stevenage until 1981, gaining further knowledge and experience.

Dr Oelofse returned to South Africa in 1981 and started his own practice in Durban. The mild climate of Durban meant spending a lot of time outdoors. He became very involved with road running and completed many marathons and ultra-marathons while pursuing a love of golf. In 1998, after practising in Durban for 17 years, Dr Oelofse relocated to England with his family and started working in Danbury. At present, he works part-time in Danbury and at Hockerill Dental in Bishop’s Stortford. Implant dentistry is one of the disciplines Dr Oelofse has always been interested in, and in 2007 he started his training in this field by attending practical courses in South Africa, Cartagena University in Columbia and London.

Irina Thilly
Irina Thilly

Associate Dentist
GDC no. 72807

Irina is a general dentist who graduated from Lund University, dental faculty, Lund, Sweden in 1983. Irina came to the UK in 1997 to continue her dental career. During her career she has treated patients with dental phobia with empathy, understanding and respect. Irina enjoys the multidisciplinary approach in dentistry and has special interests in Aesthetic Dentistry, Periodontology and Invisalign.

Irina also enjoys reading, walking her dog ,travelling and spending time with family.


Associate Dentist
GDC no. 272150

Shiv graduated from St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2017. After completing his vocational training in Bedfordshire, he has spent his time working in London and neighbouring Hertfordshire providing a high standard of dentistry to a wide range of patients. He is proficient in all aspects of general dentistry including composite restorations, crown and bridge work, tooth whitening and edge bonding, removable dentures and extractions/oral surgery and implants.  He has a calm, friendly and reassuring chairside manner and is excellent in treating nervous patients and helping them overcome any anxiety related to dental treatment.  In his spare time he loves travelling the world, keeping fit and is an avid cinema-goer.

Dr David Nolte - Dental Surgeon - Hockerill Dental

Dental Surgeon, B.Ch.D (Pret)
GDC no. 70172

Dr David Nolte achieved his degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and subsequently developed an interest in cosmetic dentistry and dental implants. Following his qualification, Dr Nolte furthered his studies in implants and occlusion before working in practices based in St Albans, Stevenage and London. He has gained a wealth of experience in cosmetic dentistry and complex implant treatments, working alongside some very creative and forward-thinking professionals.

Over the last ten years, Dr Nolte has been the owner of a private practice and has had the privilege of being part of a team of specialist dentists, treating cases that require a multidisciplinary approach. Professional development and education in the latest techniques are vitally important to David and his continual progression. Attendance to lectures, courses and seminars are critical to his expertise.David also has a specialist interest in Endodontics.

He uses the ‘dental wand’ anaesthesia technique, which initially used to treat his phobic patients, has been extended this to all of his patients. Dr Nolte loves working with people and working with his hands. He enjoys art and being creative, especially when this involves improving someone’s smile. The doctor has many hobbies; from fly fishing to scuba-diving with his family, he also enjoys squash and the occasional game of golf.

Dr Nolte is a member of the British Dental Association, the British Society of Occlusal Studies, and the Association of Dental Implantology UK.

Dr Shivam Patel - Clinician - Hockerill Dental
Shivam Patel

Clinician, Bristol University 2015 (Distinction)
GDC no. 258195

Dr Shivam Patel graduated from Bristol University in 2015 with a Distinction. Upon graduating, he was also awarded the Pitt-Ford Endodontic prize for a root canal treatment case-based presentation. In 2016, he went on to complete his Foundation year in Peterborough winning the award for “Best Case Presentation” out of his peers. He has since developed a keen interest in teeth straightening and smile makeovers with composite bonding, veneers and Invisalign. He has attended multiple postgraduate courses including the one-year Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentistry programme by the world-renowned Dr Chris Orr.

Shivam has been recently nominated for the prestigious Aesthetic Dentistry Awards 2019 for the best composite smile makeover. He takes great pleasure in teaching and currently lectures for postgraduate dentists within the East of England deanery on composite bonding and has held focused study groups on how to excel in dental photography. Shivam enjoys minimally invasive and ethical cosmetic dentistry offering his patients the best possible results with minimal drilling or injections. To see some great examples of Shivam’s cases, follow him on Instagram @drshivampatel

Agnieszka - Dental Nurse

Dental Nurse
GDC no. 265992

After starting dental nursing in a busy NHS dental practice in 2015, Agnieszka gained a qualification in 2016. She speaks fluent English and Polish and is hardworking and highly motivated. Agnieszka has gained experience in all sectors of dentistry. She enjoys working as both a dental nurse and a dental receptionist. Her special interests are cosmetic dentistry as it helps to put a smile on someone’s face. In her free time, she enjoys being with family, running, walking her dog and healthy cooking.

