Dentistry was actually a second profession for me. I had chosen to go to medical school. I had gone into medical school. At the last minute, I decided to change my mind, and the reason for that was I was in England and at that time there was a socialized healthcare system whereby doctors had to, like, medical doctors, had to work like 100 hours a week plus. So I wanted to have family time. I wanted to have a profession where I could own a business. I wanted a profession where I could, you know, help people and make a difference in their lives. So I decided to choose dentistry and dentistry being part of my life for many, many years in a very, very impactful way.
The second reason I chose dentistry is when I was a fourth-year dental student, I was observing one of the oral maxillofacial surgeons perform a cancer surgery. Unfortunately, from my perspective, my mother passed away when I was 11 months from mouth cancer. So that was another underlying reason for me to go into dentistry. So I could help patients who suffer from that type of disease at least have a chance at life.
The most rewarding part of what I do, honestly, is changing people’s lives. Those of us that have teeth, you know, we take them for granted, and you don’t know the value of something until you lose it. Now, when people say, I want to help them smile, it’s not just about the smile. It’s about helping their inner self, helping them become more confident, helping them have better relationships with their partner, helping them find a better job. It’s not just about chewing and smiling, and I find that a lot of dentists, they focus on the chewing and smiling part, but we’re really more than that. And it turns around people’s lives.
One of the procedures we do quite a lot at Anacapa is the teeth-in-one-day procedure. Every time we do it. And we’ve done it thousands of times, every time we do it, different patients, you know, they wake up and you could see the smile in their eyes. I’m not even looking at their teeth. I’m looking to see how they respond when they look in the mirror and their eyes just light up. So for me, that’s the most rewarding part of my job.
Dr. Saj Jivraj Is Ready to Revive Your Smile With Expert Care
Dr. Saj Jivraj was born in Kenya and grew up in London, England. As a youth, he was an avid reader who dreamed of becoming a neurosurgeon. After he was accepted to medical school, he decided to apply to dental school. Confident that he could make an impact in the field of dentistry, he earned a Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Manchester Dental School in England.
He next moved to the United States to attend the University of Southern California’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, which is renowned for its advanced prosthodontics program. He mastered full-mouth reconstruction procedures while completing his Certificate in Prosthodontics. Dr. Jivraj then completed a master’s degree in science education with a specialty in medical education at USC.
In addition to his private practice, Dr. Jivraj works as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Dentistry at the USC School of Dentistry and as a Clinical Teacher at the Eastman Dental Institute in London. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Restorative Dentistry. In these positions, he mentors future dentists and prosthodontists and stays current on advances in cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry.
Dr. Jivraj is former chairperson of Fixed Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry at the USC School of Dentistry. He is considered an expert on cosmetic and implant dentistry. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. He cowrote the textbook, Treatment Planning in Implant Dentistry, published by the British Dental Association. Dr. Jivraj’s book, Graftless Solutions for the Edentulous Patient, has been used by more than 15,000 dentists, clinicians, and specialists worldwide since it was published in 2018. A second edition was just released! He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry and is the ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. In addition, Dr. Jivraj continues his education as a member of the following organizations:
- California Dental Association
- Academy of Osseointegration
- American Dental Association
- American College of Prosthodontists
- American Academy of Restorative Dentistry
Dr. Jivraj has patients from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles and as far south as San Diego who come to Anacapa Dental Art Institute in Oxnard, CA for his care.
Outside of the office he enjoys traveling with his wife, Dee, and their teenagers, Sara and Zain.