Teen wins British Orthodontic Society award for his story of life-changing treatment after losing his front teeth

18 May 2022
2 min read

A teenage boy from Croydon, whose life changed when he slipped on ice and fell face-forward onto the ground, has won an award for his miraculous story of the orthodontic treatment which changed the course of his life.

Yusuf Anwer, now 18 years old, entered the British Orthodontic Society’s Against the Odds competition to celebrate his orthodontist Kalim Sadiq from Orchard Orthodontics in Croydon.

Yusuf credits his orthodontist Kalim as transforming his life when others had given up. When he was 14 years old, Yusuf slipped on ice whilst walking to a lesson at school. Yusuf felt with his tongue and realised that both his front teeth were missing. That’s when the panic set in.

Kalim received the panicked call from Yusuf’s father. His first reaction was, “We need to find those teeth and get them safely back in the mouth.” They searched for the teeth but there was nothing to be found in the deep snow.  Kalim then contacted the hospital’s A&E Maxillofacial doctors to arrange emergency treatment. Shockingly, the x-ray revealed the teeth had penetrated deep into the jaw bone, under Yusuf’s nose.

Kalim was determined to save Yusuf’s teeth – despite four clinical colleagues at the hospital saying otherwise. He wanted to do everything he could for Yusuf with the least impact on his physical and mental health.

Reflecting back, Yusuf says “My smile had gone, my teeth had gone; I was unrecognisable. I looked old and battered and felt very depressed at the way I looked. Over time, the side teeth started to encroach onto the space of the intruded front teeth. At a review appointment four hospital consultants unanimously agreed that I needed dentures. I was already on a low due to the way I looked. This news terrified me and took my confidence to rock bottom. The thought of wearing dentures at 14... I would never smile again!”

Kalim proposed an alternative intricate plan to try and move the teeth out of the bone using braces, to make space and slowly pull down the teeth out of the bone.

To the absolute astonishment of Yusuf, his friends, family and teachers, his teeth began to reappear. The consultants were equally amazed and decided not to extract the teeth but rather continue with Kalim’s life-changing treatment. Just over a year after the accident, the treatment was complete. Kalim worked with a restorative dentist on root canal treatments and composite build ups.

He says “There’s no-one who better epitomises ‘Against The Odds’.  A boy falls over, he thinks he’s lost his front teeth, he then has massive swelling, clinicians say he’s still got his teeth but they need to be removed. The ups and downs and highs and lows were like an emotional rollercoaster.”

Kalim’s compassion and dedication has left a deep impact on Yusuf. Kalim says, “Orthodontics isn’t just about straightening teeth, it’s about making people feel better about themselves. It was wonderful to see Yusuf’s smile but even better to see how he changed inside.”

Against the Odds 2023 is now open for entries. Patients are encouraged to showcase the transformative power of braces by nominating their orthodontist here. The deadline for entries is Friday 30 September, 2022.

Richard Jones, chair of the British Orthodontic Society (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. A confident smile can change a person’s perception of themselves, their self-esteem and their self-image.  We look forward to receiving entries.”