Janet - Dental Nurse

Dental Nurse
GDC no. 130659

After raising her children, Janet decided to return to work in 2002, qualifying as a dental nurse. She worked for a busy NHS practice in Cheshunt Herts until 2018 when she moved house and decided to relocate to a job closer to home. Janet joined Hockerill in April 2018 and loves the vibe of the practice. She enjoys assisting Dr Opperman with his implant cases and helping patients in their patient journey, making them feel at ease. In her spare time, she loves to socialise with friends and family, and travel both abroad and in the UK. She also has an energetic dog that keeps her fit on long walks.

Knedall - Dental Nurse

Dental Nurse
GDC no. 285827

Kendall has been working at Hockerill since 2016, during that time she has studied towards gaining a Dental Nursing qualification. She has a keen interest in all aspects of dental nursing, especially implant dentistry. Kendall is currently the decontamination lead within the practice. You may also find her helping out on reception now and then! In her spare time, she likes to socialise with friends and family. She has a love of music and enjoys attending live concerts.

Oana - Trainee Dental Nurse

Dental Nurse
GDC no. 297846

After a long career of 20 years in the exciting London fashion industry, Oana decided to undergo a professional reconversion choosing to become a Dental Nurse. She joined our team in 2019, when she started studying towards gaining her Dental Nursing qualification. She speaks fluent English and Romanian and is highly motivated, patient orientated and eager to learn by assisting all our dentists with various treatments from cosmetic procedures to implants and minor oral surgery procedures. She also works as a dental receptionist, ensuring the patients are having a pleasant and effective experience while visiting our practice.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, attending dance classes, swimming and walking her dog.

Nicola Davey

GDC no. 244021

After Qualifying from Birmingham University with a degree in Dental Hygiene and Therapy, Nicola returned to Cambridge where she has since worked as a Hygienist for 9 years before starting with us in Bishops Stortford.

She has a second interest in computer science and programming so took some time out to complete an additional degree and gain some industry experience.

In her spare time, Nicola likes to hike and explore with her family.

GDC no. 307936

Read More
Samantha Chilcott - Practice Manager - Hockerill Dental
Samantha Chilcott

Practice Manager

After leaving college, Samantha stumbled upon a dental nursing position in Cheshunt Hertfordshire, thinking this would be a good ‘stop-gap’ – she remained there for 25 years! Samantha started as a dental nurse in 1993 and gained a National Certificate qualification in 1995. Just before the birth of her son, she changed position to reception, becoming head receptionist and later duty manager, until 2008 where she became the Registered Practice Manager. Samantha was offered a position at Hockerill in March 2018 and thoroughly enjoys working alongside such amazing clinicians and staff. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys socialising with friends and family. She loves cooking, especially Asian and Caribbean food, and also enjoys baking. Samantha loves Pilates and attends classes regularly and loves anything creative and can often be found designing and making things for the home and garden. In September 2020 she was awarded the Dentex Practice Manager of the year award.



Nicola has worked in various roles, postal franking and outsourcing, pharmaceuticals, and beauty therapy before leaving her work path to be a stay-at-home mum, raising her two children. During that time she discovered an interest in Gardening and Floristry and is currently studying for an online diploma in Floristry with New Skills Academy. Nicola works on a Monday easing herself back into the workplace, Nicola has already shown an interest in working towards being a Dental Nurse.



After 10 years’ service with the Metropolitan Police, I left to become a mum and moved to Bishops Stortford.  Having worked in the hospitality industry for the past 4 years I am now looking forward to becoming part of the team at Hockerill Dental in my role as a receptionist.

I like to keep fit and enjoy weight training, walking and have in the past completed 2 London marathons, a number of half marathons, the great south run and a Tough Mudder.  In my spare time I enjoy the company of my family and cat, my friends and I love a champagne afternoon tea.


GDC no. 295376

Bio coming soon.

Diane - Administrator - Hockerill Dental


Diana has worked in Dentistry since 1989 both as a Dental and Orthodontic Nurse and Receptionist. She joined Hockerill in 2018 and loves being part of a friendly professional team. She enjoys walking in her spare time and has climbed Snowdon. She has an interest in wildlife and conservation in the local area.

Chrysalis Patient Care Award - Diane


You can call us on 01279 652400 or fill out the form here for more information on all our treatments.