Portrait of a Nation: Dubai's dentist to the stars
Palestinian Dr Mohammed Naji says he was born to fix smiles in the emirate
With his dashing demeanour and perfect smile, Dr Mohammed Naji is unmistakably a dentist to the stars. In a way that makes it seem as though he has been taking tips from some of his celebratory clients, he declines to divulge his age and his responses to questions are careful and deliberate. Even the pauses he takes before speaking are timed to perfection.
“Many people relate experience with age,” he says. “But now everything we work with is related to technology and to use technology properly you need the younger generation.”
Dr Naji is a Palestinian and was born and raised in Dubai. He became interested in dentistry as he grew older, having mostly grown up at the dentistry clinic of his elder brother, Dr Majd Naji.
A well-known dentist himself, Dr Majd is 19 years older than Dr Mohammed and
practically raised his younger sibling.
“I was always around dentists growing up so when I became one it felt natural, it was like I was in the right place,” Dr Mohammed says.
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Now his clients include Italian former professional footballer Fabio Canavaro, Saudi Arabian TV presenter Lojain Omran, Tunisian singer Saber Al Rubai and Moroccan-Swedish music producer RedOne, who has worked with artists such as Lady Gaga.
Dr Naji’s passion is cosmetic dentistry, because of the “life-changing effect” it has on his clients.
“I love it because I perform makeovers almost every day,” he says. “I see life changing in front of my eyes on the dentist chair. The moment the patient sees their new teeth is always touching.”
He recalls an Algerian patient, Fatima, who arrived at his clinic directly from the airport.
“She came with her suitcases and said she had nowhere to stay,” he says.
“She had terrible teeth and had waited her entire life to have them fixed. She said she couldn’t get married, get a job or do anything because of her teeth.”
It took 40 days to fix them and Dr Naji says Fatima is “still in touch now – she is about to have her second child”.
In another case, a couple whose marriage was in trouble came to see him. “The husband took me aside afterwards saying that he knew it was inappropriate, but before we fixed her teeth he was thinking of leaving his wife because he couldn’t stand the smell of her breath any more
,” Dr Naji says.
He says he knows of many people whose lives, and those of their families, have been transformed by dental treatment.
He says he prefers to work with people’s natural teeth and has turned down requests from people who have asked to have all their teeth extracted.
“Nothing can replace your natural teeth, the perfect teeth are natural teeth,” he says. “Beauty is not in perfection.”
Updated: May 17, 2019 09:55 AM