The Probe - Proudly serving the dental profession for over 60 years

Life saving smile for 20-year-old


  Posted by: The Probe      29th November 2019








A young woman who was driven to the brink of suicide because of a rare dental condition now has a new lease of life, thanks to one of the UK’s top dentists.

Twenty-year-old Fozia Jatani was bullied at school and underwent therapy and medication for depression because of her amelogenesis imperfecta. The condition is so rare that many of the dentists she saw didn’t recognise it – it means the enamel doesn’t form properly and can leave the sufferer not only having extremely discoloured teeth but also dealing with extreme sensitivity.

Fozia, originally from Brighton but currently studying public health at the University of Sunderland, said the transformation has changed her life. Thanks to multi award-winning Dr Ken Harris of Sunderland’s Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry, Fozia has something to smile about – a perfect set of teeth.

“My teeth were always really brown and I used to get bullied at school by people asking me if I didn’t own a toothbrush,” said Fozia.

“Even school nurses thought I was a smoker because they were so brown. At the same time, I couldn’t eat anything cold or anything sweet because it caused me so much pain.”

A number of dentists tried to help Fozia but none of the treatments worked and instead the youngster retreated into her shell, not wanting to talk unless absolutely necessary and avoiding smiling whenever possible.

“I was so conscious and so upset about it that I ended up on antidepressants,” she said.                                                                                                                       

“I really was feeling suicidal, it was affecting my life so badly.”

When Fozia started university in Sunderland she decided to have one last attempt to find someone who could help.

“I couldn’t believe it when Dr Harris not only said he knew what it was but he could do something about it” she said.

Dr Harris initially sorted out the problem with Fozia’s decaying teeth, before combining porcelain crowns and composite bonding.

“It’s not only given me a new smile but it’s boosted my confidence. I was going to look for a career where I wouldn’t have to really deal with people but that’s all changed now” said Fozia.

The new look has also brought an unexpected bonus.

“I’ve got a new boyfriend, who said he’d noticed me because of my smile,” she said.

“And I can also now eat ice cream which I’ve never been able to do because it’s cold and sweet.

Dr Harris revealed that Fozia’s condition affects about 1 in 140,000 people.

“It does look as if people haven’t cared for their teeth but that is absolutely not the case,” he said.                                                                                                           

“Amelogenesis imperfecta is due to the malfunction of the proteins in the enamel and people afflicted with amelogenesis imperfecta may have teeth with abnormal colour, which could be yellow, brown or grey. The teeth also have a higher risk of a range of other dental problems.”

“We are delighted we’ve been able to help Fozia and that she’s pleased with the results.”

Join our
Mailing List

Sign up to our newsletter and keep up to date on the latest happenings in the dental market.

Sign up today