Southland Dental Surgery Logo

About Us

Southland Dental Surgery is situated within the Westfield Shopping Centre and has been catering to the needs of the Bayside Community since 1977. At our surgery, we use the latest technology, materials and philosophies to ensure that you maintain healthy teeth and gums, while helping to gain confidence in your Smile.

Southland Dental Surgery - About us

Our Staff are knowledgeable and employ safe and proven procedures. We offer a range of general dental services from simple dental check-ups and preventative maintenance, to tooth-coloured fillings, bonding, root canal treatment, extraction of teeth and periodontal (gum) treatment.

Along with our general dental services we also offer a range of cosmetic dental services to improve the appearance of your smile. This includes the latest advances in cosmetic dentistry such as UVeneers, Zoom Whitening and braces, including Cfast – a minimally invasive minimally invasive and discreet orthodontic system and SmileTru – Invisible braces.

Choosing a dentist is one of the most important decisions one can make. Our dentists at Southland Dental Surgery are caring, experienced, gentle, and offer services to ensure that the services provided is as painless as possible and precise. We are always willing to take the time to go over all of your options/costs and treat you as a person, not just a patient.

We are preferred providers for nib First Choice and This means that patients with nib, Australian Unity, Defence Health and Peoplecare private health insurance will pay NO GAP or have minimal or NO out of pocket costs for dental treatments at our surgery

Our Team

Southland Dental Surgery - Dr. Smitha Gaikwad
Dr. Smitha Gaikwad

Principal Dentist

Dr. Smitha is the Principal Dentist at Southland Dental Surgery. She has practiced Dentistry for over 20 years across Australia, New Zealand and India. She is up to date with the latest dental technology and techniques. Her particular interests are in white fillings, crowns, veneers, implants, tooth whitening and orthodontics, that includes traditional and invisible braces.

Smitha recently also completed her Continuing Professional Development Certificate in Fixed Orthodontics (2015) and is a registered provider for SmileTru, ClearCorrect and Cfast treatment techniques. She also offers advanced treatment options such as Soft Tissue laser and Uveneers.

Dr.Smitha is a member of Australian Dental Association and New Zealand Dental Association. She is of the firm belief that choosing a dentist is one of the most important decisions one can make. She is very happy to take the time to go over all of your options/costs and treat you as a person, not just as a patient!!

Smitha is available at Southland Dental on all weekdays for consultations on Cosmetic and General Dental services.

Southland Dental Surgery - Dr. Karen Chung
Dr. Karen Chung


Karen graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Dentistry and Masters of Dentistry from La Trobe University. As part of her training, Karen has worked in many rural parts of Victoria, including Bendigo, Ballarat and Wodonga before returning home to Melbourne.

Karen is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin).

Karen is known for her caring and compassionate nature, and allows patients to feel at ease in the dental chair. She aims to provide optimal and individualised care for every patient, helping patients achieve beautiful healthy smiles.

Outside of dentistry, Karen also enjoys baking, travelling and watching Netflix.

Southland Dental Surgery - Dr. Sara Vargas
Dr. Sara Vargas


Sara completed her ADC in 2020. She is a fully qualified dentist with four years experience in Colombia and around 2 years of experience in Australia. Sara joined our team in 2020 and is extremely eager to learn all aspects of practicing in Australia. She prides herself as a champion in oral extractions!!

She has extensive experience working in hospitals, as well as remote and rural clinics. She dedicates herself to the comfort, care, hygiene and wellbeing of all patients, whilst supporting her colleagues in both Southland Dental and Team Dental Bayside.

Southland Dental Surgery - Dr. John Varpurayil
Dr. John


Dr John has completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery in India and then attained his Master of Dental Surgery in Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics. He was teaching and practicing in India for some years before he moved to Abudhabi, UAE and practiced as specialist for 18years. He attained his certification in oral implantology from ITI. In 2012 he successfully completed Australian Dental Council exam and moved to Australia. His passion is to work ethically and improve the quality of life of people whom he comes across.

Doctor Sowmya - Southland Dental
Dr. Sowmya


Dr Sowmya Sastry completed a Doctor of Dental Surgery at The University of Melbourne and has diverse experience having worked in dental clinics in Swan Hill, Traralgon and Blackburn.

She is skilled across all areas of general dentistry with particular interest in oral surgery and facial aesthetics, with additional training in dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle therapies. 

Dr. Sowmya is passionate about preventative dentistry,  and always goes the extra mile to thoroughly educate patients on their oral health. She takes the time to understand her patient’s concerns, and provides exceptional care to her patients so they can smile with confidence! Her empathetic and gentle nature allows patients to feel relaxed in the dental chair.

Outside of dentistry Sowmya leads an active lifestyle, lifting weights at the gym and cycling along the coast.  She also takes her pet cat on food adventures across Melbourne!

Support Team

Southland Dental Surgery - Irene
Irene Torres

Irene is our receptionist. She holds a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and had worked for almost 18 years with Practicing Lawyers in a private law firm in the Philippines. Here in Australia, She has been working as a Receptionist/Admin in the Dental sector for more than two years. She has been with Southland Dental since its inception and has comprehensive knowledge in all admin matters pertaining to the dental business.

She also recently completed her Medical Computing course to enhance her skills and knowledge in the Healthcare sector

Paawan - Southland Dental

Paawan migrated to Australia in 2017 to pursue her master’s degree in IT after earning her bachelor’s degree in India. She always had a passion to work in healthcare and commenced working at Southland Dental Surgery ever since. She is a hardworking, reliable, friendly and compassionate member of the team. Paawan enjoys interacting with patients and appreciates seeing them walk out with a smile on their faces after a satisfied visit. She is always delighted to assist patients with their questions in an effective and timely manner. During weekends, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.   

Besa Kastatri - Southland Dental
Besa Kastrati

Besa is from Kosovo. She moved to Turkey to study and worked and lived in Turkey for 9 years. Subsequently, she moved to Australia in 2021. Besa is new to Melbourne and our team. She has started as a Trainee Dental Assistant and is quickly progressing in learning the various challenges that comes with the role

Besa likes hiking, camping,painting and reading in her spare time. She can speak Albanian,English,Turkish and Spanish, and loves learning new languages!!

Southland Dental Surgery - Support Team

Shawanti has been in the dental field for more than 14 years. She moved to Australia in 2016. She commenced working for Southland Dental Surgery in 2017 and enjoys the positive work environment. Currently she is studying Certificate IV in Dental Assisting (Radiography). In her spare time, she loves being with her family, travelling and listening to music.

Southland Dental Surgery - Support Team