Julie Troman, from Ruislip, has been judged to be the most deserving recipient of dental treatment which will transform her smile, instil her confidence back in the dental profession and hopefully curb her dental phobia.
Hundreds of people applied to enter, with 11 appearing on Facebook for public voting before the top five visited Elleven Dental in central London to meet the team and undergo an all important clinical examination.
This process was invaluable, to check suitability for treatment and to ensure that the winner would be responsible enough to maintain a good level of oral health to maintain the work achieved by the practice.
The winner, Julie Troman, was over the moon when she heard. She said: 'I just can’t believe it! It’s going to change my life. Most of my teeth are loose; I’m in pain all the time and eating is a real problem for me. My teeth have badly affected my confidence and I never go out because I think people are looking at them. You can change everything about yourself for yourself, but not your teeth, you need professional help. My teeth have taken over my life. I look at everyone’s teeth – in magazines, TV everything.
'I work delivering medicine to the elderly as I don’t feel they judge me – in fact some of the 90 year olds have got better teeth than me! I actually think I’ve been refused jobs because of my teeth. I’m happy to say that all my three boys have got perfect teeth and, when my smile is transformed, we’re going to have professional photos taken and I will be smiling!'
Dental psychologist, Professor Tim Newton, was involved in the judging process.
He said: 'We occasionally see patients who have engaged in a series of appointments with various teams hoping to find a change which is unrealistic or impossible to provide. For me it was important to understand how the individuals felt the treatment would benefit them and the barriers for seeking help in the past. For Julie, the benefits were clear but she also understood her role to play in her oral health and with Elleven’s generosity can overcome the financial hurdles and hopefully her dental fear, the reasons for her not seeking treatment previously.'
Lewis Moody, ex-England rugby captain, was also one of the judges.
He said: 'I was very touched by Julie’s story. I too have had my share of dental problems, all as a result of rugby, but I just can’t imagine what it must be like to be in pain every single day and not to be able to eat normally. I feel privileged I’ve been part of a process to give one person their confidence back.'
Dr Shivani Patel, specialist orthodontist at Elleven Dental, conducted Julie’s clinical examination and explained the treatment involved.
He said: 'Needless to say, Julie needs a lot of work to restore her dentition. We will be embarking on several treatments including extractions, bridge work, fillings, veneering and orthodontics. She will also be having several hygienist appointments to ensure her mouth is as healthy as it should be. All in all, I estimate the work will take around 14-18 months but we’re delighted to welcome Julie to the Elleven family and to helping her find her smile again.'