AT HER hugely successful hi-tech practice in Southampton, Dr Mitra Najafi is more used to treating celebrities and performing smile makeovers using the very latest technology.
She has built her practice up from scratch and has a loyal patient following who admire her for her professionalism and caring attitude.
And it is these two qualities that Mitra will be drawing on in the New Year when she fulfills a lifelong ambition.
“I’ve always wanted to do something meaningful – to give something back. I’ve been really lucky in my career and have enjoyed a high level of success.
“Now I want to share the expertise and experience that I have with people who sadly will never have the opportunity to receive the sort of dental care that we all take for granted in this country,”she said.
Mitra,along with her dental nurse/technician Bronte Foster has signed up to travel to Tanzania in Africa with the Bridge to Aid project.
She will draw on her savings to meet the £3,000 cost for the trip and Bronte is busy fundraising to collect the money she needs.
They will be going back to basics, staying in tents at a Tooth Camp and treating up to 50 patients a day.
“Children are dying in Tanzania due to dental infections and suffering terrible pain because they don’t have access to a dentist.
“The work that is being done at the Tooth Camp is saving lives and I would love to be part of that.
“This will be a return to the fundamentals of dentistry and I hope to be able to pass on valuable information for others to learn from,” she said.
Having built such a successful business in Southampton, Mitra was keen to take herself out of her comfort zone to face the challenge of working as a dentist in Tanzania.
“It is going to be totally different from anything I have experienced before.
“I see myself as a strong person but this will be a real test.
“It will be a life-changing experience – and I will probably want to go back each year,” she said.