Dr Adil Mannan was recognised with the Against the Odds Award on 9th March in London when he treated Tatiana Williams – her winning story perfectly illustrates how orthodontics can change and enhance lives

When she was just four years old, Tatiana was attacked by a dog.

She was rushed to hospital for four and a half hour emergency surgery followed by a further two surgeries and 127 stitches to her face – she was scarred for life.

This was her earliest memory and over time she grew to accept it. However, Tatiana continued to be bothered by her teeth.

Having scratched and misaligned teeth, as well as a peg tooth, made her conscious not only of her teeth but drew attention to the lower part of her face – the part of her that she felt most ashamed of.

At 23, she resolved to do something about it. She explained: ‘Before my first consultation with Dr Mannan at The Orthodontic Practice at Battersea, I was apprehensive of having to wear braces for 18-24 months.

‘Did I really want to draw more attention to my biggest insecurity? His incredible vision and reassurance allowed me to place my trust in him and accept that this was the best thing to do.

The braces were fixed and no doubt, I was more self-conscious than ever before. However, with every visit, Dr Mannan’s continued motivation and genuine passion for helping me carried me through.”

Eighteen months later, the braces were removed and a veneer fitted and teeth whitened (as part of a multidisciplinary approach, the veneer and whitening were carried out by a dentist).

Tatiana, who has recently set up her own fashion business, continued, ‘I was not prepared for the overwhelming change that this experience made me feel. I was shocked and in disbelief; trying to get out of the habit of permanently using my hand to cover my mouth was the new challenge.

I allowed myself to finish a fit of laughter, not stopping halfway to cover my face; I spoke to people and was no longer afraid of opening my mouth too wide; I looked in the mirror and for the first time was not disheartened by my scars.’

‘A fantastic patient’

Dr Adil Mannan was delighted for Tatiana. “I have to say that she was a fantastic patient. We talked through her valid and understandable concerns and made sure she was involved at every stage of her treatment.

I knew that orthodontics really could enhance Tatiana’s life and I am so pleased to see that come to fruition. It always amazes me that someone who had such early-life trauma and has had to literally live with the scars, is so well adjusted, cheerful and full of joie de vivre.’

Tatiana added, ‘It may seem like an insignificant change for some, but being able to see my whole face, not just fixate on the part that has caused me so much pain, is a feeling that I will always owe to Dr Mannan.

‘It took him vision to allow me to even consider braces; without him I do not think I would have found the courage to begin this treatment. Family and friends have commented on how my overall self-esteem and confidence has greatly improved and this has no doubt all been down to the incredible work that Adil did for me – thank you!’

Changing lives

Anshu Sood, chair of the BOS Orthodontic Specialists Group, said: ‘The Against the Odds competition continues to highlight the very best of our profession and the tremendous value that orthodontics has on people’s lives.’

‘Our sincere congratulations go to Adil Mannan as he continues to work tirelessly for his patients.

‘They are fortunate to have such a dedicated clinician who continues to impact their lives in such a positive way. A confident smile can change a person’s perception of themselves, their self-esteem and their self-image.’

There were two runners-up in the competition: Mr Juan Carlos Martinez from St Albans, Hertfordshire who was treated by Dr Garry Mancini of the Soho Orthodontic Clinic, London and Mr Cameron Law of Caterham, Surrey who was treated by Dr Georgina Cartwright of The Croydon Orthodontic Practice.

For more information see www.bos.org.uk