Shiraz and Ayzaaz
‘Amazing service and wonderful staff. My two year old had a brilliant first visit, fed Kiki and as a result loves the dentist!’ – Lucinda Dungarven
‘When Superman says Brush Your Teeth, children seem to take much more notice,’ laughs Dr Shiraz Akram, who co-owns the Pure Smiles family dental practice in New Kings Road and Fulham Road with his brother Ayzaaz.
‘First visits to the dentist can be daunting and we wanted to make the experience less intimidating. Every three months, usually during school holidays, we dedicate a day to children’s appointments; we dress up as Superheroes, hire a wonderful entertainer and we have a secret weapon in Kiki, our resident therapy dog.
‘Of course, there’s a serious point behind all the fun. Relaxed children are easier to treat, they pay more attention to what we say and we build a rapport with them. We have TVs on the ceilings and that also makes a huge difference: we give the children headphones and they happily watch cartoons while we work.’
One of the most important procedures for children is teeth straightening or orthodontics and that usually begins at 11-12 years old.Many of these treatments involve extracting teeth to create space – but that definitely isn’t the Pure Smiles philosophy.
‘We completely oppose that approach,’ explains Ayzaaz. ‘Our aim is not to have to remove teeth and so, for the past 20 years, we have delivered non-extraction orthodontics for the majority of patients. Early intervention is our watchword: it’s perfectly possible to identify potential problems and take appropriate action at a younger age.
‘At around seven years old we start using the latest expansion-based devices, similar to removable braces, some of which only need be worn at night and for one hour during the day. Also, we never look at the teeth in isolation: equally important is achieving a balanced facial profile and ensuring that a child is breathing and swallowing correctly. Both these issues are identifiable at three to four years-old and they can have an effect on general physical wellbeing: many children don’t breathe through their noses, hence they suffer from persistent tonsil inflammations and infections.’
Ayzaaz and Shiraz work closely with a Myofunctional Trainer who devises bespoke exercises that assist children who struggle with breathing and swallowing patterns. ‘The concept was once considered abstract, but the positive results are now well-documented,’ says Shiraz.
‘Our fundamental goal is to ensure that young patients reach the age of 18 without needing a filling. By acting promptly and combining precision dental devices with myofunctional exercises, we can control and correct orthodontic anomalies and deliver the best outcome and patient experience for all children.’
257 New Kings Road
Fulham SW6 4RB
750a Fulham Road
Fulham SW6 5SH
020 7736 6276