Patient story - Ieva Prieskenyte 

Healing broken smiles

When Ieva Prieskentye was little, the tooth fairy didn’t visit very often.

Ieva said: “I remember that my sister was always putting teeth under her pillow and getting visits from the tooth fairy but lots of my baby teeth just didn’t fall out.

“My mum used to put money under my pillow anyway, so that I didn’t feel left out.”

Ieva is one of the hundreds of thousands of Britons who have hypodontia, a condition in which some teeth simply never grow.

Sometimes baby teeth don’t fall out – meaning they enter adulthood with rows of small, pointy, misshapen teeth.

"I never thought I’d be so happy about my teeth. It’s lovely. "

And if the baby teeth do fall out, adult teeth may not take their place – leaving them with big gaps.

In severe cases, someone may only have four or five teeth in their entire mouth.

This can affect the ability to eat and speak – and have massive effect on self-confidence.

Ieva was teased by other children and covered her mouth when she laughed and ate.

Aged 15, she was referred to the hypodontia clinic at the Eastman Dental Hospital, which is part of UCLH.

Now, six years on, her smile has almost been rebuilt.

Ieva, an English literature student in Swansea, said: “I used to be very self-conscious about my teeth.

“I never opened my mouth in photos and I remember it taking my boyfriend six months to persuade me to go out for a meal because I really didn’t like eating in public.

“The dentistry has made me more confident and allowed me to laugh and smile without worrying about what people think.

“I never thought I’d be so happy about my teeth. It’s lovely.”

 Contact details

Hypodontia clinic
Second floor
256 Gray's Inn Road
London, WC1X 8LD

Patient enquiries
Telephone: 020 3456 1030

General enquiries
Telephone: 020 3456 1082
Fax: 020 3456 2383
Email: uclh.referrals.edhappts@nhs.net